Conference Banner Conference Banner Conference Banner


Archive for August, 2012

The Measure of a Man: Horace Edward Walsh—67 Years of Service For the Master

posted on August 31, 2012, under Church, Florida Living, Member by

UPDATE: Horace Walsh passed away Thursday, August 29, 2013 at age 93. Services held September 3 at Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church, 515 Harley Lester Lane, Apopka. Visitation: 1:30-2:30 p.m.. Funeral: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Military Honors: 4:00-4:15 p.m. at Deltona Memorial Gardens, 1295 Saxon Blvd., Orange City.

More information is available at the Deltona Memorial Funeral Home web site.

Horace Edward Walsh. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

by Gladys Neigel

What great accomplishments would propel a person to the cover of Florida Focus? Can you tell the measure of the man from a photograph? Let me introduce you to Horace Edward Walsh.

As a young man, Horace had two interests that might have guided his career track: Baseball—In his early teens, he spent several days as an official bat boy for the Washington Senators baseball team during spring training in Orlando. Music—Horace worked with a vocal instructor in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to train his Irish tenor voice. In order to accompany himself, he studied piano. Later, he was privileged to attend The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1939, Horace enrolled at Washington Missionary College (now Washington Adventist University) in Takoma Park, Maryland. After a few months as a student in pre-medical studies, he felt the call of the gospel ministry and changed his major to theology.

Following graduation, he was assigned as a singing evangelist for an evangelistic campaign in Salisbury, Maryland. Horace willingly accepted the duties assigned him except when the sermon was on hell, and Evangelist Dan Harris wanted him to dress in a devil suit, stand on a corner, and pass out fliers.

Horace’s first pastorate was in Wilmington, Delaware. One of the young people, Elizabeth Sterndale, remembers him playing volleyball and starting a camera club for them.

Later, two firsts came into Horace’s life: he was the first to receive a Master of Divinity degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the first Adventist minister chosen to become a military chaplain.

1st Lieutenant Horace Walsh, first Adventist Army Chaplain, proudly donned his uniform some 60 years later at the June 10 retirement celebration. (Photo: Lori Bennett)

“Congratulations, Horace, on your retirement after nearly 67 years of ministry,” wrote Gary Councell, Director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries. “You are the first to receive Ecclesiastical Endorsement from the [Seventh-day Adventist] denomination as a chaplain. Since your visionary and courageous step, more than 200 men and women have followed your example and legacy.”

After the military, Horace became Chaplain at Loma Linda Hospital (now Loma Linda University Medical Center) in California and taught Bible classes for 10 years at Loma Linda College of Medical Evangelists. His inventive nature soon had him presenting a daily devotional program, Silver Linings, that was piped into each patient’s hospital room.

While pastor of Florida Living Church at Florida Living Retirement Community in Apopka, Horace was appreciated for his compassion. Pictured: Horace prays with Betty Downs at the neighboring Florida Living Nursing Center. (Photo: Les Clark)

Horace went on to pastor in Rochester, New York; Miami Temple Church, Miami, Florida; and Forest Lake Church in Apopka, Florida, before his first attempt at retirement in 1983. He continued to preach in various churches for two years before returning to Miami Temple Church where he helped plant the Kendall Church in Miami. He then pastored churches in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and DeLand, Florida, before his 17 year pastorate began at Florida Living Church, Apopka, Florida.

As an example of this beloved pastor’s influence over the years, several people who attended a June 10, 2012, retirement celebration shared their stories. Dr. Ted Furnish, a Urologist from Spokane, Washington, told how his choice to not carry a gun while in the Army in Germany had upset his superiors. A fellow soldier whose mother was an Adventist told him to “go see that Adventist Chaplain” to get him out of the mess.

Furnish, who wasn’t a church member, attended the Adventist service and spoke to Chaplain Walsh. Soon, he was taking Bible studies, and even before his baptism, Horace had him teaching the Sabbath School lesson. Dr. Furnish’s comment, “Thanks so much for the introduction,” was a testimony of his gratitude to Horace for bringing him into the Church.

Carmen Rodriguez, Florida Conference Executive Secretary, presented a plaque to Horace commemorating his years of service. (Photo: Lori Bennett)

At age 92, with 67 years of service, Horace Walsh closes his ministry as senior pastor of a congregation and stands tall among the denomination’s elder statesmen. To recognize this milestone, members gathered on June 10 to honor their highly respected friend and celebrate with him in thankfulness for his many years of service for the Master.

