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Archive for February, 2015

Camp Kulaqua Founding Director Passes Away

posted on February 18, 2015, under Camp Ministry, Conference by

Founding Director Wayne Foster and Reba, his wife, are pictured with current Director Phil Younts at the September 2013 unveiling of Camp Kulaqua's future Welcome Center. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

Founding Director Wayne Foster and Reba, his wife, are pictured with current Director Phil Younts at the September 2013 unveiling of Camp Kulaqua’s future Welcome Center. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

Florida Conference is saddened to report the death of Camp Kulaqua’s founding director, Wayne Foster. He passed away Monday, February 16, at age 93.

“Wayne will be missed,” said Phil Younts, Florida Conference Camp Ministries Administrative Director, “but his vision and legacy will live on through Camp Kulaqua and the lives touched for God’s kingdom.”

Very shortly after joining Florida Conference as youth director, Foster became the driving force behind the acquisition of property known today as Camp Kulaqua in the small town of High Springs, Florida. The original, undeveloped 273 acres of land—purchased in 1953 for $18,000—has grown to 695 acres with housing for more than 1,000 people. An estimated 50,000+ people use the facilities each year.

A Celebration of Life service is scheduled March 22, 2:00 p.m., at Sarasota Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5764 Churchill Downs Road, 2½ miles east of Interstate 75 on Clark Road.

Almost all of Camp Kulaqua's past administrative and summer camp directors were present for the anniversary weekend. From left: Wayne Foster, Norm Middag, Phil Younts, Wally Welch, Bucky Weeks, Lewis Hendershot, Byron Voorheis, Rick Faber, and Ray Queen. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

In September 2013, Wayne Foster made one last trip to Camp Kulaqua to help celebrate the facility’s 60th anniversary. He joined almost all of the past administrative and summer camp directors at a special moment of recognition. From left: Wayne Foster, Norm Middag, Phil Younts, Wally Welch, Bucky Weeks, Lewis Hendershot, Byron Voorheis, Rick Faber, and Ray Queen. (Photo: Lee Bennett)

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Pathfinders Help Inmates Celebrate Christmas Behind Bars

posted on February 10, 2015, under Conference by

Pathfinders and staff gather to celebrate the Christmas Behind Bars outreach event. (Photo: Claude Edwards)

Pathfinders and staff gather to celebrate the Christmas Behind Bars outreach event. (Photo: Claude Edwards)

by Hubert Swearine

’Twas not necessarily a silent night as the halls of the Florida Conference office were decked with warm smiles, cheerful singing, and busy hands of Pathfinders from Central Florida. It was indeed the season of giving as club members poured love into each care package for inmates in cold cells at Orange County Correctional Facility in Orlando, Fla. This infectious outpouring of love and warmth would help many experience Christmas Behind Bars.

Fifty Pathfinders and staff assembled 2,825 Christmas care packages for prison inmates. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Fifty Pathfinders and staff assembled 2,825 Christmas care packages for prison inmates. (Photo: Martin Butler)

On December 17, 50 Pathfinders and staff met to assemble 2,825 care packages of socks, cookies, stamps, envelopes, Bibles, and copies of Steps to Christ. These parcels of love were distributed to inmates on December 23—just in time for Christmas.

This benevolent act impressed the prison’s chaplain who was very appreciative that young people were so involved, as this was a first-time event for the jail. Residents, many of whom have no loved ones to show affection, expressed their gratitude. For others, it was a simple joy to know that while they were unable to enjoy some of the freedoms that others have, they were still able to experience Christmas Behind Bars.

Rachel Santiago, left, and Elisabeth Batista of the Buenaventura Lakes Spanish Pathfinder club prepare Bibles and study request cards for the care packages. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Rachel Santiago, left, and Elisabeth Batista of the Buenaventura Lakes Spanish Pathfinder club prepare Bibles and study request cards for the care packages. (Photo: Martin Butler)

One Pathfinder, Nathalie Gutierrez, said she was blessed to have participated in the Christmas Behind Bars ministry. “It was an experience I will never forget,” said Nathalie, “as I was able to give back at least a little of all the blessings God has given me. I never thought I would be able to work in a ministry like this, but our God is a great God. We can take a very important lesson from Jesus who spent most of His life helping those who society called outcast. I felt a great satisfaction.”

God impressed this project on the hearts of Lurlet Ashley-Gordon, Cluster 3 Pathfinder Coordinator for Central Florida, and Daniel Melendez, Orlando Central Church Pathfinder Director. These two individuals, along with team members, searched for a way to make someone’s Christmas much brighter.

Daniel Melendez and Lurlet Ashley-Gordon created the Christmas behind Bars event. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Daniel Melendez and Lurlet Ashley-Gordon created the Christmas behind Bars event. (Photo: Martin Butler)

The result was the start of a ministry which garnered the support of Pathfinders, Florida Conference Youth Director Pedro Perez, and business entities across Central Florida, along with families and well-wishers from the community at large. Initial support was so overwhelming, plans are now underway to make this an annual event.

It is always a joy to know that Seventh-day Adventist Christians, and young people in particular, can find creative ways to share the love of Christ to men and women in need—even Christmas Behind Bars.

