October 26, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division

Thousands of Seventh-day Adventist pastors across the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory completed another year of training as part of a comprehensive certification program which aims to equip them to better minister in the more than 23,000 churches and congregations where they serve. The annual event held online on Oct. 21, marked a special two-hour celebration where top IAD leaders praised the dedicated work of ministers and their spouses shepherding in an extraordinary year of crisis and uncertainty.

“Thank you for your sacrificial service in favor of the church, for your legacy into the work of God,” said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America. Pastor Henry told them to stand firm and continue laboring for God. “There is still an urgent need and hard work to do. With Covid-19, there’s a huge open field, a somber reality with a lot of people looking for answers, longing for hope and we have a message to share, a people to save, and is imperative for us to continue the work of evangelism.”

Inter-American Division President Pastor Elie Henry speaks to thousands of local pastors throughout the Inter-American Division to continue their ministry strong, engaging members in discipleship-making in readiness for the Second Coming of Jesus. More than 3,100 pastors across the territory were engaged in the annual certification training program and celebrated during a celebration program held online, Oct. 21, 2020. [IAD File photo]

Pastor Henry encouraged pastors to be creative in teaching and making disciples in their lifetime commitment of strengthening members and new believers into being witnesses and disciple-makers before Jesus comes again.

“We must continue to unite in purpose and continue ministering to the needs of people in our communities,” Pastor Henry said.

Pastor Jerry Page, ministerial association secretary for the Adventist world church, reminded leaders to ensure that they are listening to God’s guidance in their particular territory.  “God has been doing a great work in every church,” said Page. “Discover what best works in your territory as we work in getting members active like in total member involvement in the I Will Go initiative.”

Pastor Jerry Page, ministerial association secretary for the Adventist world church, challenged pastors in Inter-America to discover ways in their territory to get members actively participating in the I Will Go initiative. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

This year, more than 3,100 district pastors in the IAD have completed 20 hours of certification, said Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial association secretary for the church in Inter-America.

Pastor Rodríguez shared that the certification this year was different because it also applied to the pastor’s wife. “Together they carry leadership responsibilities in the church as the ministerial family, especially the role of the pastor’s wife,” he said.  The book by Jonas Arrais, former associate ministerial association director, and wife Raquel entitled “Joys and challenges of the Pastoral Family” was studied this year for an equivalent of 2.5 professional credit hours.

“You have done an extraordinary work this year and we want to let you know that we love you and will continue to pray that the Lord continues blessing you and your spouse where you serve,” Rodríguez said.

Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial association secretary for the church in Inter-America, said this year’s certification program was different from previous ones because the spouses algo took part and were certified as well. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

The event saw former leaders and their spouses honored via Zoom video conference for being instrumental in leading the ministerial association during the past three decades: Pastor Israel Leito and wife Ludmila, Pastor Hector Sánchez and wife Olga, Pastor Jaime Castrejón and wife Gloria, and Ivan Omaña and wife Evelyn.

“Through your service during the past 30 years you have built the Kingdom of God in the midst of trials and challenges and we recognize your efforts and dedication,” said Pastor Rodríguez.

Each of the 24 IAD unions, or major church regions, reported certification trainings held throughout their territory and local districts throughout the year.

Pastor Hector Sanchez, former ministerial association secretary for the church in Inter-America, and wife Olga, were among four couples who were honored during the online program for being instrumental in leading the ministerial association during the past decades. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

To learn more about Inter-America’s Ministerial Association, its initiatives and events, click HERE

To watch the online program of Oct. 21, 2020, click as follows:

HERE for English

HERE for Spanish

HERE for French

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