Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Chesapeake Conference

The Chesapeake Conference has over 13,924 members in 74 congregations (64 churches, 10 companies) in Delaware, Maryland, and on the edges of Virginia and West Virginia. It has a pastoral workforce of 65, and its largest congregation, Spencerville (Silver Spring, Md.) has a membership in excess of 1,719. The Chesapeake Conference operates a strong Christian educational program that includes nearly 100 teachers and more than 1,050 students in 11 schools including one high school, a Pre-K - 12 grade academy, a Pre-K - 10 grade academy and eight elementary schools. It also operates an Adventist Book Center and four Adventist Community Services centers in Maryland and Delaware.

Mt. Aetna Camp and Retreat Center, outside Hagerstown, Md., is a fully-accredited camping and retreat center that hosts more than 700 youth during the conference's annual summer camp program. The site, which houses a nature center with a collection of stuffed animals, birds, insects, and reptiles from around the world, is used for field trips, outdoor learning programs, church retreats, spiritual seminars, and camping and hiking excursions.

Following the Columbia Union Conference Special Constituency’s historic July 29 decision to ordain pastors without regard to gender, the union executive committee voted to approve the ordination of 16 women pastors. The women include Allegheny East Conference’s Rosa Taylor Banks, Brenda Billingy, Paula Olivier and Lisa Smith-Reid; Ohio Conference’s Linda Farley, Lori Farr, Sandra Pappenfus and Carmen Seibold; and Potomac’s Karen L. Cress, Sharon Cress, Jennifer Deans, Debbie Eisele, Cherilyn O’Ffill and Sonia Perez. The vote included emeritus credentials for Chesapeake Conference’s Charlotte McClure and Josephine Benton, the first female pastor presented for ordination in 1973.

Marty Chappell is embarking on a second relief mission to Haiti with members from Chesapeake Conference’s New Hope church in Fulton, Md. Chappell will go armed with supplies donated by his fifth-grade students from the Fallsmead Elementary School in Rockville, Md. A reporter from the Washington, D.C.-based television station WUSA, Channel 9, recently met with Chappell to highlight his plans to return to Haiti in early March with the funds and supplies being collected and donated by his students.