In a gathering of spiritual leaders from across the conference, the annual South Atlantic Conference Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses Retreat unfolded over three transformative days in Orangeburg, S.C. With a focus on equipping church leaders with the tools for more effective ministry, the event attracted a record attendance of more than 400 persons.
Key presenters at the retreat included prominent figures in the field of church leadership and growth. Walter Castro, lay pastor coordinator, church planting, and Franco-Haitian supervisor for the Florida Conference, shared insights into nurturing new congregations. Emil Peeler, director of church growth and evangelism for Southeastern California Conference, brought his expertise in fostering spiritual growth within communities. Calvin Watkins Sr., vice president of the North American Division, addressed the leaders on broader strategies for advancing the mission of their churches.
The retreat offered an array of workshops, each designed to address crucial aspects of leadership and ministry. Some of the topics covered included “The Importance of Evangelism,” emphasizing the pivotal role of spreading the message of faith in community outreach. “Evangelism Through Technology” explored the modern tools and platforms available to enhance and expand the reach of congregations in the digital age. “How to Prepare Sermons” delved into the art of crafting powerful and impactful messages, ensuring that leaders can effectively communicate their message. “Making Your Church More Attractive” encouraged leaders to consider ways to create welcoming and inclusive spaces, and fostering a sense of community among congregants. Additionally, “Basic Conflict Mediation Training” provided valuable skills for resolving disputes and promoting harmony within church communities.
The atmosphere at the retreat was one of collaboration, shared learning, and spiritual rejuvenation. Attendees expressed gratitude for the opportunity to connect with like-minded leaders, share experiences, and gain valuable insights to strengthen their church ministries.
As the event concluded, participants left Orangeburg inspired and equipped with new knowledge and tools to enhance their roles as spiritual leaders. The retreat once again proved to be a cornerstone for fostering growth, unity, and effective ministry within the Conference’s diverse congregations.
South Atlantic | January 2024