Texas Conference Holds Quadrennial Constituency Session
The Texas Conference held its Quadrennial Constituency Session on Sunday, April 26 at the Keene church in Keene, Texas, where delegates met to elect officers for the 2015-2019 quadrennial term. Carlos Craig, president; Gary Brady, executive secretary; and Edwin Romero, treasurer, were reelected to serve for the next four years.
Departmental directors elected were Scott Steward, under treasurer; Randy Anglada, Auditing Department director and associate treasurer; Wirmin Alcantara, Human Resources director and assistant treasurer; Kristina Lockhart, assistant to the president for communication; Jason Busch, associate communication director; Joe and Sherry Watts, Adventist Community Services directors; John Hopps, Education superintendent; Raul Aguilar, associate Education superintendent; Carol Bradley, associate Education superintendent; Elton Demoraes, Ministerial/Focus Leaders director; Gary Brady, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director; Osvaldo Rigacci, Spanish Department director; Roger Mekelburg, Trust Services director; Lynette Ecord, Trust Services associate director; Gary Blanchard, Youth/Young Adult/Pathfinder director; Armando Miranda, Youth/Young Adult/Pathfinder associate director.
The delegates confirmed the Texas Conference Executive Committee's acceptance of seven new congregations into the sisterhood of churches: Sugarland Access, Keller Come and See, San Antonio Spanish Northeast, Katy Spanish Central, McKinney, Lewisville Spanish, and Mission Hope. The Hurst and Fort Worth Handley churches were merged and the Sulphur Springs church was disbanded.
A report was presented regarding Valley Grande Adventist Academy and the February 26, 2015 Texas Conference Executive Committee decision to close the K-12 academy. A report with an overview of VGAA financial information was also presented. General Conference legal counsel presented a report regarding the lawsuit that was filed against the Texas Conference on March 4, 2015 on behalf of Steve Gifford, as chairman of the board of VGAA and the Alumni Association of VGAA. After a time of discussion, the delegates ratified the vote previously taken by the Texas Conference Executive Committee to cease operation of Valley Grande Adventist Academy at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
During the departmental reports, executive secretary Gary Brady noted that the conference has experienced significant growth over the past four years, and while we can be thankful for a current membership of 52,651, he said that "God is calling us not to maintain the status quo, but to make a difference." Edwin Romero, treasurer, praised God for His blessings on the conference over the past four years, indicating that Texas Conference is now debt free and in the best financial position it has ever experienced since its establishment in 1878.
In his president's report, Carlos Craig reaffirmed the Texas Conference's commitment to evangelism, education, and youth and young adult ministry. "Evangelism is a lifestyle. It's who we are," he said. He also reminded the audience of the church's challenge to strengthen families and to involve and retain young people in the church. "I implore you to make the church a place that is a refuge for young people," he said.
Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division, was present to lend his support, counsel, and affirmation. Southwestern Union president Larry Moore closed with prayer and the meeting adjourned at approximately 5:30 p.m.
By Pat Humphrey, communication director