Arnold Kelly Appointed General Manager of NCU Media Group

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Veteran radio host Arnold Kelly has been appointed General Manager of the NCU Media Group. His appointment, which becomes effective on April 1, 2018, became necessary due to the resignation of Everett Wiles on May 31, 2017.

While at NCU, Kelly was integral in the conversion of the former WIC Radio from an ad-hoc playlist to a full 24-hour, seven-day radio programme format. He was appointed manager of NCU FM Radio when the Group was officially launched in 2010 and was appointed acting General Manager on June 1, 2017 after the resignation of Wiles.

Arnold Kelly

Before joining the NCU team in 2006, Kelly worked at the National Religious Media Commission (LOVE 101) as a producer and presenter from 1994 to 2005. During that period, he hosted and produced Sunday Showcase, one of the station's biggest earners through sponsorships generated from local and overseas outside broadcasts. He also managed and coordinated programming, including local and overseas outside broadcast activities for Love 101 FM and Love Television.

“Mr Kelly has gone beyond our expectation in leading the NCU Media Groupthrough challenging times to improve islandwide listenership of NCU Radio,” said Dr Meric Walker, chairman of the NCU Media Group. His social and human relational skills has enhanced team spirit among the workers creating a positive platform for the future. It is our prayer that, as he takes up the mantle filled with responsibilities for running the day-to-day operations of the Media Group, God's blessings will be with him to get the job done.”

As an independent producer/presenter, Kelly developed The Caribbean Houraired on 12 Caribbean radio stations, which was nominated in the “Best Produced Programme” category (DBS Flamboyant Awards, Dominica 2006) and also hosted Caribbean Breeze — A fpur-hour afternoon show on The Caribbean Gospel (Satellite) network.

Kelly, in his response said: “I am humbled by the board's decision to trust me with this mammoth task. I am aware that these are challenging times for the industry, but the same God who took us this far is able to see us through.”

A graduate of Cornwall College, among his accomplishments is the President's Award for outstanding contribution to regional gospel music at the 2010 Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards. He was recognised for outstanding service by the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists during its Recognition and Awards Ceremony held on February 11, 2018.

Fifteen Church Members Die in Rwandan Church after Being Struck by Lightning

Lighting struck a Rwandan church on March 10, killing 15 members. More than 130 others attending divine services at the Gihemvu Seventh-day Adventist Church were taken to an area hospital and other health centers. Some of those treated have since been released.

Church leaders and government officials, including Abidan Ruhongeka, president of the South Rwandan Field and Mureshyankwano Marie Rose, the governor of the Southern Province of Rwanda, attended a special burial ceremony held Sunday, March 11. Rose offered condolences to the families of the deceased and declared that the district of Nyaruguru will pay the medical bills of those still receiving treatment.

During the ceremony, Ruhongeka shared, “We commiserate with the families of the deceased and those affected during these hard times. Let everybody remember that when Jesus comes again, those died in Him shall resurrect.” He said that the church provided coffins to bury the deceased and they are providing support and assistance to those affected by this tragedy.


Hope Channel Inter-America Strives For More Viewership

Seventeen months after Hope Channel Inter-America was officially launched, Seventh-day Adventist leaders are aiming for greater collaboration among its regional church leadership and multiple media centers across the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory. The goal is to increase the visibility of the television channel to reach millions with the message of hope and salvation.

Church administrators, channel coordinators, communication directors, media center staff and production teams were called upon to strengthen the image, vision and mission of the channel during a special online training held on Mar. 6, 2018, from the IAD Office in Miami, Florida.

Abel Márquez, Hope Channel Inter-AmericaImage by Libna Stevens/IAD

“Those of us who work in Hope Channel Inter-America have a hope that we want to share and if we are a channel that offers hope, we need to grow in that hope so that we can strengthen our spiritual identity and share with those persons who are connecting with the gospel through this great mission,” said Abel Márquez, director of Hope Channel Inter-America, as the two-hour online program began.

Strengthening spiritual identity means understanding communication as a divine instrument from God to fulfill the mission on earth, said Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial secretary for the church in Inter-America and chaplain of Hope Channel Inter-America.

