Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Columbia Union News

“Last year we baptized 42,000 Hispanics, which represents about a third of the entire baptisms done in all of the North American Division,” shares Ricardo Norton, DMin, director of the Institute of Hispanic Ministries at Andrews University (Mich.). Norton is sitting in front of a class at the Columbia Union Conference’s headquarters in Columbia, Md., which just finished covering the ins and outs of developing and implementing small group ministries. In front of him are 29 Spanish-speaking students, most pastors of churches throughout the union, who have just completed one class toward their Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. 

“These ministry leaders are working tirelessly in their local churches to reach out and engage their youth and young adults,” said Frank Bondurant, Columbia Union vice president for Ministries Development. “To retain and enlist these youth and young adults in our local church ministries is one of the greatest challenges we as a church are facing, and I am grateful that [we] could support and assist these leaders in this important ministry.”

Don A. Roth, long considered the “PR person” for the Seventh-day Adventist church for the past 60 years and a former Visitor editor, passed away on Tuesday evening at his home in Loma Linda, Calif. “I spent 15 happy years in the Columbia Union Conference,” Roth wrote last year in a letter to the current Visitor editor. “We had a great team at the union office and I thoroughly enjoyed those years.”

This month Ileana Espinosa joins the Columbia Union Conference’s Office of Education as associate director for elementary education. Espinosa hails from the Central California Conference where she served 14 years as associate superintendent. Prior to joining that conference, she taught high school English and Spanish for seven years at Madison Academy (Tenn.). She also taught on the elementary school level. She starts work at the union July 18 and fills the vacancy left when LaVona Gillham retired earlier this year.

At “Engaging Meaningful Ministry From the Margins,” a Fourth Street Friendship church event held last weekend in Washington, D.C., community leaders tackled tough questions about how to reach local communities. Approximately 500 people attended the event, and viewers from as far away as California and Dubai tuned in via the Internet.