Downtown Austin, Texas has been transformed into a giant ministerial convention as more than 5500 pastors, spouses and children are attending the CALLED NAD Ministerial Convention, sponsored by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Held for the first time in decades, the convention serves to empower, educate and revitalize the diverse collection of ministers who serve the North American church. Held over a four day period from June 28 – July 1, 2015, the event provides keynote presentations, workshops and worship opportunities that focus on four tracks, Pastors, Ministerial Spouses, Youth and Children.
The convention kicked off its opening with general session meetings focused towards the four tracks. The Pastors event featured presentations from Wintley Phipps, Dirk Duerkson, Wesly Knight and a closing charge from NAD President Daniel R. Jackson who urged the ministers to consider “Who called you and what for?”. A prayer of dedication was offered by General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson who praised the presenters, thanking them for focusing their messages on the need to follow Jesus Christ’s model of evangelism.
The ministerial spouses general session featured presentations by J. Nicole Brise, Mark O’Fill and Adrienne Townsend as they focused their on being Called to Belong, Follow and Eternal Glory.
Late evening events were then held where attendees could watch Adventist produced films or take part in a Shark Tank competition where pastors were given the opportunity to compete for prizes to further their evangelistic projects. Over the four days of the event, more than $120,000 will be given for evangelistic programs at the local church level.
In the opening presentation, noted musician, evangelist and pastor, Winitley Phipps urged pastors to “resemble, reflect and reveal the character of God.” Wesley Knight used the example of the folded burial cloth to remind pastors that Jesus wasn’t “rescued, He was resurrected!”.
The CALLED Ministerial Convention was planned and organized by the North American Division Ministerial Department, under the guidance of Ministerial Director Ivan Williams and his associates. They spent the past 18 months carefully choosing speakers, planning events and developing resources that will provide spiritual refreshment, energy and encouragement to the ministers, spouses and children attending the convention.
At the conclusion of the event on July 1, many of the ministers and their families will board busses where they will be transported 80 miles to San Antonio, Texas to attend the 60th General Conference Session, the Adventist Church’s business session held every five years.
Photos of the event can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nadadventist.