“If Jesus Christ was here, He would understand the role that communication plays and would have invested more in fulfilling the mission,” said Pastor Rodríguez. “It doesn’t matter what specific task you are doing for this television channel, you need to be God’s instrument, have a constant relationship with the Lord and live a life that can represent the message of hope wherever you are.”


Polygamy, Dual Career Marriages, and African Culture Among Topics at Groundbreaking Conference in Kenya

This is Part 1 of a two part report on the March 1-3 Adventist Pan-African Conference on Dynamic Family Relations. ~ Editors

In another first for the Family Ministries Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, three African divisions, or world regions, came together from March 1-3, 2018 to discuss relevant and challenging subjects in the area of marriage and family.

The Adventist Pan-African Conference on Dynamic Family Relations, was organized by the world church Family Ministries department directors Willie and Elaine Oliver, together with Family Ministries departments from the East Central Africa (ECD), West Central Africa (WAD), and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean (SID) divisions.

The conference was organized for several reasons, primarily to discuss the relationship between deeply embedded cultures and traditions throughout Africa and the biblical worldview as related to families. “We are becoming more like the world instead of being salt and light,” Willie Oliver explained to Adventist Review. “This is just an opportunity to slow down and take another look at the biblical message for families.”


New NJC Leaders Installed

The North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (NJC) had its installation of officers and leaders on Sabbath, March 3, 2018, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Brown's Town.

The service was presided over by the officers of the Jamaica Union (JAMU), Pastors Everett Brown (President), Meric Walker (Executive Secretary) and Bancroft Barwise (Treasurer). Several JAMU departmental directors, workers, field leaders, and special guests from across the various fields and institutions of the Union were also in attendance.

Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Adventist Church in Jamaica presents the main charge to the Officers, Directors and the Executive Committee of the North Jamaica Conference

Delivering the homily, Pastor Everett Brown reminded the leaders that "God calls us to be His servants". Citing Jesus' admonition to the disciples in Mark 10 and Rehoboam's disregard for good counsel in 1 Kings 12, Brown exhorted the leadership of the North that "You are being called today to be servant-leaders, to serve God and to serve His people."

The Third Quadrennial Session of the North Jamaica Conference, held on February 21 and 22, 2018, at the NJC Campsite in Duncans, Trelawny, saw Pastor Karl Archer's return as President for the third time. He also carries the portfolio of Spirit of Prophecy Coordinator and Religious Liberty and Public Affairs. Pastor Astor Bowers was called to the field to serve as Executive Secretary. He also carries the department of Stewardship Ministries; whereas Elder Dane Ellis was returned as Treasurer and will also serve as Trust Services Coordinator.

Pastor Karl Archer delivers his response to his election as president

The directors include: Elder Christine Shand of the Chester congregation in St. Ann (Health, Women, Children and Adolescent); Pastor Mobrey Lewis (Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, Community Services, Special Needs and Special Assistant to the President for Evangelism); Pastor Amiel Summerbell (Adventist Youth); Pastor Carlington Hylton (Ministerial, Family Life and Leadership Coordinator) and Pastor Jermaine Johnson (Communication, Education and Music).

Elder Dane Ellis, Treasurer of the North Jamaica Conference signs his Leadership Pledge in the presence of the Jamaica Union Officers (L-R) Pastors Meric Walker, Everett Brown and Bancroft Barwise.

Pastor Astor Bowers, Secretary of the North Jamaica Conference signs his Leadership Pledge in the presence of the Jamaica Union Officers (L-R) Pastors Meric Walker, Everett Brown and Bancroft Barwise.

Pastor Karl Archer, president of the North Jamaica Conference signs his Leadership Pledge in the presence of the Jamaica Union Officers (L-R) Pastors Meric Walker, Everett Brown and Bancroft Barwise.

Pastor Meric Walker, Secretary of Jamaica Union Conference (at podium), the platform party is behind him.


the congregation


Karl Archer Reelected to Serve a Third Term

The nominating committee of the Third Quadrennial Session of the North Jamaica Conference (NJC) reelected Pastor Karl Archer to serve for a third four-year term as president.

The Session was held under the theme “Transformed for His Glory: Faithful to the End,” and took place from February 21-22, 2018 at the NJC Camp Site in Duncans, Trelawny.

