Pastor Don Kim
Pastor Don Kim
A new tradition has begun. For the second consecutive year, at the 2018 Camp Meeting, the South Atlantic Conference celebrated retiring pastors during the ordination service, and welcomed new pastors to the ministry. Marc Borieux, Crawford Humphrey, and Bernard Williams Jr. were commended for their combined 120-plus years of ministry.
William L. Winston, South Atlantic Conference president, presented the retirees with a medallion from the General Conference Ministerial Department. The front of the medal reads “Honorably Retired,” and on the back, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to His service,” 1 Timothy 1:12. The congregation walked down memory lane with these men of God, as short videos highlighted their ministries, and “It’s a Good Thing to be Chosen” played in the background.
After the warm applause for the retirees subsided, the focus shifted to the ordinees: Victor Bartley, Ewart Carter, and Austin Humphreys. All were blessed as Roger Hernandez, Southern Union ministerial director, shared the message, “Four Qualities of Brave Leadership.” Winston and the rest of the administrative team prayed, anointed, provided counsel, and presented gifts to the newly ordained pastors and their wives.
The segment honoring those who were laying down the mantle was added to a ceremony formerly reserved for those picking it up, because, as Calvin B. Preston, South Atlantic ministerial director, said, it grew out of a conversation in the Ministerial Advisory Committee in 2017, when were planning that year’s ordination service.
As they were discussing the candidates and the details of the service, the question arose, “What made ordination of new pastors possible?” The consensus was that if it weren’t for the sacrifices of previous generations of pastors, the present opportunities for newcomers wouldn’t exist.
Preston summarizes it this way, “South Atlantic Conference is not defined by the names of the states it covers, but by the hardworking ministers, whose paychecks didn’t look like ours — men who had four or five churches in their district, and worked with the laity to do evangelism every summer up under a hot tent.”
And, their service doesn’t end after this recognition. Many retired ministers in the South Atlantic territory serve as interim and part-time pastors, and as departmental leaders at the Conference office. South Atlantic continues to value the predecessors as all embrace a new wave of preachers until Jesus comes.
South Atlantic | December 2018