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Impacting Lives Together for 70 Years

posted on February 10, 2015, under Member by

Stephen and Ruby Yost. (Photo: Stephen Yost III)

Stephen and Ruby Yost. (Photo: Stephen Yost III)

by Stephen Yost III

Stephen Yost Jr. from Rochester, N.Y., was serving in WWII and stationed at Fort Lewis Army Base near Tacoma, Wash. Ruby Blatt was living with her family in Bremerton, Wash., when friends encouraged each of them to visit Seattle Central Church one Sabbath.

Three months later, on December 2, 1944, Stephen and Rudy dedicated their lives to each other in marriage at the John Blatt family home. The war was rapidly heating up, and, within a few weeks, Stephen was shipping out to the South Pacific. While stationed in the Far East, Stephen received a short telegram stating, “It’s a boy. All is well. Ruby.”

After being discharged, Stephen applied to Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) in Berrien Springs, Mich., from which he graduated in May 1950 with top grades, training to be a teacher/preacher. Later, he would complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Seattle Pacific College, Wash.

His first assignment was upper grade teacher and principal at the Adventist school in Onaway, Mich. He then served at Bethel Junior Academy in Arpin, Wis.; Lewis County Junior Academy in Centralia, Wash.; Tacoma Junior Academy, Wash.; Seattle Junior Academy, Wash.; Wisconsin Academy, Columbus, Wis., where he was ordained; and Forest Lake Academy, Apopka, Fla.

In 1974, Stephen retired from active school administration and became pastor at Naples, Fla., followed by Boyton Beach and Cocoa districts. After positively impacting thousands of students and church members, Stephen retired in 1983 at age 65.

Ruby spent her time being a helpmate to her husband, a mother to her children, and a manager of their home. While living in the Northwest, she worked as librarian at Seattle Junior Academy, Wash. During the time they served in Naples, Fla., she trained and worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Today, Stephen and Ruby reside at Florida Living Retirement Community, Apopka, Fla., where they are active in the on-site church. Stephen serves as occasional preacher, regular Sabbath School teacher, board member, and elder. Ruby serves as a greeter.

Their family includes: one son, Stephen (Stephanie) Yost III; one daughter, Sheryl Yost; two grandchildren, Syndee Yost and Stephen (Sy) Yost IV; and two great-grandchildren, Stella Rose Yost and Wyatt Yost.

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Melbourne Church Hosts Handel’s Messiah

posted on February 10, 2015, under Church by

Professional Conductor Jack Templeton led the chorus and four guest soloists in Melbourne Church’s 22nd annual presentation of Handel's Messiah. (Photo: Richard Boskind)

Professional Conductor Jack Templeton led the chorus and four guest soloists in Melbourne Church’s 22nd annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah. (Photo: Richard Boskind)

by Carol Hearn

A standing-room-only audience greeted performers on December 6 for the 22nd annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah sponsored by Melbourne, Fla., Church. Singers from 17 area churches were accompanied by an orchestra of strings, timpani, trumpets, and harpsichord.

The chorus rehearses five Sabbath afternoons beginning in September. Over the years, strong relationships have developed with many of the returning chorale members. Melbourne Church and a few sponsors provide this program each year at no charge to attendees, approximately 80% of whom are nonAdventist.

The professional conductor hired for this performance was Jack Templeton, and the solists were Roxann Moran, soprano; Esther Fraser, contralto; Frederick Kilgallin, tenor; and David Peterson, baritone.

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Mildred (Em) Crosby Turns 101

posted on February 10, 2015, under Member by

by Carol Crosby

Three of Em’s family joined with her at the It Is Written Partnership Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Left, granddaughter Laura Peterson Hasty; Mildred (Em) Crosby; daughter Carol Crosby; and great-granddaughter Annalyse Hasty. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Three of Em’s family joined with her at the It Is Written Partnership Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Left, granddaughter Laura Peterson Hasty; Mildred (Em) Crosby; daughter Carol Crosby; and great-granddaughter Annalyse Hasty. (Photo: Martin Butler)

Mildred (Em) Crosby was born November 28, 1913, and celebrated her 101st birthday on November 28, 2014. The seventh of eight siblings, she has outlived each of them.

Em has been a faithful Adventist since the early 1940s when she and her husband, Guy (Ted) Crosby, were baptized in Flint, Mich. She served as Kindergarten department leader at Flint Church and Michigan Camp Meeting. She has held positions in her church as deaconess, Sabbath School secretary, fellowship lunch coordinator, health class teacher, baptismal robes maker.

Em’s many talents include sewing, hat making, crocheting, cooking, and baking, which she continues to do. She still works in her yard and is a master of the Weed Eater®!

When asked about her secret to life?” her answer is, “Keep working! If there is something that needs to be done, do it! Don’t wait for someone else!”

Em has lived in Bradenton, Fla., for 46 years after leaving the cold Michigan winters and their Crosby Realty business where “Christian Service Is Our Motto” was known and respected in the community. In Bradenton, she and Ted owned and operated a candy store, known as The Korn Krib, for several years.

After Ted passed away in 1984, Em continued working until the age of 95, five days a week, eight hours a day, first in a sandwich shop and then in two grocery stores. Em is an inspiration to her family and is adored by her daughter, Carol, who lives with her; seven grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren; 15 great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Three of her children, Betty Ashlock, Bonnie, and Johnny, and her husband of 53 years are awaiting the resurrection morning.

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