Regional conference presidents and other leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are studying how they might use health centers, vegetarian restaurants, community services and other outreach methods to expand efforts to share Jesus with urban centers and inner-city residents after holding key talks with General Conference and North American Division leadership.
Adventist world church president Ted N.C. Wilson and North American Division president Daniel R. Jackson held key consultations this month with leaders of the church’s nine U.S. regional conferences, which were established in the mid-1940s to accomplish a stronger work for African Americans and to provide leadership opportunities that would benefit the work of God.
“We discussed various items, including evangelism and outreach activities,” Wilson said. “Of special interest was the subject of Mission to the Cities and how regional conferences could help to extend that important evangelistic initiative for the large cities of the United States.”
Mission to the Cities is an initiative of the General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist world church, to reach people in the large cities of the world though plans outlined in the Bible and the writings of church cofounder Ellen G. White. Those plans for working in the cities include the establishment of “centers of influence” such as churches, health centers, vegetarian restaurants, book and publishing outreach centers, community services, media centers, day-care centers and other ways of touching the lives of people. In addition, the plans envisage small “outpost centers” just outside the cities that contain homes for some city workers, lifestyle health centers, and training schools for those wishing to do evangelistic work in the cities.
Historically, regional conferences have done much to evangelize large cities and are active in evangelism and reaching out to inner-city residents through community services.
“Currently, they maintain a very viable potential for reaching thousands in the huge metropolitan areas,” Wilson said. “Their contribution to the ongoing proclamation of the three angels’ messages in large cities and in rural areas has been a strong evangelistic outreach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America and around the world.”
In addition to Wilson and Jackson, the special meeting on Nov. 2 was attended by North American Division executive secretary Alex Bryant and treasurer Tom Evans, and regional leaders William Cox, Dana Edmond, Henry Fordham, Daniel Honore, R. Clifford Jones, Alphonso McCarthy, Hubert Morel, Maurice Valentine, and William Winston. Bobby Mitchell and Calvin Watkins were unable to attend.
Wilson appealed to Adventists worldwide to pray for church members and their outreach in regional conference territories.
“Please pray for our church members in regional conferences whether they are in the large cities or in rural areas as they reach out to thousands upon thousands with the life-saving Advent message of Christ and His righteousness in anticipation of His soon coming,” he said.