Short Takes Spring 2019
Change of Leadership in the Dominican Republic
On Sunday, February 3, at the Dominican Republic Apostolic Faith headquarters church in La Romana, District Superintendent Gledwin Mills announced that he is retiring as leader of the Dominican Republic work, with Reverend Deivys Pichardo appointed to fill that role.
A letter from Superintendent General Darrel Lee was read in Spanish at the meeting, stating, “The faithful service of Brother Mills is deeply appreciated. We recognize that he is highly regarded by all of you, being the longest serving pastor in the Dominican Republic Apostolic Faith and faithfully pastoring at the first Apostolic Faith location.” At age seventy-nine, Reverend Mills has served as a minister for over fifty-five years, and will continue to pastor one of the island churches.
The new District Superintendent, Reverend Pichardo, is a Dominican Republic board member and pastor of the Maquiteria church in Santo Domingo. The letter from Reverend Lee concluded by stating that Reverend Pichardo “is determined to preach the Gospel and stick to the practices he has learned in the Apostolic Faith since childhood. God has blessed that approach all over the world in the past and continues to do so. Just as you have faithfully supported his predecessors, we can assure him, Sister Leidy D. Ureña Mejía [wife of Reverend Pichardo], and their families of your prayerful backing. May the Spirit of God be poured out upon this host of witnesses today and in the days to come as Jesus tarries.”
15 Churches Reopened in Angola
In October of 2018, the Angolan government closed sixteen Apostolic Faith churches in that country, requiring the leaders there to prove their legitimacy as part of a worldwide Christian organization. Staff at the world headquarters office in Portland, Oregon, worked with the leaders in Angola to provide the required documentation, and in early 2019 we received the good news that fifteen of the churches had been reopened, with plans in place to reopen the sixteenth soon.
The Apostolic Faith Mission of Portland, Oregon, Angola has now reached sixteen of the eighteen provinces of Angola, including in remote areas. We currently have 330 branch churches in those sixteen provinces, which vary in size from small to large congregations. It is our prayerful intention to extend our ministry into the last two provinces very soon, with God’s help.
We look forward to the continued blessing of God on the growth of the Apostolic Faith work in Angola.
St. Eustatius Congregation Celebrates 25 Years
On Sunday, January 13, the Apostolic Faith congregation on the island of St. Eustatius celebrated twenty-five years of worship at the church in Mansionweg.
St. Eustatius is a Dutch island in the Netherland Antilles, with a population of about three thousand whose primary language is English. Our church is located right in the center of the island. The work there began in 1991 with a small group occupying two locations as they sought a permanent place of worship. They built the Mansionweg church and its dedication took place in January 1994.
The theme for the anniversary celebration was “Calvary’s Love,” chosen by the pastor, Kathleen Plunkett, who took inspiration from John 3:14-21. The service included an exhortation given by Michael Anthony, the Eastern Caribbean District Superintendent, who attended with his wife, Monica. Using texts from John 3:21 and Hebrews 10:23-25, he emphasized that the Apostolic Faith Church is serious about decency, honesty, truth, integrity, faithfulness, and holiness. He encouraged the congregation that in this world, where the standards of moral and ethical decency are being redefined and eradicated, our organization will continue to uphold the old Gospel standard, to be applied across all areas of our lives. The celebration was a wonderful time for all who attended.