Rejoicing with them were Horace’s daughter, Bronwyn and her husband, Bob; and grandchildren, Bobby and Sam. Horace’s son, Bryan and his wife, Callie, could not attend.

Horace’s first wife, Pat, passed away in 1977 and his second wife, Aimee, passed away shortly after they came to Florida Living Church.

Leave a Comment

Sabine Vatel Set Apart In Commissioning Ceremony

posted on August 31, 2012, under Church, Conference by

by Gladys Neigel

During the prayer of commissioning, Tim Nichols, Florida Conference vice president for pastoral ministries, petitioned, "Here, today, we are Your hands as we seek to bring Your blessing upon Pastor Sabine Vatel who has heard Your call to ministry, who has dedicated herself to Your service, who has demonstrated in so many ways her willingness to humbly serve." (Photo: Delwin Finch)

“The officers of Florida Conference have seen fit, according to the leading of the Spirit in their lives and the observation of her work, to, on this day, July 28, 2012, officially commission Pastor Sabine Vatel as a commissioned minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” proclaimed Geoff Patterson, senior pastor of Forest Lake Church, Apopka, Fla., as he welcomed family and friends to a special commissioning service.

The ceremony was one of praise and exaltation, presentation, ministry of the Word, and consecration led by individuals who have been a part of Sabine’s professional journey.

David Smith, senior pastor of Collegedale, Tenn., Church and Sabine’s college English professor, presented the message, “Our Deepest Longing.” In speaking to Sabine, Smith said, “I am so encouraged that you would value the presence of God in your life above everything else.” Credentials were presented by Carmen Rodriguez, Florida Conference executive secretary.

Sabine Vatel. (Photo: Jeff Hawkins)

Sabine Vatel, D.Min., became pastor of discipleship at Forest Lake Church on September 1, 2007. In this role, she oversees new member assimilation, parish education, and congregational spiritual growth. “She is somebody who God has appointed, anointed, and empowered,” said Ruthie Jacobson, North American Division Prayer Ministries coordinator, as she presented the morning prayer.

Under Sabine’s direction, the House of Prayer Experience (HoPE) on Wednesday evenings brings members and the community to a closer walk with Jesus. Into whatever ministry she is involved, Sabine brings a special vitality, as well as due diligence. As part of the church’s response, Wilson Lima, an elder, along with Clelia, his wife, a HoPE facilitator, spoke these words to Sabine, “You had your plans, but you let God put His plans in your heart, and you followed Him.”

Those plans led her from ministering as a registered nurse to premedical studies as part of a dream to become a mission-driven doctor until she knew and felt in her heart the call to become a pastor. After graduation from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich., Sabine accepted a call to serve as campus chaplain for Canadian University College and associate pastor for young adults at College Heights Church in Alberta, Canada. Later, she would serve in Takoma Park, Md. as a chaplain at Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) and as an associate pastor at Sligo Church before joining the ministry of Forest Lake Church.

Sabine’s response during the commissioning service included a thank you to those who had helped her on the journey. She gave tribute to her mother, “whose belief that God could call me propelled me forward to believe that God ordains the messenger He chooses even when the messenger is His daughter.”

“May God find His sons and His daughters faithful to His call when He returns,” was Sabine’s closing thought.

Leave a Comment

Florida Conference MagaBook Ministry

posted on August 24, 2012, under Conference, Video Report by

Florida Conference In Mission is a monthly video series about people reaching people.

This month’s report highlights Florida Conference’s door-to-door MagaBook ministry.

Florida Conference MagaBook students contacted more than 300,000 people this summer in an effort to spread the Word of God. These student literature evangelists go to both homes and businesses to “promote health and better values in communities,” says Alfredo Acuña, MagaBook student. They offer everyone a variety of health books, children’s books, and devotional books in the form of magazines. They are printed in magazine form to be easier to read and a faster resource says Ruby Pimentel, associate publishing director.

In exchange for these books, people offer donations to the students which help them pay for school tuition. “A lot of these young people are putting themselves through school doing this,” said Les McCoy, associate publishing director. Students keep 70% of the money donated to apply directly towards their school bill. Many Adventist schools provide matching scholarships for this money as well.

