Ontario Conference Elects Mansfield Edwards to Third Term as President

On the opening day of its three-day constituency meeting at College Park Adventist Church, delegates of the Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventists have voted Pastor Mansfield Edwards to a five-year term as president. It is Edward’s third term, having being elected for the first time in 2009 and then again in 2013.

Delegates also voted Pastor David Schwinghammer as vice-president for Administration/executive secretary, and Virene Meikle as treasurer. Schwinghammer has served as interim executive secretary since the end of 2016 after his predecessor, Pastor Gary Hodder, was elected as president of the Alberta Conference in October 2016.  Schwinghammer was also director for Stewardship and Worship. Similarly, Meikle, who was associate treasurer at the time, was appointed as treasurer after Ulysses Guarin had been elected as treasurer of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada in August 2016.

He was voted with 82.3 percent of the vote.

After his election, Edwards spoke of the humbling task of being asked to serve for the new quinquennium.

“I am humbled that God has placed this on me.  I am also humbled by the confidence that you, as delegates have placed in me.  In my own strength, I know that it is misplaced, but I ask you to pray with me that God’s Spirit will be the president of this great confidence and that I will here to do as He commands.”



The Executive Committee of the Central Jamaica Conference at its meeting held on the Wednesday, 9th August, 2017 has voted to appoint Pastor Nevail Douglas Barrett, current Director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries as the new Conference Secretary.

The position became vacant when Pastor Kevin Danvers accepted a call to serve in the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

“I am humbled by this appointment and deem it an honour to give service to God at this level”, said Pastor Barrett who indicated that he was thankful to God for His leading in his life and for the opportunity to serve in ministry over the years.

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Pastor Levi Johnson, president of CJC (left) expressed words of welcome to Pastor Nevail Barrett (center) upon his appointment as Conference Secretary, while Mrs. Claudette Grant (right), recording secretary for the Executive Committee pays attention to her laptop computer. | Credits: Damian Chambers

Pastor Levi Johnson, President of CJC said he believed that based on Pastor Barrett’s experience and maturity, he will do well in this position.

Executive Secretary of the Jamaica Union, Dr. Merick Walker, who was also present at the meeting, congratulated Pastor Barrett and said he was looking forward to working with him.


Long-Standing IAD Vice President Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree in Jamaica

Northern Caribbean University (NCU) conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree on Pastor Leon B. Wellington during the institution’s 94th Commencement (Graduation) ceremonies on campus in Mandeville, Jamaica, Aug. 13, 2017. Wellington, who recently retired from serving as vice president of the Inter-American Division (IAD), was honored for his service to religion and his contribution to Jamaica.

Pastor Leon B. Wellington (left) receives his Honorary Doctorate Degree in Divinity from Lincoln Edwards (left) president of Northern Caribbean University, on Aug. 13, 2017, during the institution’s commencement ceremony on campus. Image by Rohann Wellington

“It feels good to know that one’s service has been recognized and appreciated,” said Pastor Wellington. “I thank Northern Caribbean University for honoring me in this manner, which hopefully will inspire others to give selfless service God, church and community.”

Wellington, who has 40 years in denominational work, holds the record for serving the longest as a vice president for the church in Inter-America. He retired in June of this year. He also served as Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director, Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries secretary, and Spirit of Prophecy coordinator overseeing the establishment of three Ellen G White Research Centers.

“Pastor Wellington was the first elected vice president set in our Headquarter Office in 2000 and his leadership greatly benefited the church throughout Inter-America,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America, who was proud to for the honorary degree bestowed on Wellington.

Abel Márquez, IAD communication director, was happy to hear of the honor granted to Pastor Wellington, who previously served as IAD communication director for 13 years.


EJC President shares secrets of success at NCU Baccalaureate Service

Some thought it was his best sermon ever. Others believed the message was perfectly timed and on point. One thing was for sure, the message was well received by the 2017 graduating class of Northern Caribbean University and the over two thousand persons that filled the Gymnatorium on August 12, 2017.

Speaking under the theme “Mission Possible, Moving Forward,” president of East Jamaica Conference, Dr. Eric Nathan, laid a solid foundation for his message when he quoted from Adventist church co-founder and messenger of God, Ellen G. White, who said “human will plus divine strength equals success.”

The man of God who has spent close to forty years of his life in ministry, posited that “success does not come by wishful thinking but by dedication, determination, diligence, courage, consistency, commitment, patience, perseverance, persistence, hard work & sacrifice.” “This is what success is made of,” he said.  “Anywhere God finds successful people, they would have used some of these important ingredients,” he added.

The president chose to caption his message “Secrets for successful mission,” and shared with his audience several points, which if followed, would lead to success.

In his address to the 2017 NCU Graduating Class, Nathan quoted Winston Churchill when he said “success is not final, failure is not fatal, and it is the courage to continue that really counts.”

The 2017 Baccalaureate speaker said anyone who would have achieved success in life would not have achieved this by chance but they while their companions slept would have been toiling upward in the night.


Inter-America’s 16th ASi’s Convention Opens Focusing Members to Wellness and Service

Inter-America’s Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) Annual Convention kicked off last night in Panama City, Panama, challenging Adventist business owners, lawyers and health professionals from across the vast territory to trust God’s providence and commit to seeking wellness in the church and the community.

ASi is an organization of the Seventh-day Adventist laypeople involved in professions, industry, education and/or services and exists to challenge, nurture and provide experience in sharing Christ in the marketplace as well as supporting the church’s worldwide mission. The annual convention offers delegates seminars, presentations, forums, Q&A sessions, networking opportunities and a chance to present projects as well.

Bearing flags and folklore attire, delegates from each ASi chapter represented in the IAD celebrated the diversity that brings them together and to spread the hope of the gospel in their marketplaces and communities.

