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Archive for January, 2012

South Orlando Church Makes an Impact In the Community

posted on January 31, 2012, under Church, Video Report by

This video is the second of Florida Conference’s new monthly Florida Conference In Mission videos, a series about people reaching people.

This report is from Dan Forbes pastor of South Orlando Church, describing how ministries at the church have impacted the community.

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Women’s Retreats and Men’s Conventions Give Opportunity To Come Apart and Rest Awhile

posted on January 31, 2012, under Conference by

Spring is a time for renewal of body, mind, and spirit as Women’s Retreats and a Men’s Convention get under way at Camp Kulaqua in High Springs, Florida.

Women’s Ministries Retreats
Relaxing and refreshing getaways with marvelous presenters will give clues to finding daily treasures with the best ones being found At Jesus Feet.

The month of February will come alive with four women’s retreats at Camp Kulaqua:

  • February 3-5 (English) with guest speaker Alicia Patterson
  • February 10-12 (English) with guest speaker Wanda Davis
  • February 17-19 (Spanish)
  • February 24-25 (French)

A Teen Track is provided in English during each weekend for young women age 13-17 who are seeking a deeper relationship with God.

Sheryal Vandenburghe, Florida Conference Women’s Ministries Director, invites you to check out the web page at

Men’s Ministries Conventions
Facing Our Giants is the theme of the Men’s Ministries Convention scheduled for March 9-11 at Camp Kulaqua with Pastor Pierre Eddy Laguerre as keynote speaker. Facing Our Giants workshops include the following topics and presenters:

  • Anger Management by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson
  • Pornography by Dr. Nelson Alsup
  • Marital Relationships by Dr. Ronaldo Dacunha
  • Erectile Dysfunction by Dr. Harry Byron

“A Youth Track is planned under the direction of Dr. Elvis Epps,” says Pastor Billy Leveille, Florida Conference Men’s Ministries Director. “Also, a Haitian Men’s Ministries Convention will be held February 18, 2012, at the Boynton Beach Community High School.”

For more convention information, visit our web page at

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Florida Conference Sells Headquarters Building and Property

posted on January 30, 2012, under Conference, Relocation by

Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has operated from its facility at 655 North Wymore Road in Winter Park, Florida, since July 1992. On Friday, January 27, 2012, the Florida Department of Transportation purchased this property as it plans to expand Interstate 4. Florida Conference is in a strong position to locate a new headquarters location within the next two years. (Photo: © Dale Clark Photography)

Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has important news to share about the future of our facility and property located at 655 North Wymore Road, Winter Park, Florida. We are praising God for his goodness and guidance!

Background and Current Situation
Nearly four years ago, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) gave notice that a portion of Florida Conference’s property would be subject to eminent domain and taken for expansion work on Interstate 4. In fact, eminent domain was completed last year on parcels adjacent to the Conference’s property.

With God’s leading and through careful negotiation, the FDOT ultimately approached the Florida Conference Executive Committee with an official proposal to purchase our entire facility/property, instead of only a partial taking, with extended possession by Florida Conference.

Florida Conference hired experienced, respected legal counsel, and negotiations with the FDOT have been professional and positive. The FDOT proposal and purchase details for our property were both fair and advantageous to Florida Conference. The Florida Conference Executive Committee was unified in its decision to move forward to sell our property to the FDOT.

This past Friday, January 27, the FDOT purchased our facility/property and the agreement was complete.

A Blessing and the Next Steps
Through our agreement with the FDOT, we can remain in our building, rent-free, for the next two years, and they will pay to have us moved.

Florida Conference is in a very strong position to relocate. This is a great opportunity since we outgrew our current office and parking capacity several years ago.

The Florida Conference Executive Committee is committed to keeping our offices located in the greater Orlando area. The Committee is moving forward together to determine future steps.

How Will This Impact Seventh-day Adventist Churches and Schools?
Our office relocation in the coming years will be beneficial to our churches and schools. We will have more space in a new facility to house all ministries and support teams in one centralized location to serve our churches and schools well.

A Word From Our President
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the interaction between our professional staff, our trusted counsel, and the representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation,” says Mike Cauley, Florida Conference President and Executive Committee Chair. “We are in a better position than we could ask or imagine as we make plans to relocate. We see this opportunity as God’s next stepping stone for us as we seek to positively impact more and more people and ministry for Him!”

