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Columbia Union Treasurer Emmanuel Asiedu; Columbia Union President Dave Weigley; and Columbia Union Executive Secretary Celeste Ryan Blyden; lead the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee Meeting

The Most Effective Form of Evangelism: Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee Gathers for Quarterly Meeting

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Members of the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee met today to discuss the union’s recent accomplishments and mission projects. 

Jerry Lutz, Chesapeake Conference president, shared the devotional thought, reminding attendees of the real reason for ministry. 

“The success of this movement isn’t dependent on how well organized the church is,” said Lutz, “but just how much [others] can see Jesus through us. When you’ve been with Jesus, you reflect who Jesus is … the compassion, the courage, the commitment. [Jesus’ disciples] were simply doing what Jesus had taught them to do. In the end, isn’t that what discipleship is all about?”

Getting Down to Business 

Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president, kicked off the business meeting portion, noting past and upcoming church events that will impact union members.  

Celeste Ryan Blyden, union executive secretary, shared membership statistics as of June 30, 2022—noting that the union added 1,760 new members and lost 77—resulting in a total membership of 146,350. She also reported about the flurry of work that took place to support the upcoming Allegheny East and New Jersey conferences' constituency meetings—including by-laws and organizing committee meetings her department oversees. 

In his report, Emmanuel Asiedu, union treasurer, said, “The Columbia Union continues to grow financially. I believe God does this because we are about mission, helping [others] even across the world.” 

He said that the union is still on track to exceed the record-breaking 2021 tithe record. Weigley added, “If there is no margin, there is no mission. We need that help to move the mission forward,” thanking the union’s Treasury Department for their work. 

Among other reports, Frank Bondurant, vice president of Ministries Development for the union, and Kelly Butler Coe, director of the union's Communication Department, shared a joint report on the recent “Relentless” Columbia Union Conference Pathfinder Camporee, where 2,000 Pathfinders gathered in Glen Jean, W.Va. 

Bondurant, who led a team in planning and running the camporee, noted that Pathfinders is one of the most effective forms of evangelism. “There is no greater method for reaching our children for Christ.”  

After sharing a news video about the event, Coe described how communicators from across the union worked together to make the event a success.  

Coe also shared the latest issue of the Visitor that features an interview with Weigley. In his interview, Weigley shares his thoughts on the union’s newly voted priorities and values for this quinquennium, the challenges our church is facing today, and our role when it comes to social issues. 

José D. Espósito, the union's assistant to the president for Evangelism, shared several examples of evangelism happening across the Columbia Union, including “Impact Columbus—Sharing Hope Revival,” a three-week series by G. Alexander Bryant, North American Division president, that resulted in 64 baptisms. (Read the story next week!) Espósito also introduced David Klinedinst, Chesapeake Conference director for Evangelism and Church Growth, who spoke about the Church Planting Support System program that supports and trains those committed to planting new churches. 

Rubén A. Ramos, vice president of Multicultural Ministries for the union, shared that the union recently helped distribute more than 115,000 Bibles and Steps to Christ to local conferences. “Just think of how many souls will be touched by these books,” said Ramos. 


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