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State, national and world conferences abound in June

Jun. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

June is not only the month when most marriages take place in the United States, but it is also a month for state, national and world conferences for churches. Numerous times I have attended such meetings and usually with a leadership role.

During the more than 25 years I served as a pastor of People Church of God in Decatur, Illinois, I served on the State Council for the church in various positions 20 years of that time and often as the Vice Chairman or Chairman of the General Assembly.

I returned to West Virginia to become, what was called, "The State Coordinator" for the Church of God and served four years. In several church organizations that would be the equivalent to being a state superintendent or bishop. I was also asked to consider such a statewide position in Southern California, Ohio and Colorado.

My acquaintances with such terms begin to emerge when I was about 12 years old. At Decota, W.Va., there was a Methodist Church and our beloved pastor was the Rev. Luther B. Mays. We were praying each year that the District Superintendent would again appoint Brother Mays.

Some church organizations have their state and national meetings every year, a continuing practice in the Church of God for 127 years. We will be naming a new General Director to follow Dr. Ron Duncan who has given extraordinary leadership during his tenure in office.

The Global Gathering and General Assembly of the Church of God will meet in Anderson, Ind., June 22-26. Delegates from approximately 70 nations will be present and thousands of attendees from throughout the United States.

A surprising number of the delegates from other countries are people whom Kitty and I have met at other world gatherings or in their particular country. It is my hope that many from Church of God congregations in Putnam, Kanawha and Cabell counties will be present for this Global Gathering.

I have been involved in the decision-making process in numerous conventions and conferences in the United States and throughout the world.

When I was living in Anderson, Ind., working in radio and television for the church, the Church of the Nazarene had its Quadrennial meeting in Portland, Oregon. The Rev. John Wine, pastor of the First Nazarene Church in Anderson, asked me to preach on the Sundays and Wednesdays he would be gone. Their Quadrennial General Assembly and Convention will be in Indianapolis this summer, June 19-27.

In the Southern Baptist Convention, my dear friends, Dr. Robert G. Lee and Dr. Adrian Rogers, each served three consecutive years as the convention president. Nobody else has ever served that long as far as I know.

Years ago, I talked with Bishop Woodie W. White of the United Methodist Church in Illinois. He wrote a newspaper article that he titled, "God's guidance needed in decision-making." He said, "It is easier to make decisions when you don't make the decisions!"

Attend and pray for those who make decisions for the church. Many in our area will be involved in that process.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.

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