African American Ministries/Urban Ministries
By Leon Brown, former coordinator/director, African American Ministries Department/Inner City Ministries Department
African American Ministries/Urban Ministries
During the past two years, the NCC African American Ministries Department and the NCC Urban Ministries Department have continued to help church members and pastors grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as go into the world and preach the Gospel.
African American Ministries
Convocation - Each year more about 1,500 people attended the annual NCC African American Convocation. The event was held in Stockton for the past two years. In 2014, the convocation’s theme was “Living in Expectation of His Coming.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Jesse Wilson, Oakwood University associate professor of religion and director of the Pastoral Evangelism and Leadership Conference. The speaker for the youth was Edwin McBride, Jr., pastor of the Miramonte Boulevard church in Los Angeles and prayer coordinator for the Greater Los Angeles area. In 2015 the convocation’s theme was “Make Us One.” The main speaker was Debleaire K. Snell, senior pastor, First SDA church of Huntsville, Alabama and adjunct religion professor at Oakwood University. The speaker for the youth was Michael Kelly II, senior pastor of the Mt. Rubidoux church in Riverside. For both events, the children’s church speaker was Marc Raphael Sr., Children’s Ministry pastor of the Mt. Rubidoux church in Riverside.
Camp Meeting - Instead of the annual October convocations of years past, the African American ministries department organized its first - and what we hope continues - annual camp meeting at Pacific Union College. The camp meeting, which was held June 29-July 2, 2016, was a tremendous spiritual success, with attendance swelling to over 2000 on Sabbath, July 2. Our theme was "Ignite: Each One Reach One," and our speakers did not disappoint. The event featured Dr. Andrea Trusty King, senior pastor of the Sixteenth Street SDA Church (in San Bernardino, Calif.); Dr. Hyveth Williams, Andrews University professor of homiletics at Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan; and Dr. Carlton Byrd, speaker/director of Breath of Life, and senior pastor of Oakwood University SDA Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Along with the dynamic presentations of these awesome preachers were a variety of seminars on Thursday and Friday, and a special Women's Koinonia event that included powerful preaching by Williams, along with NCC's Chanda Nunes, associate pastor of the Sacramento Capitol City Church. Other presenters included Dr. Emil Peeler, Elder Michael Kelly II, Dr. Gordon Botting, Elder Jose Marin and Elder Marc Raphael, Sr. We were blessed by Adventist recording artist Lawrence Beamon, who wrote and produced our theme song, "Ignite Us, O Lord," as well as other outstanding singers and our mass choir under the direction of Sister Annette Hilts.
Other Activities - The department organized a retreat for NCC African American pastors in the spring of 2015. The department continued to work closely with the conference’s African American Lay Advisory Committee. They also worked with the Golden Gate Academy Reorganization Committee. During the 2014 convocation weekend, Oakland Elmhurst church Pastor Kietrich Germany was ordained to the gospel ministry. Two new African American pastors have joined the conference—both at the Sacramento Capitol City church—Senior Pastor Damian Chandler and Associate Pastor Chanda Nunes.
New Name - The Inner City Ministries Department’s name was changed to the Urban Ministries Department to more accurately reflect the goals and work of the department.
Urban Ministry Forum - The new department sponsored an Urban Ministry Forum, Feb. 26-28. Held at the Oakland Immanuel Temple church, the theme of the event was “Building Bridges to Our Cities” with speaker Dr. Sung Kwon, executive director of North American Division Adventist Community Services. Through presentations, small-group seminars, and discussions, attendees learned and exchanged ideas for spreading the good news in our cities.
Bridges - The department was actively involved with the Bridges: Bay Area for Jesus evangelism initiative, working closely with Oakland churches to reach out to their neighborhoods. One major project is the development of The Veg Hub a restaurant and outreach ministry, headed by Chef G. W. Chew. Another was the 10 Days of Prayer, “Oakland: United in Prayer and Mission,” which started 2016 with prayer events throughout the city.
Willie Johnson, Jr.
Coordinator, African American Ministries
Director, Urban Ministries
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists | 401 Taylor Blvd. | P.O. Box 23165 | Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 | (925) 685-4300 | firstname.lastname@example.org