“I thank God for the opportunity to serve the NJC for the third consecutive term,” said Pastor Archer. “The expression of the brethren I believe is not so much confidence in me as a person, but confidence in God’s ability to use all of us. I think the expression of confidence has taught me a lot and has caused me to review what we have done in the past and to realized that there is much to be done to succeed in the future.”

Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica addresses the delegates of the Third Quadrennial Session of the NJC.

Officers of the North Jamaica Conference (L-R): Pastor Astor Bowers - Executive Secretary; Pastor Karl Archer - President and Elder Dane Ellis - Treasurer

The committee also elected the following persons to assist Pastor Archer in executing the administrative responsibilities of the Conference in the fulfilment of the Church’s mission:


Secretary                                 -           Pastor Astor Bowers

Treasurer                                -           Elder Dane Ellis

Departmental Directors:

Family Ministries and Ministerial Secretary   -           Pastor Carlington Hylton

Sabbath School and Personal Ministries        -           Pastor Mobrey Lewis

Adventist Youth                                              -           Pastor Amiel Summerbell

Women’s, Children’s & Adolescent and

Health Ministries                                            -           Elder Christine Shand

Communication                                              -           Pastor Jermaine Johnson

Public Affairs and Religious Liberty                -           Pastor Karl Archer

Stewardship                                                    -           Pastor Astor Bowers

Trust Services                                                 -           Elder Dane Ellis

The appointment of Publishing and Education directors will be made at the first sitting of the NJC Executive Committee at a date to be announced.

“My position is that God is so great and marvelous and we look forward to continued growth together as a conference and to advance God’s cause and haste the glad day when Jesus will come again,” Archer added.

Pastor Balvin Braham, Assistant to the President for Evangelism and Training, represented the Inter-American Division and gave the keynote address for the opening ceremony.

Pastor Balvin Braham, Special Assistant to the President for Evangelism and Training at the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists delivers the keynote address.

The Session was presided by the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The nominating committee was chaired by Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

The NJC comprise the parishes of St. Ann and Trelawny and has approximately 20,000 members worshiping in 81 congregations.

Officers and Directors of the North Jamaica Conference (L-R): Pastors Mobrey Lewis, Astor Bowers, Amiel Sommerbell; Elder Christine Shand, Pastors Karl Archer and Jermaine Johnson; Elder Dane Ellis and Pastor Carlington Hylton. (photos by Nigel Coke)

Pastor Everett Brown (right), president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica congratulates Pastor Karl Archer on his reelection as president of the NJC.

A section of the delegates of the Third Quadrennial Session of the North Jamaica Conference (NJC) raise their white cards to vote for the reelection of Pastor Karl Archer as president of the NJC.

Pastor Derek Bignall: More Than Half a Century of Dedicated Service to the Adventist Church in Jamaica.

“I never promised God retirement,” says Pastor Derek Bignall, the longest serving worker of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica. He was recognized for 51 years of dedicated service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica up to 2016 during the “Year of the Adventist Worker” Recognition and Awards Ceremony for 2017 held recently at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU).

Bignall, through the years, has combined his jovial charm with music, stories and comedy grounded in a solid Biblical base to win hundreds of souls to Christ.

During his more than half a century of work for the Church, he has served as educator, district pastor, Conference director and president and secretary, and president of the former West Indies Union Conference (WIU) now Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (JAMU).

Pastor Derek Bignall and wife Yvonne pose with the award received from the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. (photos by Nigel Coke)

Raised in the Adventist Church, he was deeply influenced in his youth by Pastor Arthur H. Hunter. Hunter impressed Bignall so much that he felt pastoral ministry would be a good use of his own life.

After two years teaching at the Adventist School in Buff Bay, he enrolled at West Indies College (now NCU) in 1970 to study Education and Theology.

“My mother told me I should be a teacher but in my soul I wanted to do theology. When I came to college I said 'God, I will study both and may the one that I do better in be the one'. I got better grades in Greek than I got in Spanish. I did better in all my Theology courses,” he says.

Fresh out of seminary, he was asked to teach at the Portland High School. One year later he interned as pastor at the North Street Adventist Church and after six months, he was called to pastor a district of seven churches in Yallahs, St. Thomas.

