Adventist World Leader's Visit Attracts Hundreds

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Article By: Pastor Keith A. Albury, Director of PARL

On Saturday July 26, 2013 Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (with headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland) made his first official visit to the Bahamas. Dr. Leonard Johnson, President of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists welcomed Pastor Wilson and his wife Nancy along with other church officials rom the Inter-American Division, South and North Bahamas Conferences, Cayman Islands Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Mission to Nassau for the occasion. In a special thanksgiving service held in the Independence Ballroom of the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, Pastor Wilson addressed thousands of members, giving attention to the church’s worldwide theme of “Revival and Reformation.”

In attendance was the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, who affirmed the positive impact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church continues to make toward our nation’s development. Mr. Christie commended the church for its pioneering work in relationship to the practice of healthy living, and applauded its faith-based initiatives such as youth and community initiatives. The Prime Minister challenged the Seventh-day Adventist Church to produce a proposal to the government for a joint venture, introducing some of their successful programs to the citizens of The Bahamas.

Also bringing remarks was the Leader of the official Opposition, The Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis. Dr Minnis underscored his admiration of the church, and added that while serving as Minister of Health he had the opportunity to become familiar with many of the health programs of the Seventh-day Adventist Organization. “I’ve worked with the church and I’m happy to hear that the Prime Minister has made a determination, and in fact, an obligation that both he and I will work together and be guided by the programs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, in terms of improving the quality of life for the people of The Bahamas,” said Mr. Minnis.

Dr. Leonard Johnson, President of the Atlantic Caribbean Union expressed the privilege of hosting the church’s world leader, and commented on the significant opportunity for those present to witness all levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church being represented in one locality. Pastor Leon B. Wellington, vice-president for the Inter-American Division, also highlighted the privilege afforded Seventh-day Adventist Bahamians with the church’s world leader having visited the shores of The Bahamas.

Before arriving at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Hotel for the historic service, Pastor Wilson, along with fellow conference administrators, met with members of the press. The world leader addressed questions ranging from the denomination’s global concerns to local issues. When asked about the church’s official position on stem cell research and therapy, the general conference president was not hesitant to weigh in on the nation’s current discussion. Pastor Wilson said, “the Seventh-day Adventist Church has not taken an official position on stem cell research but is very much in support of the preservation of life.” He continued that as the church upholds its Christian principles, “if there are ways to advance science and research, in terms of using methods that would not require the taking of life, then it is something to be followed. However, the church does not support taking the life of one person, to sustain the life of another.”

The Seventh-day Adventist church has 17,000,000 baptized members, worshipping in more than 70,000 churches in over 200 countries around the world.

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