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Chesapeake pastors attend 2024 Columbia Union Evangelism Workshop

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The event brought together over 700 pastors and their spouses from conferences throughout the Columbia Union.

Pastors from the Chesapeake Conference joined peers from other conferences at the 2024 Columbia Union Evangelism Workshop held in Hershey, Pa., from Feb. 25-28. The union-wide ministerial event facilitated the exchange of evangelism tools and strategies and provided an environment for pastors to connect with colleagues from other regions.

Featuring a blend of corporate worship and engaging plenary sessions, the event also included smaller breakout seminars aimed at facilitating in-depth discussions on various aspects of ministry and evangelism. Speakers such as Jiří Moskala, dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary; Debleaire Snell, speaker/director of Breath of Life Television Ministries; and Pavel Goia, editor of Ministry Magazine, shared practical evangelism insights based on their years of ministry experience. 

Other notable speakers included Roger Hernandez, Ministerial and Evangelism director for the Southern Union; Calvin Watkins, vice president at the North American Division; Richie Halversen, director of Church Growth and Revitalization at the Southern Union; Peter Simpson, director for Hispanic Ministries, Global Mission, and Evangelism for the Ohio Conference; Tara VinCross, senior pastor of Azure Hills Church; and Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president. Their presentations collectively covered a broad spectrum of topics relevant to church growth, revitalization and global mission.

Pastors from the Chesapeake Conference expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to attend the union ministerial event. Michael Oxentenko, senior pastor of Reaching Hearts International Church in Laurel, Md., highlighted the event’s spiritual depth. “It’s been very instructive to just see the Holy Spirit-filled preaching and the admonition to open up our lives with love to other people,” Oxentenko said.

Alareece Collie, Discipleship pastor of the Frederick Church, reflected on the broader impact of such gatherings, saying, “One of the things I love about these pastors’ meetings is that it reminds me that the work is greater than just my local church. When you’re seeing people from different conferences and different regions, you realize that we’re all working towards that one focused goal of reaching out and ministering to people.”

The 2024 Columbia Union Evangelism Workshop has proven to be a meaningful ministerial gathering for fostering unity, sharing practical knowledge and promoting effective strategies for church growth.

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