Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Allegheny East Conference

News from the Allegheny East Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which includes churches and schools in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

At the annual Day of Fellowship for Allegheny East Conference’s (AEC) Spanish Council of Churches, held last Sabbath at the conference’s headquarters in Pine Forge, Pa., attendees had much to celebrate. In addition to enjoying a day of worship, workshops and fellowship, the conference’s Hispanic members celebrated their first graduation from the School of Discipleship, Master Guide promotions, 18 baptisms, recognized five pastors with certificates of ministry and welcomed five new churches into the fold.

If you are ever in Baltimore on a Friday evening, you can find Yehuda Mordechai in the basement of an old Jewish synagogue. Allegheny East Conference’s Berea Temple now occupies the building, but its Jewish history holds special significance to Mordechai, who is working to build up the newly established Baltimore Hebrew Adventist congregation in an area with a large Jewish population. It is in this place that Mordechai leads a Friday night Shabbat service designed to reach Jews for Jesus.

“Things in North Carolina were pretty rough. They didn’t want us there anyway,” says Phillip Herout, now 85 years old, recalling his basic training at Montford Point Camp in New River, N.C., which was set up to train the first black Marines. “The place was full of mosquitoes and snakes.” They also lived in substandard housing and suffered abuse from their white drill instructors.

Each year for the past seven years, Allegheny East’s Emmanuel Brinklow church in Ashton, Md., has hosted a special program that celebrates three people who have made a positive impact on the world. Last Sabbath under the theme “Am I My Brother’s Keeper,” the church again honored three more at its Living Legends Awards for Service to Humanity program. Bob Zellner, whose parents were once members of the Klu Klux Klan, became a civil rights activist after interviewing Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks for a sociology paper. Zellner, then a college student, was struck by something Parks told him: “When you see something wrong, you have to make a stand for it. You can’t study it forever.” Zellner went on to become the first white field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—a notable civil rights group.

Everyone knows the economy is at best limping along, so why would someone with his career on the rise, walk away from a job, to honor a church doctrine he abandoned several years ago? That’s the choice that Adrian Mundle, a used car sales manager with more than 18 years of experience, faced in September when he became a baptized member of the Allegheny East Conference Metropolitan church in Hyattsville, Md. Mundle was one of 113 people who took a stand for Christ after attending the church’s two-week “Lifted” evangelism series.

Several communication professionals from the Columbia Union Conference took home awards from the recent Society of Adventist Communicators convention held in Lombard, Ill. Potomac Conference’s Communication Department won “Best in Class” for the Corporate Communication Website category. The team includes Dan Jensen, Communication director; Adrienne Suarez, graphic designer and Paolo Esposito, communication intern.

The pastors at Allegheny East Conference’s Metropolitan church in Hyattsville, Md., weren’t planning on performing a baptism on Sabbath, September 17. Members were in the midst of “Lifted,” a two-week long evangelism campaign that attracted some 300 people each night and the only baptism scheduled was for the second Sabbath. But the Holy Spirit had been working on Christopher Robinson those first few days and he couldn’t wait another week to publicly commit his life to Christ.

Seventh-day Adventist volunteers from churches throughout the Allegheny East and Pennsylvania conferences worked at five sites throughout Pennsylvania on Sunday to offer aid to their neighbors still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Just two weeks ago, the Adventist church in Paterson, N.J., partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement stores to distribute items to a community reeling from flood damage As the home improvement store looked to aid flood victims in eastern Pennsylvania, they again worked with Adventist church members who, with little notice, were quick to volunteer their time, hugs and prayers.

Lifelong Paterson, N.J., residents Kathy and Greg are expecting a baby in one month. However, due to flooding from Hurricane Irene they have not been able to get to her home on Haledon Street for the past week. Recalling that when she left she had water up to her knees in her living room, Kathy said, “Our apartment was condemned this week, and we have been in a shelter, and we need all the help we can get.”

“Sometimes as young adults, especially those who are single, we go our own way on Friday nights. But with this ministry, we can open the Sabbath together,” says Anthony Barnes, a member of Allegheny East Conference’s First church in Washington, D.C. It was at his church that young adults from around the region recently met for the “First Fridays” worship service.