For More Information
Frequently Asked Questions and future news updates are published on the official relocation web page: We will gladly accept your questions or information to share related to this announcement. Simply use the Feedback Form located on the relocation web page.

More information about Florida Conference’s relocation will be provided as our plans come together in the months and years ahead.

Thank you for your prayers and support!


East Pasco Adventist Academy Students Pack Christmas Boxes

posted on January 03, 2012, under Education by

by Lisa Ziegele

East Pasco Adventist Academy students packed more than 40 Christmas boxes for children in war-torn and developing nations. (Photo: Lisa Ziegele)

Students and staff from East Pasco Adventist Academy (EPAA), Dade City, Fla., packed more than 40 gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. This is the first year the school has participated in the international outreach program of Samaritan’s Purse that provides children in war-torn and developing nations with gift boxes at Christmastime.

Boxes were packed with items often taken for granted by students in North America—basic toiletries like soap and toothpaste, school supplies, small toys, and candy. Students were able to track the destination country of their boxes and find information on the work Operation Christmas Child is doing in those countries.

“I hope the kids who received the gifts we packed will know they are special,” says EPAA seventh-grader Jada Theodore. “I’m glad that we could be a part of making other kids’ Christmases memorable.”

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Fort Lauderdale Church Holds Health Fair

posted on January 03, 2012, under Church by

by Jeffrey Thompson

“Wholeness and health has been an emphasis at Fort Lauderdale Church since the 1920s when it began on Andrews Avenue,” said Sergeant Alphonso Bonaby of the Broward Sheriff’s Office in his congratulatory remarks. Bonaby officially opened the 16th annual Healthy Lifestyle—Longer Life health event sponsored by Fort Lauderdale Church in partnership with Stranahan High School and held on the school’s campus.

Most of this year’s attendees took advantage of available free medical screenings. More than 40 providers displayed booths at the fair.

Pauline Douglas, R.N., coordinated the program with Derk Green, Everard Roofe, and a group of volunteers. “Nurse Douglas and her team must be commended for their herculean effort,” said Jeffrey Thompson, Fort Lauderdale pastor.

Jennifer Hamilton, Stranahan High School Athletic Director, was recognized for the pivotal role she played in making the health fair a reality. The fair was co-sponsored by Broward Health, Broward Health County Health Department, and several area businesses.

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Former Quartet Members Celebrate Wedding Anniversaries

posted on January 03, 2012, under Member by

by Martin Butler

Collegedale Academy's Harmonaires Quartet, circa 1948, from left: Craig Asher, first tenor; Sherman Cross, second tenor; Stewart Crook (sitting at piano), baritone; and Obed Graham, bass. (Yes, that is Obed Graham! Florida Conference president from 1990-1997.)

Four young men met at Collegedale Academy, Collegedale, Tenn., more than 60 years ago and formed a quartet. Sherman Cross sang second tenor, Stewart Crook was baritone, Obed Graham sang bass, and Craig Asher held down the first tenor position.

During their academy years, Sherman and his girlfriend, Patricia Blevins, and Stewart and his girlfriend, Martina Martin, became friends. After graduation, the two couples planned August weddings with Stewart standing as Sherman’s best man. Six days later, Sherman was a groomsman for Stewart. Both couples celebrated 60 years of marriage this past August.

Sherman and Patricia Cross.

Sherman and Pat married August 13, 1951, in Lynn Wood Hall Chapel on the campus of Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University.

Sherman studied business, then spent 28 years in hospital work and 17 at McKee Baking Company in Collegedale, Tenn. Pat has worked as a cosmetologist for 35 years and continues in this profession today in Zephyrhills, Fla., where the couple makes their retirement home.

The Crosses have three daughters and four grandsons.

Stewart and Martina were married August 19, 1951, in St. Petersburg, Fla., Church.

Stewart and Martina Crook. (Photo: Tim Putt)

Stewart studied music and taught at several Adventist academies and Southern College (now Southern Adventist University). Later, job positions found him wearing varied hats including dean of men, youth leader, pastor, and trust services director.

He received his Trust Services Certification from the North American Division in 1986 and spent 10 years at Southern Union Conference in Decatur, Ga., before retiring from full-time denominational work in 1997.

In retirement, he served full time in planned giving at Georgia State University and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital before coming to Florida Conference where he works part time in Planned Giving and Trust Services. Martina’s work career was mostly spent in the bookkeeping and accounting field.

The Crooks have three daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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