In addition to the outreach, students also gain a deeper spiritual life as they are encouraged to pray often and have personal devotions. This spiritual connection helps them as they are talking to people. “Our main goal is just reflecting God to those people so that they can see a God-loving Christian person,” says Elvis Rodriguez, MagaBook student. They also take surveys to determine needs within that community and to offer people Bible studies. These surveys are then followed up by local churches.

Publishing Director Joe Holloway believes that students who want to grow spiritually and help further the gospel are the ones who join the MagaBook ministry.

Leave a Comment

Homosassa Church Expands Food Pantry

posted on August 10, 2012, under Church by

by Bob Halstead

Homosassa Church members and friends celebrated the new food bank facility that was dedicated on June 23. (Photo: Sue Halstead)

During the past three years, the Homosassa, Fla., Church Food Pantry has served more than 700 families out of a storage shed until the building size and condition limited its usefulness.

Under the leadership of Don Gesell, chair of the church’s building committee, an aggressive campaign was launched to obtain a new structure. Gesell located a building that met the pantry’s needs while, at the same time, a church member’s son-in-law made a sizeable donation.

Once the building was in place, a local contractor donated a heating/air conditioning system, and members added shelving and other finishing touches. In a ceremony attended by members and friends, Pastor Dale Wolfe dedicated the new building with anointing and prayer. “The Holy Spirit certainly guided this effort, and it is a blessing to our church,” says Wolfe.

The original food pantry was an idea that grew out of a discussion by the men’s group on how to reach the local community. On any given Tuesday, 12-16 members staff the pantry and serve local people. “We love our community,” says Gesell, “but it sure will be a lot easier serving them from our new building.”

Leave a Comment

Palm Harbor Women’s Ministries Sponsors Self Defense Course

posted on August 10, 2012, under Church by

by Gregory Boria

Morgan Martin, left, practices defense strategies with instructor Don Grady. (Photo: Susan Field)

Palm Harbor, Fla., Company’s Women’s Ministries Department recently sponsored a self defense course at the Hampton Inn in Tarpon Springs. Don and Sandie Grady, local gym owners and Palm Harbor members, assisted in the instruction and demonstrations along with another couple.

Attendees found the program very informative and the hands-on training very valuable. The idea of having a plan to break free from an assailant’s grip, should there ever be a need, was eye opening.

In addition to the self defense course, Women’s Ministries has sponsored several events for members and visitors: a Ladies’ Tea Social, a weekend program with speaker Sally Strieb, an Ancestral Evening, an Evening of Poetry and Prose, and classes on juicing and healthful desserts.

Leave a Comment

Health Expo Attracts Large Crowd

posted on August 10, 2012, under Church by

by Ruth Haller

Volunteer Ruth Haller administers a cholesterol screening for DeLand Church member Frank Cuva. (Photo: Christine Nelson)

Nearly 200 attendees swarmed the registration area when the DeBary-Orange City, Fla., Church opened its 2012 Health Expo on the first Sunday in April. Nowhere was the enthusiasm for this event more noticeable than when one eager attendee showed up the day before. She did, however, stay for the entire Sabbath church service.

People responded happily to a neck and back massage which was the first of many free services offered. Body mass index, the Harvard Step Test, and a lung capacity test were also very popular.

Health age analysis, which provided a comparison between chronological age and health age was an eye opener for those whose lifestyles were less than healthy. Other testing offered was for glucose and cholesterol screening which proved to be two of the most popular tests with the longest lines.

Volunteer Gerry Hess takes a blood pressure reading from a Health Expo guest. (Photo: Christine Nelson)

Besides health screenings, doctors from varying medical specialities were available to answer questions. Counseling was provided to discuss problems found during a screening. A dietician answered questions regarding diet.

Two local newspapers gave the Health Expo exposure with a front page story in one and a center page article in the other. Colorful flyers distributed at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City, doctor’s offices, large local stores, and health and beauty salons helped draw attendees.

The Personal Ministries department had a table filled with health-related literature, along with spiritual books and pamphlets. The DVD, Forks Over Knives, was a popular free item given away.

Leave a Comment

Silver Springs Shores Church—A Light In the Community

posted on August 10, 2012, under Church by

by Norma Henry

Silver Springs Shores Church members were photographed for _The Journal_, a booklet highlighting the congregation's history and each department's outreach ministry. (Photo: Sandra Foerster)

A 25th anniversary milestone is most certainly a time of celebration. For Silver Springs Shores Church members in Ocala, Fla., it was also a time to reflect on how God has led the congregation.

