Advisory Paves Way Forward for Regional Ministry

February 04, 2015

The African-American churches in western Washington face many challenges. As a result, the Washington Conference executive committee appointed a regional advisory committee to address these challenges the African-American churches are facing.

The members of the committee are the pastors and first elders of the African-American churches. The Washington Conference president is currently chairing the committee.

Here is the history of this advisory committee.

Representatives from Adventist churches in western Washington met on April 6, 2014, for a regular quadrennial meeting to conduct business. The constituency meeting also elected officers and ministry directors.

In the course of preparing for this meeting and during this meeting, a discussion arose about ministry representation for African-American churches. The constituents ultimately voted to send the matter, and other issues that could not be resolved, back to the Washington Conference executive committee, the governing body between constituency sessions. They were asked to further examine the leadership of regional African-American ministry and to help African-American leaders work toward reconciliation.

Pastors from six African-American churches in the Seattle area met several times in the summer with Washington Conference leadership before being joined for a series of meeting with first elders from these churches. These were amicable and respectful meetings filled with prayer, fellowship and discussion about the leadership needs of African-American churches.

Washington Conference administrators also met with each of the six churches individually to listen to the needs and requests of these congregations.

Regional church representatives met in August 2014 to solidify the discussion and find consensus before presenting it to executive committee. In continuing conversations, the executive committee voted in October 2014 to form a regional advisory committee composed of pastors and first elders from these six churches before a regional coordinator is chosen.

The advisory is respectfully seeking to find consensus, work toward reconciliation, make a recommendation for regional coordinator leadership to the Washington Conference executive committee for consideration, and define a new job description. The advisory, as a team, is seeking to be fair and Christ-like as they work toward a resolution. The team of leaders is respectfully united in moving forward and growing strong Seventh-day Adventist African-American churches.

Washington Conference regional advisory committee