Bignall has gone back and forth between serving as district pastor and as administrator at the conference and union levels. Regardless of his post, he retains the personal touch.

“I love my (district) church(es). When you reside where the people are, you can really minister to them,” he says.

He especially enjoyed church camps which is where he met his wife Yvonne. The union produced one daughter, Shelli-Gaye, which meant he had to create balance between ministry, family and a personal devotional life.

Pastor Derek Bignall (right) accepts his award for 51 years of service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

“The pastor must be honest and give the required hours per week. But the pastor's time is flexible and sometimes when my wife who worked in sales had to travel out-of-parish, I took that day as my day off and I'd go with her. I schedule time for God and family. It doesn't come by wishing,” he says.

Currently in his 53rd year of service to his beloved Church, he now serves as Assistant Professor in the School of Religion and Theology at NCU and enjoys helping his students understand the gospel.

“When a student says 'Sir, I'm going to be baptized and I got this conviction in your class', it's one of the sweetest feelings,” he says.

Bignall wants to complete his PhD degree before he retires. After retirement, he hopes to continue documenting the church’s history and reigniting a love for the Bible in a generation where nothing seems sacred.


Western Adventists Celebrate in Island-wide Workers Recognition and Awards

Workers of Worth (WOW)! That's how the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica themed their Recognition and Awards Ceremony to celebrate the "Year of the Adventist Worker 2017", which was held at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Gymnatorium in Mandeville on Sunday, February 11, 2018.

Included in the two hundred and seven awardees were thirty-one employees in the Church’s western region headquartered in Montego Bay, St. James and which comprises the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover and St. James.

Ms. Narga Leach (right), Auditor, accepts her award for 30 years of service to the Church from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Among the western awardees was Berzella Howson-Stewart, principal of the church-owned March Town SDA Kindergarten and Preparatory School in Hanover. She has been principal of the school for 25 years and was recognized for 42 years of service to the organization.

“I was really excited and very impressed because I didn’t know that they would pay any attention to my pre-train years of work,” said an elated Howson-Stewart who started working with the church in 1974 at age 17 after leaving the Savana-la-mar High School.

Pastor Glen O. Samuels, president of the Adventist Church in West Jamaica (right), accepts his award for 32 years of service to the Church from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica

“Regardless of the ups and down I enjoy working for the Lord, which makes it so easy and enjoyable because I look at it as my way of pleasing God. Whether or not they had given me an award it would not have taken away from my determination and effort to work for God due to the opportunities it gives me to witness for Him.”

Howson-Stewart, who came through the system of Adventist Christian Education believes Christian education is important especially at the early stages of a child’s development.

“I think Christian education at this level is very crucial. It gives us as teachers the opportunity to mold children and help them understand critical issues. We use the Bible, and through the integration of Faith and learning, they can understand and see God through all the subjects that we teach.”

Mr. Michael Fletcher (right), Development Officer, accepts his award for 38 years of service from Pastor Everett Brown, president f the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica (photos by Nigel Coke)

When asked what was the greatest moments in her life as an educator she responded by saying, “my ‘WOW’ moment was when the school was able to bring the building from a one story two classrooms to now a two story ‘L shape’ building with 8 classrooms, a modern bathroom and a modern computer lab facility.”

Two hundred and seven workers from across the church's Island-wide schools, university, health institution and facilities, publishing ministry, conferences and union headquarters were recognized and awarded for outstanding service, and long service ranging from 11 to 51 years as at December 2016.

The Adventist Church in Jamaica has approximately 1,500 workers serving in two institutions - the Andrews Memorial Hospital and the Northern Caribbean University - eight high schools, 19 preparatory schools, five regional headquarters and the Union’s main headquarters in Mandeville.

Pastor Christopher Harvey (right) accepts his award for Outstanding Service from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Ms. Angella Brown (right), Colporteur, accepts her award for Outstanding Service from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Mrs. Winsome Bowers, Counsellor, accepts her award for Outstanding Service from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica. Mrs. Bowers also received an award for 31 years of service to the church.

Mr. Marlon Powell (right), Bible Worker, accepts his award for Outstanding Service from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Mrs. Berzella Howson-Stewart (right) principal of the March Pen Kindergarten and Preparatory School accepts her award from Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica.

