General Conference 2021 Report
We are thankful for an amazing General Conference with outstanding preaching, teaching, praise, and prayer. After last year’s conference was moved online due to the pandemic, people were eager to come together for worship and fellowship. Particularly noteworthy was the powerful move of God at the conclusion of each service. Hundreds of people, including many young adults, filled the altar and prayed for an extended time as they consecrated themselves for service.
Over 11,000 registered for the conference. Peak attendance was estimated at about 7,000, while more than 4,000 devices were streaming the services online. Many churches showed at least one service live or in the days following the conference.
To secure a copy of the church services, Pentecostal Publishing House sells DVDs and CDs.To purchase from their website, click here or call 1-866-819-766 to place an order. The services are also available on the subscription-based Discipleship Now, the official media platform of the UPCI.
North American Missions
North American Missions received 323 commitments to start a new work in “The Next Town” within the next 12 months (Mark 1:38). This will greatly assist in reaching the goal of 5% net church growth annually in North America. NAM also received pledges and cash of over $600,000 for Cities Worth Saving. The Steve and Carol Green family were appointed as Metro Missionaries to San Francisco.The Mark and Jordan Brown family were appointed as Forward Missionaries to South Dakota to plant churches in multiple towns as circuit riders. The Nathan and Halley Hulsman family were appointed as Forward Missionaries to rural Alaska to continue the Alaska Flying Mission program. If you wish to assist one of these families, click here.
Hundreds responded to the call to commit their lives to missions, and we are receiving many additional reports from those who have made commitments. We now have almost 1,300 people serving in short-term and career missions. This service will cause that number to soar. The offering exceeded $2 million. From the cash offering we are able to send six full-time missionary families back to the field, and from the pledges we will send eleven to thirteen families.
Elections and Ratifications
We successfully implemented a new electronic voting program linked to the ministerial database. In addition to greater efficiency, for the first time we have a secure voter registration process. All incumbents were returned to office on the nominating ballot, except that Paul Mooney declined to let his name be considered and Darrell Johns of Atlanta, Georgia, was elected in his place. We appreciate Brother Mooney’s many years of service, and we welcome Brother Johns to the team. The newly elected and ratified officials are as follows:
- Assistant General Superintendent, Eastern Zone: Darrell Johns
- Executive Board: Scott Armstrong, MO; Jim Blackshear, AK; Art Hodges, CA; Randy Stanton, LA
- Spanish Evangelism Ministries Director: John Burnett, replacing Raul Orozco, who passed away
- Office of Education and Endorsement Chair: Dan Butler, replacing Dan Batchelor, who retired after many years of faithful service
- Military Chaplain Endorsing Agent: Raymond Robinson (Col., Ret.)
- Honorary General Board Members: Ron Brown, Kevin Cox, Chester Wright
- Ministers Appeal Council: Ron Becton, Billy Hale, Danny Russo
- Judicial Procedure Committee (newly created): Jerry Jones, chair; Ron Ingle, David Myers
Three new ministry projects were endorsed:
- Apostolic Healthcare International: network of medical professionals
- Florida Apostolic Bible Center: ministerial training program in Tampa
- Non-Profit Translation Solutions: professional translation of Apostolic publications into French and now other languages
The General Conference handled the resolutions as follows:
- Approved updates to the General Constitution for the Children’s Ministries Policy, the Men’s Ministries Policy, and the Formation of New Districts.
- Approved the revision of the Judicial Procedure with amendments.
- Approved the new Global Missions region of Eurasia/North Africa. The resolution concerning the nomination of Global Missions officials was referred to a committee.
- Adopted a rule that ministers who were dropped under question could preach outside their local church with the approval of their pastor and the applicable District Board(s).
- Approved an amendment to “Creation of Man and His Fall” in the Articles of Faith to provide an authoritative basis for our Position Papers on Abortion, Gender Distinction, Human Life, and Racial and Ethnic Affirmation. This amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the District Conferences by two-thirds votes. For inclusion in the International Articles of Faith, it must be approved by the Global Council and two-thirds of the national churches by two-thirds votes.
These actions complete the twelve-year process of revising the entire UPCI Manual. Click here to access the 2021 Resolutions as passed, as well as a complete list of the recent elections and appointments. The next issue of the Forward will contain a full report of elections, appointments, and resolutions.
Sincerely in Christ,
David K. Bernard
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