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Adventist church named “Church of the Year”

Denver, Colorado, United States—Dr. Robert L. Davis, pastor of the Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church, and his wife, Denise Davis, accepted the 2017 Church of the Year award from the Colorado Gospel Music Academy Hall of Fame in recognition of the church’s sustained, distinguished community service and spiritual contribution to Colorado. The award was presented at the 47th Annual Colorado Gospel Music Academy Hall of Fame Awards Celebration at New Hope Baptist Church.

The Colorado Gospel Music Academy Hall of Fame was founded to recognize accomplishments and contributions of individuals and organizations that have been true soldiers and faithful community servants in Colorado. The following ministries and accomplishments of the Denver Park Hill church in 2017, under the leadership of Dr. Davis, factored into the committee’s selection: 

  • Back-to-school tutorial preparation boot camp for middle schoolers and tutoring hosted by children’s ministry
  • Hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. Day interfaith celebration
  • Barbershop health screenings for African American men and families
  • Community discussions regarding biased policing and the Denver Police Department use-of-force policy
  • Supporting initiatives for reform in the Denver Police Department, including data collection and jail overcrowding
  • Organizing and hosting the first ever Park Hill Interfaith Community Fest, uniting Christian, Islamic, and Jewish faiths to promote community unity, economic empowerment, and wholistic health
  • Weekly food and clothing distribution for low-income families
  • Activating two Safe Haven initiatives that provided spiritual and emotional support for Park Hill after two tragic gun violence episodes
  • Domestic violence awareness vigils at the city and county building
  • Joining as members and providing leadership for the Youth Violence Prevention Center-Denver Key Leader Advisory Board
  • Addressing the effects of Denver’s gentrification and other activities to improve the Park Hill community [Brittany Winkfield, Outlook]

United States pastor recognized for “dedication to the city”

Brighton , Colorado, United States—“Pastor Rex Bell has made the city of Brighton a better place to live,” said US Congressman Mike Coffman at a ceremony in Brighton, Colorado, on May 1, 2018. The Adventist pastor was recognized for “many years of extraordinary work and dedication to the City of Brighton” throughout the two terms he served as city councilman.

At the city hall, Bell was also presented with a Congressional Record plaque, signed by Representative Coffman, that read, “Councilmember Bell has served his community for 23 years as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the City of Brighton. Councilmember Bell has, without a doubt, enhanced the quality of life for every citizen in the City of Brighton throughout his tenure as a city councilmember and as a resident of the City of Brighton.”

“I’m humbled, grateful, and kind of empty because it’s the passing of a part of my life that has been very important to me,” said Bell while surrounded by family and members of the city council.

Bell’s road to city council began with newly forged friendships with people at the city hall who would later ask him to serve on the city’s planning and zoning committee. He ran for city council when an opening emerged. When the term ended, he was reelected to continue his service to Brighton.

With every stage of public service, Bell was mindful of how he incorporated his faith into his work. “I [did] not want to take my religion to the city, but I [wanted] to take my faith. There’s a difference. And I [wanted] to take Christ to the community, and that’s what we attempted to do. We got involved, and one thing led to another,” Bell said.

The contribution of Pastor Bell’s time and effort as a pastor and community leader “has been a major contributing factor in helping the Brighton Seventh-day Adventist Church be recognized as a church of significance to Brighton and its people,” stated Eric Nelson, Rocky Mountain Conference vice president for administration. [Rajmund Dabrowski, Rocky Mountain Conference]

Cameroon pastor honored for his contributions to social peace

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire—Jean Pourrat Meting, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor and church leader in the Central African nation of Cameroon, was recently awarded the Order of Merit of Cameroon for his contributions to social peace through his preaching and example.

The appointment to the Order of Merit of Cameroon can be made only after a minimum of 12 years of outstanding and proven service to the nation. Meting is director of the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department of the Yaoundé-based Cameroon Union Mission, which oversees the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church across the country. “I’ve been preaching for years on behalf of social peace, the fight against corruption, the promotion of decentralized development, and fraternal love,” he said. “All of these are topics of interest for the government of Cameroon.” [Abraham Bakari, West-Central Africa News and Adventist Review]

Jamaican pastors receive Governor-General’s Achievement Awards

St. Ann, Jamaica—Two Seventh-day Adventist church pastors were among more than 15 Jamaicans from throughout the nation who were recipients of the annual Governor-General’s Achievement Awards, presented by Sir Patrick Allen, Governor-General of Jamaica.

Through his office as youth ministries director for the church in the North East Jamaica Conference, in the parish of St. Mary, Pastor Gordon Lindsay has built a strong relationship with numerous communities and groups, impacting many lives outside of the pew. He is a volunteer chaplain of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and has coordinated community feeding programs and the construction of a house for a homeless man. He currently coordinates the Pringle Children’s Home Development Initiative and Impact Annotto Bay, which provide counseling and empowerment sessions for young people, aimed at reducing crime and violence.

Pastor Omar Oliphant, district pastor in the parish of St. Ann, engaged hundreds of youth in rallies, youth debate series, drama productions, and musical talent shows. The parish also benefited from his brainchild, The Save-A-Youth Foundation, through the purchase of more than eight nebulizers for the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital. Oliphant made history in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica by becoming the first ordained minister to become an attorney-at-law. He was admitted to the Jamaican Bar Association on December 7, 2017. [Nigel Coke, Jamaica Union/IAD Staff]

Canadian pastors and chaplains offer comfort in the city

Toronto, Canada—The nation of Canada was recently shocked and saddened by a mass shooting in which 29-year-old Faisal Hussain shot at random into several eateries on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue. The victims included Julianna Kozis, 10, and Reese Fallon, 18, both deceased, and Danielle Kane, 31, who may never walk again. This tragedy came almost three months after a fatal van attack on Yonge Street in Toronto killed 10 people.

Organized by Ontario Conference’s director for Prayer Ministries, Maria McClean, Seventh-day Adventist pastors and Ontario Conference representatives stood in solidarity with the thousands attending a vigil at Alexander the Great Parkette on Danforth Avenue. Throughout the week they also offered a listening ear to passersby drawn to the smocks identifying them as chaplains. 

Chaplains met with relatives and close friends of victims, a few witnesses, Danforth residents, people who grew up there, and individuals who came to pay their respects, as well as tourists. They walked alongside people and offered spiritual and emotional support. Several people exclaimed, “I’m happy you’re here.” Ontario Conference President, Dr. Mansfield Edwards, who provided chaplaincy services during the Yonge Street crisis, stated, “If the church is the body of Christ, the church must continue His works. We must ask ourselves, what would Jesus do? Where would Jesus be? In the New Testament, He’s always present where He’s needed most. We have to be there for people.” [Ontario Conference News]

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