During the keynote address, IAD President Pastor Israel Leito encouraged the delegation to put their trust wholeheartedly in God and persevere patiently as they fulfill the mission of the church in their businesses, medical practices and law offices.


Scientists and Theologians Work Together in Mexico

On July 20-30, 2017, more than 480 delegates from 24 union territories and 43 countries of the Inter-American Division (IAD) studied, queried and fellowshipped together on the campus of Montemorelos University, Nuevo León, Mexico during a conference dedicated to highlighting the powerful synergy possible between faith in the Bibleas God’s unerring Word and in nature, rightly understood, as a consistent witness to the reliability of that Word.

More than 30 academics, specialists in multiple theological and scientific areas from paleontology to Hebrew and Semitic Studies shared theses, raised questions and discussed those raised by an audience consisting mainly of school teachers and university professors from the various levels of Adventist education.

The conference was the second of its kind sponsored by the Faith & Science Council in 2017. Scholarly bodies and sponsors that have worked with the Council on its initiatives this year include three universities—Andrews, Loma Linda and Montemorelos; two General Conference think tanks—the Biblical Research Institute and the Geoscience Research Institute; departments of Education at the General Conference and the North American Division, as well as the General Conference Council on Faith & Science and the Adventist Theological Society.

Gamaliel Florez, IAD education director, explained that competence in handling questions of the relationship between faith and science is highly desirable for Adventist teachers at all levels because they are in the Church’s evangelistic vanguard, confronting false ideas and disseminating the truth about the existence of the world, and the character of the God who made it.


“You Are Here to Change the Future”

The auditorium housing South America’s largest Seventh-day Adventist Church on the campus of Brazil’s Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo (UNASP) was packed to standing room only on Friday evening. Students, faculty and community members joined more than 800 GAiN attendees for a vespers service featuring dynamic music and a message by Erton Köhler, president of the South American Division, a region of the Church encompassing eight countries.

“You are here to change the future,” Köhler said emphatically, before encouraging communication professionals to help the Gospel message “go viral.”

For Köhler, hosting the Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) technology conference was a significant opportunity since his Division has a defined emphasis for the quinquennium leading to 2020 to strengthen communication actions in an effort to spread the gospel message more effectively. Digital communication is seen as strategic by the Division and as an ally in ministry. “We work with a vision of integrated evangelism where all areas of the church and all possible means are used to their maximum potential, but the focus is on the preaching of the gospel,” explained Köhler.


“It’s Time for Technology and Mission to Marry Each Other!”

historic gathering of Seventh-day Adventist communication and information technology professionals have converged near Sao Paulo, Brazil for a week-long series of events that seek to better understand technology, its current use in the Church and ways in which it can enhance mission effectiveness.

The Ministry of Information Technology

The week began on August 7 with the fourth annual meeting of information technology (IT) specialists from around the world. A record 336 attendees from multiple countries flocked to the Southern Hemisphere to grapple with the ever-changing technology landscape and the even more dynamic landscape of global mission.

“Reaching the world through technology solutions and services’ is our mission statement,” explained General Conference administrator of ITS Software Development

Stephen Filkoski. His words were reflected in close to two dozen other presentations that peppered the two days of intense meetings—IT is a ministry function that provides tools for effective ministry.

“You have a unique ministry,” said Mabio Coelho, Chief Information Security Officer for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to those in attendance. “What you do is no less a ministerial work than pastors and those who physically baptize other people.”


University of Texas School of Dentistry offers free dental services to hundreds at the Good Samaritan Inn

For the third time in less than three months, clients of the Good Samaritan Inn (GSI) have benefitted from free dental services from a visiting team of  medical missionaries from the United States of America.

Dr. Victoria Manon,   from the University of Texas School of Dentistry, lead a medical mission team of   forty five to the Good Samaritan Inn where over  two days, two hundred and thirty seven clients received dental services  which amounted to an  estimated value of $1.2M dollars.

The team was invited to Jamaica and the Good Samaritan Inn by Dr. Lincoln Edwards, President, Northern Caribbean University who was a former faculty member of the Dental School at the University of Texas

The visiting Texas University dentists treated eighty seven (87) clients on Sunday August 6, 2017 and one hundred and fifty clients (150) on Tuesday August 8, 2017. The medical team offered oral examinations, cleanings, fillings and extractions free of cost to their clients.  The team had raised their own fund to support the mission and brought their own supplies to treat clients who turned up at the Inn over the two days. Many clients benefitted from more than one service with some receiving as many as three.

Dr. Victoria Manon, who is from a medical family also had her father Dr. Victor Manon who is an Oral Surgeon   and  instructor for the group. Her husband Shane is also a dental student and a team member in the mission trip.  She was more than delighted to bring the team to the Good Samaritan Inn to give back to some of the people who need it most.



EndItNow Rally

Dear colleagues

Kindly accept Christian greetings. On Sabbath, August 26, 2017 as members of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Jamaica we will join our brothers and sisters around the world in observation of enditnow day.

Dr. Loraine Vernal, Director

This is one of our annual events, including most departments, geared towards educating and equipping individuals as we seek to end the scourge of violence which destroys lives and causes hurt in families and communities.

This year's major event is a collaborative effort by Jamaica Union and Central Jamaica Conferences. The theme we have embraced is ‘Transforming Communities through Christ. 

The day’s activities will be hosted at Sydenham SDA Church to include presentations related to various abuses and their impact as well as a march culminating in a  rally to be held in the Spanish Town Square at 4 pm. (See information poster attached.)

I have also included material sent out earlier which can be used in our local churches and communities.

We anticipate your continued prayers and support.

Important Documents

Warm regards

Lorraine Vernal, Ph.D., JP
Children & Adolescents, Family and Women's Ministries
Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists