News from Local Congregations
This column includes information sent to us from a variety of groups. Servants News does not necessarily agree with the teachings or practices of these groups. Please ask about them before attending their functions.
Mark your calendars for the August 23rd weekend, 2002. Sabbath Campers Fellowship will be getting together at Shady Green Pastures near Charlotte, Michigan.
This is a Christian camp that operates on a donation-only basis. It has a lot of recreational facilities and a rustic hall that will seat over 200 people. More details will follow in later issues of Servants’ News. If you are interested in helping out (organizing games, special music, speaking), contact:
— Kelli Brophy
The 246-page ninth edition of The Bible Sabbath Association’s comprehensive catalog of seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath-observing groups is now available! The Directory lists over 400 Sabbatarian groups, and over 1,600 congregations. Alphabetical, geographical and website indexes make it easy to locate the groups that interest you. Originally published in 1957, this edition is the largest compilation of Sabbatarian Groups in the BSA’s history. There are many international congregations listed.
The Bible Sabbath Association, founded in 1945, is a nondenominational organization whose sole purpose is to promote the Sabbath, and co-operation among Sabbath-keeping Christians. BSA members and leaders include Seventh Day Adventists, Seventh Day Baptist, Church of God, and many other affiliations, as well as independents.
The Directory of Sabbath-Observing Groups is available for $15, postpaid, from: The Bible Sabbath Association, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718.
Or, you may order by credit card by calling 307-686-5191, e-mail: email@example.com, fax: 413-228-0483; Internet: www.biblesabbath.org.
— Sidney Davis, BSA president
[This publication is different than the Local Servants Directory or the Living Room Church of God Directory. The BSA directory contains all Sabbatarian groups for which they have information. A few of them may not believe that salvation is available to all people or that the New Testament is accurate. Some may not accept visitors. But many of the groups would welcome visitors and provide an experience from which we could learn something of value. — NSE]
According to The Denver Post, July 18, 2001 issue, a Denver federal jury awarded $2.25 million to a former Pueblo air traffic controller who was fired for refusing to work on the Sabbath. The jury concluded that employers may not force religious worshippers to work on the Sabbath if it is their “sincerely held religious belief”.
“In a land where people question if justice still exists, I stand here to tell you it does,” said a tearful Donald Reed, who now works for AT&T Cable in Pueblo.
“Freedom of religion is why this country exists—the people who founded it were escaping religious persecution.”
Reed does not belong to any organized religion but honors the Sabbath by praying and resting from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. He was fired by the Federal Aviation Administration in August 1995 after working in the Pueblo control tower for five years.
Two managers had accommodated his request, but a third, George Hof, called his religious belief “a scam”, then fired him after he missed six Saturdays, according to testimony in the five-day trial.
A jury of six men and two women in U.S. District Court in Denver took five hours to reach a unanimous verdict in the First Amendment case.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which defended the case, said the government was disappointed by the verdict and “it is now under review”.
The verdict caps a six-year legal battle waged by Reed, who received the second-largest religious discrimination award from a federal jury since at least 1984.
An Orthodox Jewish broadcaster was awarded $7.3 million after he was fired in 1999 for refusing to work on the Sabbath at a television station in Bergen County, N.J.
Reed, who turned 45 on Tuesday and is the father of four, received $248,356 in back pay, $508,088 in future lost pay and $1.5 million in compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering. Congress in 1991 limited compensatory damages against the government to $300,000, so the $1.5 million automatically will be reduced.
The law also allows Reed to collect attorneys’ fees, which are estimated to be in excess of $100,000, according to lawyers who argued the case, Theresa Corrada and Ed Ramey.
But they will not receive the money because their Denver firm, Isaacson, Rosenbaum, Woods & Levy, agreed to argue the case free of charge for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the original complaint.
If U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham, who presided over the case, awards the attorneys’ fees, they will be given to the ACLU.
Reed credited his lawyers for the victory and his faith for his perseverance and strength. Reed had a number of setbacks, including administrative denials, before suing in federal court in 1998.
“Things are revealed to you along the way. Once you understand (your place in life), then you have a commitment to act on it,” he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Pestal and Peter Krumholz defended Hof and the FAA by arguing that their primary responsibility was to keep air traffic safe. They argued that the FAA was not required by law to pay overtime in order to accommodate Reed, and that it could not hire or transfer in enough new people during a shortage of controllers.
Reed, who said he believes “in the word of God” rather than a formal religion, said his belief in resting on the Sabbath comes from the book of Genesis, in which God, after creating the universe, rested on the seventh day. “He set the example,” Reed said.
Reed was an air traffic controller for the Air Force for six years before starting work at the Pueblo FAA tower in 1990. For three years, his managers accommodated his requests, either by allowing him to use leave time or by assigning him to a quality assurance/ training position with normal workweek hours.
Hof became manager in Pueblo in December 1993 and, according to testimony, immediately began harassing Reed. Reed testified he called Reed’s religion “a scam” and told him he’d fire him “if I could”.
Reed offered a variety of solutions by offering to work all holidays and Sundays, by paying shift differentials to other controllers forced to work on Saturdays for him and by offering to work longer shifts during the week. Hof rejected other proposals, then gave in once the union threatened several grievances.
A union representative offered a reorganized schedule for Saturdays, reducing the number of controllers from five to four.
Hof rejected the plan and then, after Reed was fired, adopted the plan and made it part of the permanent schedule, testimony showed.
Copyright © 2000, The Denver Post.
[It is amazing what has been accomplished by an independent believer—not a member of a big organization.
Unfortunately, many Sabbatarians will look at this and say, “He shouldn’t be involved in courts and the government.” But do we realize that the reason it is possible for us to avoid work, school, tests and other important scheduled activities on Saturday is because others before us have stood up for the Sabbath in legislation and court cases? Does God need court victories like this so we can be Christians? Absolutely not. There have been plenty of very dedicated Christians who lived out their lives in prisons in countries that are Moslem, Communist or tolerant of only one Christian state religion. But a Christian life is much easier and more peaceful in a country that has real freedom of religion.
I am sure that Donald Reed did not bring this suit because he hoped to make a few hundred thousand dollars. The way he was willing to adjust his work schedule so that he made less money for himself shows that he was not “in it for the money”.
Paying damages is the court’s way of telling the loser (the FAA in this case) that they will be punished for discriminating against sincerely held religious beliefs. The recognition of an individual’s beliefs (as opposed to a corporate doctrinal statement) is a very important thing for believers not aligned with a corporate church.
The Christian Leadership Academy (CLA) is an organization that Servants’ News has not mentioned enough. The Christian Leadership Academy exists to help individuals and groups preach the gospel of the Kingdom in all the world and to make disciples of all nations. CLA presently offers these three major options:
A) The school of evangelism which teaches leadership skills and tools for evangelism. Instruction is available as both face-to-face classes and as tape/workbook lessons.
B) Public campaigns to reach the people in your local area. CLA provides speakers and organizational skills. You provide the meeting hall and advertising.
C) Evangelism seminars in your local area to help local groups with evangelistic activities.
The CLA is not a church organization. It works with local congregations or individuals whether they are affiliated with a larger organization or not. Anyone may join and participate as little or as much as they are able. They have just produced a home study course, entitled The Pursuit of Truth which comes with tapes and a workbook. It does have a price, but some “scholarships” are available to those who cannot afford it.
The Christian Leadership Academy was founded by Dr. Alfred Harrell who has five degrees in speech, journalism and educational areas from Arkansas State University. Most of the members have a Church of God background. The CLA is an all-volunteer organization—no salaries are paid. The board consists of Lee Davis, Tim Hall, Alfred Harrell, Fred Porter, and Billy Stefek. Some of the course materials are being developed by Ian Hufton, who served in the Church of God International for many years. Rosy Haley, known for the prayer list she maintains, is a major part of the newsletter production.
For more information, or to subscribe to their newsletter (post or e-mail),
contact the Christian Leadership Academy, P.O. Box 8654, Hot Springs, AR 71910-8654;
e-mail: info@CL-academy.com, Internet: www.CL-Academy.com.
As I expected, the Special Sabbath of August 4th, at the Berean Fellowship was very enlightening. We had two guest speakers. Gary Pifer spoke Friday night on faith and healing and Art Mokarow spoke to us on Saturday. Tapes of the presentation are available.
Art spoke about how Satan confuses the church. He had many points, but the bottom line was that Satan makes us comfortable at the level where we are at, and after that we don’t grow anymore. He has been keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days by himself—he and his wife. He stated he stopped reading other people’s literature and listening to tapes and that he concentrated on what he could glean from the Scriptures on his own.
His presentation was reminiscent of a person who doesn’t speak often and so attempted to share everything he has discovered—much of which deserved some interactive discussion. But his presentation was very interesting; he was very comfortable talking about major events in the history of the Worldwide Church of God and the people at Pasadena. He didn’t speak as a man who was bitter, but rather as a person who was there and knew first-hand.
He resigned from his position in Worldwide in 1979 and the hierarchy was concerned he would start a church of his own. That was not his intent, but rather he could not find compatibility with what they were doing, what they were teaching, and what was in the Bible, so he resigned. I got the distinct feeling from what he said that now he would like to start producing tapes and distributing them. He has some very strong feelings on corporation churches and a paid ministry, which he bases on the Scriptures.
He stated he was sorry he had accepted money for doing the work of God and said he had repented and would never do that again.
— Ken Omick
I started a new forum called Fellowship Forum. It has an open door policy. No password is required. Links to other ministries are allowed, as well as links to articles with encouragement to discuss these links. There is an anonymous post option. The only thing not tolerated is active sin. Someone’s past sins are forgotten. There are e-mail notification and post preview options. Feel free to come in and join the discussions. Promote your ministry, and be ready for some engagement.
The URL is: www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=KevinWelch
— Kevin Welch
The finalization of the sale of the former Ambassador College campus and Worldwide Church of God headquarters has again been delayed until at least Spring 2002. The purchase by Legacy Partners is being delayed for additional meetings assessing the impact on the community.
Legacy is prevented from destroying the old mansions because they are historic buildings protected by city regulations. However, they plan to demolish the old Administration Building, Student Center, classrooms, dormitories and other buildings built by the Worldwide Church of God.
The only A.C.-era building that will be preserved will be Ambassador Auditorium, which Legacy Partners plans to “give” to the City of Pasadena. “Give” is in quotes because Legacy plans to destroy the existing parking garage, making it necessary for the city to build a new one for the auditorium—one that will be no where near as convenient. Also, Legacy has guaranteed the City of Pasadena against operating losses on the auditorium for up to $1 million a year—but the WCG lost nearly $2 million in some operating years. The auditorium is of fine quality, but it lacks enough seating to make most concert series profitable.
Legacy intends to build almost exclusively housing on their newly acquired property. There is almost no open land in the Pasadena area, and most all new housing units come from the replacement of houses by mutli-unit buildings. Legacy originally planned to put 1,943 units on the campus, but has now reduced it to 1,727. Nevertheless, that would still increase the population of Western Pasadena by more than 40%. The West Pasadena Residents Association (WPRA) has recently raised serious concerns about the traffic jams that are likely to result from the great increase in population. You can look at the WPRA information and more campus photos at:
I personally went to college and worked on this campus for13 years. It was a beautiful place and I enjoyed it very much. Many people worked hard to make it beautiful and keep it that way. God knows that. I have received a few letters prophesying that God will yet give these facilities back to a CoG organization and do a great work from there. Other people feel that it is a monument—much like the estates of dictators—to the extravagance of leaders who neglected the poor who faithfully supported them.
— Norman Edwards
(with information provided by Harry Curley)
The Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion is now up on the Web. It’s still under continuing construction. Right now the emphasis is just on providing information. You’ll find a Religious Lingo Lexicon giving short, basic definitions for terms that may be unfamiliar to the average person on the street—everything from Preterism to Pentecostal to Petra and Heresy to Hierarchy to Hermeneutics. These are the kind of words you can’t just look up in most dictionaries, as they may have very specific connotations, depending on the religious circles in which you travel.
Another section has more extensive explanations of some concepts, such as the difference between Pentecostal and Charismatic; and overviews of a number of contemporary religious movements, both Sabbatarian and non-Sabbatarian.
I’ll be adding a section soon on “Religious Urban Legends” debunking such perennial chain e-mails as the one alleging that “scientists at NASA confirmed the miracle of Joshua’s Long Day”, and the one that alleges that some representative of Proctor and Gamble appeared on a TV talk show and revealed that company profits are going to the Church of Satan.
The purpose of the website is to provide a central repository of information, documentation and commentary about the religious ideas, groups, movements and teachers of our modern world to assist readers in sorting through the conflicting claims out there in the religious marketplace. The site is aimed not at just Sabbatarian COG folks, but the general public. There are, however, sections which will no doubt attract more interest from those with a background in the COG movement because they hit “closer to home”. Yes, there are already sections on the Hebrew Roots movement and the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert Armstrong.
The website address is http://www.isitso.org/guide
— Pam Dewey
I would really love to find a volunteer who’d be interested in hyperlinking all the verses of the 32 lesson Ambassador College Correspondence Course. I can produce all the files needed and tell whoever how to do it. I just need someone with a computer who could spare a few hours each week to hyperlink the verses. If we could get a few volunteers we could knock such a project off pretty quickly.