Membership Changes
In 1985, 45 members from Ocala Church became a nucleus for the new Silver Springs Shores Church. Over the years, membership has grown to where it now stands at nearly 250.

Facility Changes
The church was erected in 1987 by church members and a team from Maranatha Volunteers International. Recently, the sound room was enlarged, the pastor’s study took on a new look, and the restrooms and rostrum were remodeled. The Agape Center, built in 2001, presently houses Sabbath School classes, youth programs, and the Health Food Store.

Outreach Programs
The church campus is busy throughout the week with activities such as: a Bible study and a vesper program on Saturday evenings, a prayer and praise meeting at 6:30 Sunday morning followed by a free lighten-up, tighten-up exercise class, and prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings.

Youth Programs
The youth keep busy with Adventist Youth Society (AYS) and other meetings in addition to recreational activities. When local high school graduation programs fell on Sabbath, many of the church’s students took a firm stand and chose not to attend. By special request, graduation exercises were scheduled for an alternate date at the church with public school principals and other graduation personnel in attendance. The church also rewarded the graduates with a trip.

Celebration Weekend
Highlights of the anniversary weekend included music from Evidence By Name, the church’s original youth choir; a message by Pastor Donna Holland, wife of former senior Pastor Glenn Holland; and the Sabbath sermon “Hold On! Reach On! Lean On!” by Pastor Glenn Holland.

It is the church’s desire to continue bearing the light that led up to this 25th anniversary in preparation for the greatest celebration of all with our Savior and King at His second coming.

Leave a Comment

Closer Than a Brother

posted on August 10, 2012, under Education by

by Denise Daly-Stennis

Adventist Christian schools led Gene Austin Taylor Krishingner, left, and Seth Lauren Daly Stennis to Forest Lake Education Center, Forest Lake Academy, and, this fall, to Southern Adventist University where both are enrolled in pre-medical studies. The beauty of Adventist education is that its paths of learning take and shape the lives of students from pre-kindergarten through medical school and beyond. (Photo: Gene Krishingner II)

Gene Austin Taylor Krishingner earned the title of Salutatorian and Seth Lauren Daly Stennis was named Valedictorian of the 94-member, 2012 graduating class at Forest Lake Academy (FLA), Apopka, Fla. Both graduated with honors in health careers, humanities, mathematics, and science. They have completed 27 college credits in Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, Calculus, Psychology, and English Composition.

The Bible says, “A friend sticks closer than a brother.” When it was announced they were Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their senior class, they accompanied each other home to share the good news of success with their families. Impressed by the loyalty shown for each other, the following conversation ensued:

How did the two of you meet?

  • Austin – “I first met Seth in the 7th grade at Forest Lake Education Center, Apopka, Fla.”
  • Seth – “We got to know each other better our sophomore year at FLA.”

What are some things that you admire about each other?

  • Austin – “I admire the abundance of care and loyalty that Seth expresses to those in his life, making himself available to those who need a warm smile or a listening ear. Also, I find Seth admirable in the way he handles stressful situations, never letting the moment get the best of him; instead, keeping a level head and focused mentality.”
  • Seth – “I admire Austin’s honesty, patience, and steely perseverance. He’s not a person who would lie for any self gain or get riled up because of trivial matters. I would have to say that half the reason I even try, is to keep up with him.”

What were some things you enjoyed about attending an Adventist Christian school?

  • Austin – “The myriad of activities and adventures my class participated in throughout my years at FLA left me with a sense of fellowship, camaraderie, and belonging. I was able to bond with my classmates and can take those connections with me into the rest of my life.”
  • Seth – “I enjoyed going to beach vespers, going to Bible conference with my friends, being a part of the varsity soccer team, going on the senior class trip, and going to Senior Outbreak where our class became closer as a group.”

Do you have a favorite Bible text by which you’ve chosen to live?

  • Austin – “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MSG).
  • Seth – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV).

Envisioning their educational goals and future plans, both young men confirmed they aspire to become doctors: Austin, a cardiothoracic surgeon; and Seth, a general surgeon. This fall, they began attending Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn.

Forest Lake Academy's graduating class of 2012. (Photo: Tim Floyd)

Leave a Comment