Adventist Church in Inter-America Tackles Stagnant Growth, Commits to Discipleship Initiative

Top Seventh-day Adventist Leaders across the Inter-American Division (IAD) have taken a hard look this week at the harsh reality the church has been facing: less and less new believers are joining the church. Gone are the decades where the growth of the church kept on a straight upward path.

Leaders reported that for more than 15 years, the growth of the church in the IAD has not reached 200,000 new members in a year like previous years. Also, less members are actively involved in the missionary work of giving Bible studies across the 42 countries and islands in Inter-America.

IAD President Pastor Israel Leito said that the church in Inter-America cannot rely on the successes of the past. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

“We have to broaden our minds to reach the needs of the multitudes around us,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America, as he addressed presidents and ministerial leaders from across the 24 major church regions in the territory during a council meeting in Miami, Florida.

“We need to regroup and find out how to better fill Inter-America with the gospel and capture the vision to reach more souls and allow the Holy Spirit to use every member to reach that,” said Pastor Leito. “Our evangelism methods must change to reach more for the kingdom.”

There are approximately 307 million people in the division territory. The challenge is to connect them to the gospel with the help of only 3.7 million Adventist church members – a little over 1 percent of the territory’s population. The task is enormous but not impossible, church leaders said.

Changing the Paradigm
It’s about changing the paradigm the pastor and the church has been following for years in bringing in more believers into the fold, said Pastor Josney Rodriguez, ministerial secretary for the church Inter-America. That paradigm change has to first take place with each local church pastor and his elders.

“Our church culture needs to change,” said Rodriguez. “It’s all about going back to the basics and focusing our attention on engaging the membership in discipleship.” That will only be possible as the pastors and elders unite across the more than 22,000 congregations in Inter-America to involve each member in fulfilling the mission. And it can only happen when the pastor takes more time in discipling the members to be disciple-makers, so they in turn can go and preach, teach and baptize new believers as Jesus commanded, said Rodríguez.


Inter-America Trains Thousands of Church Elder Across the Territory

Thousands of local church elders across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America celebrated their completion of a special certification during an online program held at the Inter-American Division (IAD) Headquarters in Miami, Florida, on Feb. 17, 2018.

The event was part of a comprehensive certification training strategy aimed at equipping church elders to better nurture and disciple members throughout the more than 22,000 churches and congregations in the IAD.

IAD President Pastor israel Leito reminds viewers the important role church elders play in the growth of the church. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America, reminded church elders of their important role as spiritual leaders and discipleship responsibilities in the congregations they lead.

“We want for every leader and member to understand that the role of the church elder and the pastor is similar,” said Pastor Leito. “The elder is the spiritual leader elected by the church board and the pastor is the spiritual leader sent by the world church.”

“You must understand God’s Word, defend it and let your disciples learn that you can take your Bible from Genesis to Revelation speaking the truth,” said Pastor Leito. “God expects us to be truthful in presenting the church’s doctrines wherever we are as well.”

The membership in the IAD stands at 3.7 million and growing, but there are only 3,200 pastors. That means the work of the more than 30,000 church elders is vital in discipling members and reaching more people with the Bible truths of salvation, said Pastor Josney A. Rodríguez, ministerial secretary for the church in Inter-American and main organizar of the event.

“The only way for the Adventist Church to continue as an organization at all levels is for the team of extraordinary pastors and church elders to be committed and trained to shepherd and guide the flock day by day in the life of the church,” said Rodríguez.

Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial secretary for the church in Inter-America. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD

That’s been the goal: To get church elders having a clear vision of their task of motivating, empowering and nurturing the future generation of leaders alongside pastors, he added.

Coined as Every Elder Involved, the comprehensive certification program is on its second of three levels of training and development skills. This level was focused on empowering and training elders to accompany the district pastor in caring individually for the sheep of the flock while keeping follow-up records of church members, explained Rodríguez.

The training program will conclude in 2019 and will constitute a total of 60 hours of training in doctrine, unity of the church, family, music, and post-modernism, among other topics.

Pastor Rodríguez, who has been visiting training sessions across the 24 unions, reported that more than 20,000 church elders have registered for the training program since last year and more are expected to complete the certification by the end of year.