Southwest Region Conference Quadrennial Session
DALLAS – On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, the Fifth Quadrennial and 26th Regular Conference Session of the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists convened in Keene, Tex., to elect its executive officers, vice president, departmental leaders and executive committee, and to discuss and vote on items that embody the Conference watchword, “Moving Southwest ‘4’ Ward.”
Four hundred and eighty delegates from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, convened on Saturday evening to worship and pray together before conducting business. The worship session included a mini concert by the Southwestern Adventist University Singers under the direction of Jonathan Walls, and the preaching ministry of James Black, retired North American Division (NAD) prayer ministries coordinator.
The business session followed with opening prayer by Elias Rumaldo, representing the Spanish-speaking delegation. After the meeting was called to order and quorum was declared, the business session continued with the adoption of the session agenda, the introduction of two new churches (Grace Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lucas, Tex. and the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church in New Iberia, La.) into the sisterhood of churches, and the dissolution of one church.
The evening session included the President’s Report highlighting the progress of the four Conference emphases—Evangelism, Adventist Education, Digital and Media Ministry and Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Evangelism reported 1,811 baptisms and professions of faith for the past quadrennial; Adventist Education congratulated the Applegate Adventist Jr. Academy in Round Rock, Tex. and Shiloh Excel Christian School in Little Rock, Ar. for their new school buildings; Digital and Media Ministry celebrated the productions of “Experience the Word,” an online worship experience via the Conference’s YouTube channel, and the “Come Adore Him” Christmas program that was televised nationally and viewed by over eight million people; and the Youth and Young Adult Ministries congratulated the Central Regional Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church “Alpha and Omega” Pathfinder Club for winning first place at the NAD’s Pathfinder Bible Experience in Tampa, Fla.
The evening session concluded with the Nominating Committee’s partial report leading to the re-election of Carlton P. Byrd as president, Jason C. North as executive secretary, Philip Palmer as treasurer/CFO and Vanston Archbold, Jr., as vice president for multicultural ministries.
The session reconvened on Sunday, Sept. 24, with a worship session that opened with prayer by Rolando Baysa, representing the Asian delegation. A musical interpretation of “The Midnight Cry” was presented by lay member Jonathan McNorton, followed by a powerful message by Brenda Billingy, retired associate ministerial director for the North American Division. The worship session ended with prayer by Dana Edmond, executive director of the Office of Regional Conference Ministries.
The business session continued with reports by Jason C. North, executive secretary, and Philip G. Palmer, treasurer/CFO, and a partial report of the Nominating Committee. Delegates then voted for members to the Executive Committee, along with Frazier Woods, Jr., as lay advisory leader, and the following departmental directors: Tyrone Boyd, as church ministries director and Leslie Soupet, as communications director. Other departmental positions were referred to the Executive Committee. After the consecration of the newly elected leaders, the session adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
Many delegates expressed their appreciation for the renewed and spiritual atmosphere that governed the session and committed to support the conference leadership and actively engage in “Moving Southwest ‘4’ Ward!”
The session’s digital report and materials can be reviewed online at SwrcSession.org and the replay of the livestreamed session can be viewed on the conference’s YouTube channel @MySouthwestRegion.
By Leslie Soupet