Spice up Your Ministry


Southwest Region Conf. Pres. Sam Green; Southwestern Union Exec. Sect. Buford Griffith after greeting congregation at door following service

The average Louisianan connoisseur of the culinary arts is known for his love of food. However, recently this passion took on a different connotation courtesy of the Southwestern Union Conference.

We can only surmise that the organizers capitalized on our physical appetites to stimulate our spiritual appetites thus further motivating us in service to our Lord and ultimately to our communities. What resulted was the “Spice up Your Ministry” training conference for south Louisiana churches hosted by the Baton Rouge, Berean and Spanish ministries of the three churches. Each ministry featured a Union official for its Sabbath School and its worship services while following lunch, there were simultaneous but varied afternoon seminars in the three different venues affording participants a choice of ministries to attend.
Berean felt blessed to have Southwestern Union Executive Secretary Buford Griffith present its worship service message. He began by acknowledging Southwest Region Conference’s president Sam Green’s introduction of him. Griffith’s message “Living among What Used to be” had as its text Revelation 2:1-7. His reminder of how time brings about change- evoked humor as he reflected on his and his wife’s “trip down Memory Lane” when they perused through past photos of classmates and themselves while students at Oakwood. “It’s ok to reminiscence about the past, but we can’t relive it” to more chuckles from the congregation. Citing examples from the fashion world, he recounted how things we think are new are just recycled repeats of the past. Then it was on to the announced scripture. “God commended the Church at Ephesus for its faithfulness and not growing weary, but something happened. The church lost its zeal-forgetting its first love – the love for righteousness.” Referencing selections from “The Spirit of Prophecy,” Griffith’s admonition included “We have to have more than just a Sabbath experience… Worship must not become something just for the moment. Our Lord despises status quo Christianity and has delayed His coming because we’re not ready for the same reason He didn’t come in 1844- resulting in the ‘Great disappointment.’” He then directed us to examples of what he labeled ‘the devil’s ‘curveballs,’ e.g., homosexuality and women in ministry (the latter of which he gave his own ‘spill’ on), In closing he reiterated “The Seventh-day Adventist church was organized for service; for the salvation of souls. If we’re not involved in ministry, we will not experience the joy of ministry, but will ultimately lose our souls.” We thank Pastor Griffith for this admonition and the Union for its vision for our ministries.

Evelyn M. Edwards


“First ladies” a lingering moment between Mary A. Green and Carmen Griffith following worship service