Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Allegheny East Conference

For one special Sabbath, the doors of some 40 Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Northern Virginia area were closed. Their members instead  gathered at the Hylton Memorial Chapel for a joint worship service, fellowship, training and a free concert.

Harriet Langley, a member of Allegheny East Conference’s Pisgah church in Bryans Road, Md., could never forget the Jefferson family. As a long-serving member of the church’s Adventist Community Services (ACS) team, she had helped many, many people, but this family was different. “The father had gotten hurt on the job and couldn’t work,” she recalls. “When they couldn’t pay the bills, he and his family were put out of the trailer they were living in.”

During the 11 o’clock service on Sabbath, January 5, Brenda Billingy, senior pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s (AEC) Metropolitan church in Hyattsville, Md., looked from her chair on the podium to the back of her church and wondered, “Why is the [Columbia] Union president here?” She soon found out. Her associate pastor, Marquis D. Johns, had planned a surprise ceremony, that included Columbia Union president Dave Weigley, executive secretary Rob Vandeman and treasurer Seth Bardu, to celebrate her ministerial credentials that had been recently revised to indicate that she is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister.