Charlotte Myanmar International Company Becomes a Church
February 13, 2011, Vum Lian and family showed up at the Sharon Church. There was snow on the ground and they were wearing sandals. Candace Alvarez saw them and started asking questions.
Transportation to the local churches on Sabbath began, but Alvarez quickly realized that it was not meeting their needs for worship. On April 6, Te Nee opened his apartment on Sabbath for the group to meet. Michael Alvarez and Keith Menez had the worship service, and Nee would translate. Richard and Angel Hambley had recently moved to the area from Kentucky, and were looking for a small church or plant group in which to serve. When Alvarez and Menez left a couple weeks later to start the Fort Mill group, Richard Hambley became the leader.
On August 17, 2013, as they discussed what to name the group, they thought “Burmese Church” might leave some people out, and that “Karen/Chin group” might also alienate even some of their own culture. With the wide cultural diversity within the group and five different languages, the name Myanmar International Seventh-day Adventist Church (MISDA) was adopted. On September 5, 2013, they received group status.
The group was growing quickly and the small apartment soon became crowded, so the search for a new worship location began. An office building was the first place they checked because of its location. The old Bar-Tending School suite seemed to be perfect because there were several office rooms to be used for Sabbath School classes, and a bathroom within the suite. They had a work bee on November 24, 2013, and started worshiping there in December 2013. They were voted company status on December 12, 2015.
In 2017, the Mizo Language group joined MISDA. In February 2019, they moved to the New Heaven Church for worship. They then had 70-plus attending each Sabbath as they moved toward church status.
MISDA had the honor to host the North American Division Myanmar Ministries yearly meeting. They hosted local church leaders from all over the United States
During COVID-19 they were doing small groups in homes. In August 2020, MISDA reopened for in-person worship. They started with about 12 or so, but have grown to 30-plus each Sabbath now.
In February 2021, they moved again to the Adventist Christian Academy gym, and on February 6, MISDA held its church organization.
In March 2021, the Mizo language started meeting as a group. They had begun talking about starting a group back in 2019, and plans finally came together. It was MISDA’s first church plant.
The MISDA family is planning and praying for their first evangelist endeavor, with a seminary intern as speaker, this summer, and they ask for your prayers.
Carolina | May 2021