February 1, 2024 | Fredericksted, St. Croix | Royston Philbert and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) is gearing up to reach thousands of people with the gospel during a multi-district evangelism impact on the island of St. Croix next month.
The evangelism impact is part of what is being coined as St. Croix Global Total Member Involvement initiative where dozens from General Conference (GC) Treasury led by Pastor Paul H. Douglas, treasurer of the GC, with various church organizations will partner for the island-wide community outreach March 30 to April 13, 2024.
Themed “Impact 2024 – Your Journey to Joy,” is part the mission project which calls for “everyone doing something evangelistically positive for Jesus as we come closer to His soon return,” said Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the GC.Pastor Wilson and Pastor Erton Kohler, executive secretary of the GC, met with the special evangelistic planning team led by Josue Pierre, associate treasurer of the GC earlier last month in Maryland, United States, ahead of a launch in St. Croix last weekend.
Total member involvement
The initiative will see church leaders and members engaged in the two-week evangelistic series each evening at four church district locations. Guest speakers from the North American Division include Pastors Ainsworth Keith Morris, James Doggette Jr., Louis Soto and Ramone Griffin.
“This is so exciting, energizing and motivational and we cannot sleep,” said Pastor Desmond James, president of the North Caribbean Conference, headquartered in St. Croix. “We have never had anything of this magnitude here, so we have restlessness in our bones,” he said.
Evangelistic impact has been carried across the 10 islands that make up the conference before, but never in St. Croix, added James. With a population of over 41,000 in St. Croix that’s how much church leaders are dreaming of reaching, he added. “We are preparing to meet the needs of hundreds of people and penetrating in all areas.”
Impact to the community will include health and wellness clinics with a team of 20 medical staff from Loma Linda University Health in coordination with dozens of local church members.
Preparation has started
In preparation for the evangelistic impact, church leaders and members took part in training programs and seminars on how to engage their community and get involved in the mission for maximum results. The training was led by a team from the GC, Jan. 26-28, 2024.Local leaders also outlined the need to engage the total membership in this mission, including engaging hundreds of young people.
There are more than 5,000 Seventh-day Adventists on the island, said Pastor James. “All must be involved,” he said. “We are going to storm the kingdom of the devil, and it is our hope that more souls are brought to Christ and that the Advent message will reach all corners of St. Croix.”
At an evangelism rally held on the Sabbath, Jan. 27, local churches reported on the established care groups and signed scores of families through local initiatives as prospects for evangelism campaigns.
Pastor Emil Peeler, who is the senior pastor of the Capitol Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington D.C., United States, and one of the evangelism coordinators, spoke to the team of church leaders and members who are taking part the evangelism efforts.Coming together
“Several prayer bands are coming together, praying for the plans, preparations, and the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit to intervene as people are reached,” said Peeler. “The truth still makes an impact, but the greatest challenge is to get people to ‘want’ a change because people are comfortable,” he said. “They feel they do not need to change their beliefs. But everyone needs the grace of God,” Peeler said during the training session.
Church leaders outlined comprehensive strategies to reach the people of St. Croix, including a digital evangelism campaign with video shorts and additional content with stories of hope, said Leriano Webster, communication director of NCC. “The plan is to fill the churches during the evangelism impact, that’s why we are not going to carry the evening sessions online,” said Webster. “We want this impact to be in person connections with the wider community.”
The initiative is expected to draw participation from the Inter-American Division and Caribbean Union Conference treasury personnel for the two-week duration.The more than 5,000 Seventh-day Adventists in St. Croix worship in eight churches. The Adventist Church operates a primary and secondary school.
The North Caribbean Conference has more than 15,000 members in 41 churches and congregations across 10 islands including Anguilla, British Virgin Islands (including Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda), United States Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas), and the islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten.