A group of church members from the Central Adventist and Hope Adventist Churches stand on the platform during a special rally as they report their evangelistic strides in preparation for the evangelistic series Dozens of treasury leaders from the General Conference will take part what has been coined as the St. Croix Global Total Member Involvement initiative in the community evangelistic impact. [Photo: Leriano Webster/NCC]

Inter-America

Adventist Church in St. Croix Gears Up for Islandwide Evangelistic Impact

The initiative will include a team from the General Conference Treasury Department and speakers from the North American Division

St. Croix | Royston Philbert and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

The North Caribbean Conference (NCC) of Seventh-day Adventists is gearing up to reach thousands of people with the Gospel during a multi-district evangelism impact on the island of St. Croix in March 2024.

The campaign is part of what is being coined the “St. Croix Global Total Member Involvement” initiative, where dozens from the General Conference (GC) Treasury, led by treasurer Pastor Paul H. Douglas, along with various church organizations, will partner for the islandwide community outreach from March 30 to April 13.

Themed “Impact 2024 – Your Journey to Joy,” the effort is part of the mission project that calls for “everyone doing something evangelistically positive for Jesus as we come closer to His soon return,” said Pastor Ted Wilson, GC president.

Along with Pastor Wilson, Pastor Erton Köhler, GC executive secretary, met with the special evangelistic planning team led by Josue Pierre, GC associate treasurer, in early January in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, ahead of a launch in St. Croix a few weeks later.

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.”

Evangelistic impacts have been carried across the ten 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 the population church leaders are dreaming of reaching, he added. “We are preparing to meet the needs of hundreds of people and penetrating [into] all areas.”

Impact on 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 campaign, 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 in late January.

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 Sabbath, January 27, local churches reported on the established care groups and signed up scores of families through local initiatives as prospects for evangelism campaigns.

Pastor Emil Peeler, senior pastor of the Capitol Hill 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 in 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 Pastor Peeler during the training session. “The truth still makes an impact, but the greatest challenge is to get people to ‘want’ a change because people are comfortable. They feel they do not need to change their beliefs. But everyone needs the grace of God.”

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, NCC Communication director. “The plan is to fill the churches during the evangelism impact; that’s why we are not going to carry the evening sessions online. 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 a 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 (Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda), United States Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas), Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.

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