Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Dave Weigley

During the 11 o’clock service on Sabbath, January 5, Brenda Billingy, senior pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s (AEC) Metropolitan church in Hyattsville, Md., looked from her chair on the podium to the back of her church and wondered, “Why is the [Columbia] Union president here?” She soon found out. Her associate pastor, Marquis D. Johns, had planned a surprise ceremony, that included Columbia Union president Dave Weigley, executive secretary Rob Vandeman and treasurer Seth Bardu, to celebrate her ministerial credentials that had been recently revised to indicate that she is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister.

At year-end meetings last week, five Columbia Union Conference members were recognized for their contribution to the cause of Christ during a special luncheon held in their honor. This new award, called Notable Persons of Honor, spotlighted Joyce Newmyer, president of Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md.; Larry Boggess, president of the Mountain View Conference; José H. Cortés, president of the New Jersey Conference; Josephine Benton, a retired pastor; and Weymouth Spence, president of Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park.

We acknowledge the concerns and questions our recent special constituency vote raised among some of our church family and administrators and regret that some misunderstood our motives and intentions. We unwaveringly stand in solidarity with our worldwide church family in faith, belief, doctrine and mission and appeal for understanding.

Silver Spring, Md.—After two hours of presentations from multiple levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as 90 minutes of discussion, delegates to the Columbia Union Conference Special Constituency Meeting today voted an historic motion—“That the Columbia Union Conference authorize ordination to the gospel ministry without regard to gender.”

The plangent roar of dozens of motorcycles coming to life in unison breaks the quiet of a Mount Vernon, Ohio, Sabbath afternoon as dozens of bikers prepare to ride into the countryside. This is just one of the activities that bike enthusiasts recently enjoyed at Ohio Conference’s first “Rev It Up Biker Revival.” Held at Mount Vernon Academy, this camp meeting drew some 80 Christian bikers from as far West as California and as far south as Florida. 

Takoma Park, MD — The Trustees of Washington Adventist University (WAU) today voted a Memorandum of Understanding with Atlantic Union College (AUC). This MOU calls for the two institutions to work toward an agreement to establish a branch campus of Washington Adventist University at Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. WAU would lease the facilities of AUC, and become the sole provider of higher education at the New England location. All provisions are dependent upon approval from the required accrediting and regulatory agencies.