Pastor Josney Rodríguez (right), ministerial secretary of the Inter-American Division, praises the work of the pastoral families as the  church’s online program began next to Cecilia Iglesias (left), Shepherdess coordinator for the IAD, on Oct. 19, 2022. More than 3,200 pastors were honored throughout the territory during the month of October. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

October 20, 2022 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

Thousands of ministers and local church pastors across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American Division (IAD) were praised for their dedication and commitment to shepherding congregations and furthering the gospel during a special online program held Oct. 19, 2022. The one-and-a-half-hour program, held from the IAD Headquarters in Miami, Florida, United States, encouraged the more than 3,200 pastoral families ministering the more than 23,000 congregations across the territory.

“This is a special time to honor the pastor, his spouse and family for advancing the work of God across thousands of congregations in Inter-America during a year when we are celebrating the Division’s centennial and the 100 years since the ministerial association was organized in the world church,” said Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial secretary for the church in the IAD.

Pastor Ramon Canals (right), ministerial secretary for the Adventist world church and his wife Aurora greet IAD pastors during the online event. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

Pastor Ramon Canals, ministerial association secretary for the Adventist world church, thanked pastors and their families for the hard work in the church and communities throughout Inter-America. “Thank you because you live a life consecrated to God, a life that glorifies God, a life that produces fruits in sharing the knowledge of God, and interceding in prayer for others always,” said Canals. “You are an example of faith, kindness and love to your congregations and families.

The call that God has made and continues to make to each pastoral family throughout Inter-America to preach, educate and serve the community is a resounding one, said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in the Inter-American Division. “None of us are here by chance or because it’s what we were assigned to do for we can all see the hand of God guiding us every step of the way, and giving us the opportunity to tell Him ‘Here I am send me,’” said Pastor Henry.  “We appreciate you and the work that you faithfully do and continue trusting in the Lord in faithfully advancing with Him so you too can triumph for Him.”

Pastor Elie Henry, president of the Inter-American Division, thanks pastors for their commitment to advancing the mission in their communities next to his wife Ketlie, during the online program on Oct. 19, 2022. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

The online program included recognition of pastors and their spouses with commemorative centennial pins marked with their respective years of service, from those who just started the ministerial work to those with more than 40 years.

Among those decorated included Pastor Henry and his wife Ketlie for their 43 years of service, Pastor Leonard Johnson, executive secretary of the IAD, and his wife Denise for their 42 years of service, as well Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director for the IAD and his wife Meriviana for their 42 years of service, along with the rest of the ministers and their spouses working at the IAD office.

Angel M. Mujica (left) of the Central Andean Venezuela Mission poses for a photo after being pinned with the commemorative centennial pin on Oct. 19, 2022, by pastor Johel Cuicas, executive secretary of the Central Andean Venezuela Mission. Conferences and missions across the West Venezuela Union territory gathered to honor district pastors. [Photo: Central Andean Venezuela Mission]

In addition, pastors were recognized with certificates, pins and gifts in each of the 156 local conferences and missions throughout the IAD territory.

In addition, local district pastors were especially recognized for their commitment to following the church’s comprehensive discipleship program in their congregations, keeping track of their members in small groups, in member involvement in bible studies, and in training church elders through a special online platform to measure the spiritual health of the pastoral district and local churches under each pastor.

Special congratulations went to all 24 unions for their dedication to reporting the number of members involved in the discipleship program. The three top unions recognized included The West Venezuela Union for having 95 percent of their 935 churches reporting, the South Central American Union with 89 percent of their 825 churches reporting, and the East Venezuela Union with 85 percent of their 770 churches reporting.

Edith Ruiz (left), women’s ministries director and her husband Pastor Isaias Espinoza (center), publishing ministries director for the IAD are pinned with the commemorative centennial pin for their 35 years of service for the church during the online event held from IAD Headquarters in Miami, Florida, United States. [Photo: Keila Trejo/IAD]

“It’s amazing to see what is taking place across Inter-America in each pastoral district,” said Rodríguez. “Our pastoral families are so vital and important in the nurturing, growing, and discipling of church leaders and members and we praise God for their strength and leadership.”

To view the online program of October 19, 2022, click the following:

HERE for English

HERE for Spanish

HERE for French

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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