CGOM sponsors conference, plans two more Feast sites

By John Warren

WAGONER, Okla.--The Churches of God Outreach Ministries returned to Western Hills Resort in Sequoyah State Park again this year for the annual conference for elders and stewards (nonordained leaders of congregations). This year's conference was March 5-7.

The conference began with meetings on Friday evening that helped to finalize the conference agenda.

On Saturday the conference meetings began at 8 a.m. with the addition of elder John Currier of Arlington, Texas, to the voting membership of the CGOM. The morning session recessed at 10 to allow time for participants to prepare for Sabbath services at 1:30.

The first sermon was brought by James McBride of Lincoln, England: "What Divides God's People?"

Charles Pope of Midwest City, Okla., sang for special music, followed by the second sermon, by Lawrence Gregory of the Tulsa Church of God. His sermon was"The Church: Weak but Glorious."

After Sabbath services the conference convened again with presentations about the CGOM Web site on the Internet and its many uses and possibilities.

The five committees of the association were dissolved of their members and new members and chairmen were selected.

Four men were reelected as chairmen: Bill Fowler of Wichita, Kan., chairman of the liaison committee; Mr. McBride, chairman of the doctrinal committee; Pat Dennis of Coffeyville, Kan., chairman of the evangelism committee; and Ian Hufton of Hawkins, Texas, chairman of the membership committee.

One outgoing chairman, Les Pope of Oklahoma City, did not run for reelection. The delegates voted as his replacement Bill Faith of St. Louis, Mo., new chairman of the budget committee.

The conference approved two new U.S. Feast sites: one at Marina Beach in Missouri near the Lake of the Ozarks and one at Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Bill Fowler, elder from Wichita, Kan., and Frank Marang of Coffeyville, Kan., will coordinate Marina Beach. Jim Ussery of Little Rock, Ark., and Mr. Hufton will coordinate the Florida site.

Other CGOM Feast sites are in Canada and England.

On Sunday Alfred Harrell, founder of Christian Leadership Academy, Hot Springs, Ark., gave a presentation on what the CLA is and how the CGOM could assist in preaching the gospel through CLA-sponsored campaigns. Dr. Harrell has presented campaigns in five cities, with another scheduled for April 27 in Tulsa.

A hot topic of the conference was a paper presented to the doctrinal committee, chaired by Mr. McBride, on the role of women in the church.

The committee will review the paper before it is presented to the members of the conference.

Conference delegates commented that the CGOM can accomplish much with its new Web site, which will help elders and stewards communicate with each other and allow for many issues to be addressed during the year instead of waiting for the once-a-year conference.

Many participants voiced their appreciation for the annual conference and that it fills them with renewed enthusiasm.

"This is a highlight of my heart," commented elder Jeff Henderson of San Francisco, Calif.

The conference adjourned at 11:30 on Sunday morning, March 7.

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