THE 1966 Ministerial Convention and Revival held in Detroit, Michigan, is now a matter of history. The combined impact of Spirit-filled sermons, panel discussions, and demonstrations of evangelistic and pastoral ideas and concepts will never be forgotten. Beginning Monday night, June 13, and ending on Thursday afternoon the sixteenth, three full days were dedicated to helping pastors and evangelists in their soul-saving work. Both delegates and those who came on their own were present.
The attendance at this presession surpassed all previous records. The spacious ballroom A of Cobo Hall, with its window paneling facing the Detroit River, was our meeting place. Arrangements were made for 2,500 chairs, but the opening night indicated that this would be insufficient for the rest of the meetings. Three thousand chairs were put down, and even then people stood during some of the meetings. Not only were attendance records shattered, but the way the ministers and their wives stayed by the meetings during the day was gratifying. Meetings began at 8:15 in the morning and ran through until nearly 10:00 P.M. There was little time between services, but the eagerness on the part of all to gain inspiration and ideas was a definite sign of dedication on the part of our worldwide ministry.
Set the Pace
Perhaps a paragraph from a letter written to us by our newly elected president, Robert H. Pierson, sums up the effectiveness of the convention. "Certainly the Lord blessed in the preministerial convention and revival at Detroit, and I know this had a great deal to do with the good spirit that prevailed during the session." Scores of ministers expressed to us their feelings regarding this presession. There was general agreement that these meetings were the best in our history.
Musk Rath Charms
Charles Keymer, the director of music for the entire General Conference session, assumed the additional responsibility of organizing the Ministerial Convention and Revival musical program. The selections chosen were outstanding and meant much in providing a spiritual atmosphere for the spoken word. The power of music was never felt more strongly than at our pre-session. We wish to express deep appreciation to those who planned and participated in this part of the program.
Prayer Spells Success
Untold hours of preparation and prayer went into the planning of this session. Our leader, R. A. Anderson, expressed time and time again that unless the Spirit of God took control of these meetings, all the effort and energy expended would be in vain. He personally called the staff together for special seasons of prayer for God's leading in the selection of both men and topics. Those who were invited to participate shared this burden with us, and the results proved to be a blessing to everyone who attended.
Holy Spirit Theme
We in the Association had a burden that this presession would center around the theme of the need for the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Adventist ministry today. From the keynote speech to the final appeal, this theme was paramount. We pray that the impressions received at this meeting will grow into a mighty movement of power.
J. R. SPANGLER