— Roger Waite
Proclaiming the Sabbath More Fully Tape Ministry
has audio tapes of the presentations made at the last Proclaiming the Sabbath
More Fully Sabbath Conference held at Andrews University May 25–27, 2001
(see website www.andrews.edu/services/sabbathconference/2001). The conference theme was The Hebraic Roots of the Advent Faith.
If you would be interested in having these tapes please contact Candace Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speakers for the 2001 conference are in boldface, below, followed by their message title in italics.
Albert P. Wellington, PhD, Project Gamaliel, a retired psychologist with a broad academic background that includes theology, law, and philosophy, founded Project Gamaliel in 1981, and has since remained the project’s executive director. He has concurrently filled the role of both publisher and editor of Crossroads (begun originally as Project Gamaliel Newsletter), as well as its principal contributor.
Judaism/Adventism: Two Houses Divided. Is There Hope? The speaker will attempt to highlight—with the help of scriptural and historical sources of evidence—the great advantages both of these groups have been endowed with by the GOD of our Fathers, the Creator of the Universe. At the same time he will try to point out some of the reasons each remains a house divided, and why attempts at dialogue meant to remove the stumbling stones that keep them apart remain at the dream stage. In the process the speaker humbly hopes to at least begin to unveil the answer to the question posed by the subtitle.
1844 Revisited: A New Look at the Sanctuary Investigative Judgment “Doctrines”. An examination of what, in the speaker’s own opinion, has been one of the greatest contributions Adventists have made to the study of scriptural truth for our time. This remains an object of controversy among Adventists themselves, not to speak of the wider rejection or at best gross skepticism on the part of other groups in the Christian community.
Tom Stapleton, Grand Fork SDA Church, British Columbia is an electrical contractor from Canada. Married with three children, he presently serves as an Elder of the Grand Fork SDA Church of Grand Forks, BC. Reared as a Catholic he accepted the Advent faith and the Sabbath truth in 1983. Since 1990 he has studied the Biblical festivals as they relate to Adventist prophetic interpretation. His studies have resulted in discoveries of how the “daily” and the “prophetic” time periods of Daniel relate to the festal calendar.
Does the New Testament Support Festal Celebrations? The speaker will address the New Testament texts that have a bearing as to the continuity and validity of the Biblical festivals for Christians.
How the Ancient Festivals Hold the Key to Victorious Christian Living: A New Look at the Festivals of the Hebrew Economy. God blessed abundantly in the Old Testament during the festivals. This study will uncover powerful principles God established in blessing and cursing. Understanding these principles as revealed in the biblical festivals have a fundamental basis for right thinking and for making right choices. These principles when studied and practiced produce powerful results in one’s life. The speaker will share how an understanding of these sacred principles has changed his own life.
Pastor Richard A. Washington, from Inkster, Michigan, has been a pastor and evangelist in the Seventh Day Adventist Church for approximately 26 years. Currently he is the pastor of the Sharon Seventh Day Adventist Church in Inkster, Michigan. He also serves as a chaplain at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Pastor Washington is married to Carolyn Washington who specializes in herbal therapy for both the preservation of health and their remedial usage for illness. He has two adult children who are pursuing their college education.
The Hebrew Roots of the Dietary Laws in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. While the dietary practices of vegetarianism in the Seventh Day Adventist Church is admired and practiced by both Adventists and non-Adventists alike, where do we find in the Hebrew Scriptures any mandate to become vegetarians? If vegetarianism is taught from the Hebraic roots, then where can it be found? The speaker will explore both the practical and theoretical view of vegetarianism from the Biblical or Hebraic perspective.
The Hebrew Roots of the Doctrine Concerning the State of the Dead in the Seventh Day Adventist Church: A New Look at a Distinctive Fundamental Doctrine. In this symposium the speaker will discuss the state of the dead as understood in the Hebrew faith. As the Hebraic concept of this doctrine is contrasted with the Greek concept it sheds light on the resultant conflicting theologies of this doctrine in the Christian Church. The speaker will also explore how these conflicting ideologies have an impact on the eschatology of the dead.
