Linda and Paul Dean with Steve Lawson
This weekend, I had the privilege of attending Potters Hill AC Church for the celebration of Rev. Paul and Linda Dean’s 30th anniversary of pastoral ministry. It was truly a celebration of the glory of God not only by the church, but also the community. Local school board members, volunteer fire department leaders, sister church leadership, ENC conference president and former pastors all gathered to praise God for what he has done through this family and in the church. SACA superintendent, Rev. Joe Pritchett, shared the morning message. He recognized how God had used Paul and Linda to minister to the whole community. Former pastor Ed Neal and his extended family shared special music and memories. The church presented the Deans with a local artist’s painting of the church, and we enjoyed a wonderful meal following the service.
Last week, Karen and I traveled up to Alton Bay for their annual members’ meeting. It was a great trip and I had the opportunity to visit and meet with a number of members along with the Alton Bay board. I enjoy making this trip to ABCCC since so many of the cottage owners are around and I get to see the facility being used in so many different ways. This year, Soul Fest (a contemporary Christian music festival) was going on and most of the hotel rooms were filled, so we were able to stay in one of the area cottages. It was great to experience the coziness of the cottage and be a part of the community up close and personal. Even though the weather was rainy part of the time, the beauty and climate of the Alton Bay community was a welcome change from the humidity and heat of North Carolina.
It’s been great to hear the reports coming in from various AC camps around the country! Many of our camps have seen an increase in attendance, and even those who were not blessed in that way have been blessed with a wonderful moving of the Holy Spirit.
On Wednesday, I made my way to the Appalachian AC Campground in Blowing Rock, NC for the Family Camp and enjoyed the afternoon and the evening service. My wife, Karen, was cooking for the camp and I helped out for a few of the meals while I was there. It was great to be in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoy the wonderful temperatures of this area. On Wednesday I made my way to the camp and enjoyed the afternoon and the evening service. Rev. Michael Bassett from Holly Grove AC Church in Benson was the main speaker and Ron Thomas was the Bible teacher. It was a great time of fellowship, worship and learning with all ages participating.
From right to left: Rev. Nate Dean, VP; Rev. Clint Hutcheson, President; Rev. Calvin Levitt, Chair Ministerial Committee; Rev. Dale Wilkerson, Treasurer; Rev. Robert Hughes, Secretary; Rev. Robert Osburn, Christian Education Chair; Burly Page, Business Committee Chair
Last week, I had the opportunity to travel down to Augusta, Ga. to attend the Georgia Conference. I had a wonderful time remembering when I had attended the conference as a child and teenager. I grew up in Savannah and my family was active in our church and conference work. I hate to say this because it makes me sound old, but I remember when the Georgia Conference was a two- or three-day event. We would have supper and an evening service with a church full of people, and then sit around the pool and enjoy time together. I valued these times because I would bond with my camp friends from the other churches. It was like a miniature camp meeting for us and we loved it. These relationships were wonderful blessings that built from camp to youth rallies to Georgia Conference to an SACA youth event each year.
Greetings from ACGC! It is hard to believe that summer is half gone and we are looking toward Executive Council Meeting in September and planning for the push of the fall season in ministry, churches and for families. I want to share with you something to consider for September 6, 2018. Through our relationship with Converge, ACGC will be offering Church Planting 101, a course taught by our consultant Lee Stephenson, Executive Director of Church Planting for Converge. This course and the materials presented were co-written by Lee Stephenson and Gary Rohrmayer. In this course you will learn how to:
- Recruit and equip your launch team
- Build a financial structure that creates sustainability
- Maximize the guest experience
- Design a weekend experience that connects with your community
- Become a legal entity
- Develop an effective marketing plan