Dr. Sidney L. Davis, Jr., Great Lakes, Illinois is a Naturopathic Physician (N.D.), a graduate of Bernadean University (Los Angeles 1975) and the Anglo-American Institute of Drugless Therapy (Scotland, UK 1977). He presently serves as a petty officer in the United States Navy where he specializes as an analyst in Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry at the Naval Dental Research Institute, Great Lakes, Illinois. Dr. Davis was ordained as a Deacon in the Shalem Seventh Day Adventist church in Waukegan, Illinois (1999). He is the president of the Bible Sabbath Association, organized in 1943 and headquartered in Fairview, Oklahoma. Dr. Davis is the principle editor of “Proclaiming The Sabbath More Fully” newsletter and research journal and the principle organizer of the annual PTSMF Sabbath conferences since 1998. In July 1999 Dr. Davis was knighted into the Honour Guard of the Imperial House of Sellassie of the Solomonic Dynasty and serves as the Commander General of the English Obedience in recognition of his ministry and service to the Ethiopian people and the African Diaspora. He is of Ethiopian ancestry.
The Hebrew Roots of Sabbath Observance as It Relates to the Observance of the Biblical Festivals in the Seventh Day Adventist Church: Proclaiming the Sabbath More Fully. Is the practice and observance of the Biblical festivals contrary to Adventism? If the Hebrew roots of the Sabbath and the festivals are the same, why do SDAs believe that Sabbath observance is okay for Christians but festival observance is for Jews only? This presentation is an “apologia” to the article Biblical Questions Answered “Reinventing Ancient Rituals?” by Angel Manuel Rodriguez that appeared in the Adventist Review, February 10, 2000 (see http://biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/Biblequestions/reinventingancientrituals.htm).
The Hebrew Roots of Women’s Ministry in the Seventh Day Adventist Church: A New Look at Women’s Ordination. The speaker will present evidence from Judaica and early Church documents that the role of women in temple and synagogue worship served to define the roles and functions of women in the early centuries of the Christian church. These findings will be compared to New Testament evidence of women’s roles with an emphasis on those New Testament texts traditionally interpreted to exclude women from the ordained ministry in the Seventh Day Adventist church.
— Sidney L. Davis, Jr
[It is good to see these Seventh Day Adventists looking to their doctrines to see exactly how supportable they are from the Bible. It would be great if all religious groups did that. It is interesting to note that some of the issues are very similar to those experienced by the Church of God groups and some are very different. For tapes, contact Candace Powers at email@example.com. — NSE]
Andrews University will host Proclaiming the Sabbath More Fully Sabbath Conference 2002 on May 17–19, 2002 in Berrien Springs, Michigan at the V.E. Garber Auditorium in Chan Shun Hall.
“He shall think to change the times and the law” (Dan 7:25).
Prophetic history shows that anti-Judaism has played as much of a role in the abandonment of the annual Holy Days as it has in the abandonment of the Sabbath. The abandonment of these Biblical institutions was due to their becoming negatively associated with the Jewish religious system. The strong anti-Judaic reason for rejecting Sabbath observance is also the fundamental reason given by early Christian writers for condemning the observance of the annual Holy Days. In both cases the “beast” power of Daniel chapter 7 did not “nail to the cross” the Holy Days and the Sabbath, rather it replaced them.
The New Testament reveals they existed and were universally observed in the early Church.
The “Christian” theology of contempt against the Jews has influenced the repudiation of Biblical institutions such as the Sabbath and the annual Holy Days. Since their abandonment various theological positions have been advanced to justify their non-observance in the Christian Church. This conference is an attempt to show the truth that God gave the weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days, not as trademarks of Judaism, but as signs of His saving plan for the whole human family. These together “proclaim the Sabbath more fully.”
This Sabbath conference will address the restoration of a biblical liturgical calendar to the Church. It is believed the implementation of such a calendar would bring more forcibly to the attention of God’s people the truths associated with the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God’s word in their native purity. It is with great hope that the study of these truths will bring great blessings upon the Church that will effect a great reformatory movement among God’s people.
“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired.” Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, page 678.
Details will follow.
—Dr. Sidney Davis, Jr. Conference Organizer
[Most CoG members would probably like to see the Sabbath and Holy Days restored to Christianity. Even though he is speaking at Andrews, a Seventh Day Adventist University, Sidney Davis is clearly departing from the standard SDA teaching which does not include the Holy Days. I am glad to see Christians everywhere ask: “What does God say?” rather than: “What does my group teach?” Why then, Does Mr. Davis feel the need to quote Ellen G. White, the deceased SDA founder? We might ask, “Why do most Church of God groups still feel the need to quote their deceased leaders?” — NSE.]
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