CGOM-conference delegate lauds change in association's direction

By John Warren

TULSA, Okla.--This year's conference of the Churches of God Outreach Ministries was "positive and uplifting," said Tom Justus, a pastor of the Church of God 7th/Sabbath Day, Springdale, Ark. The congregation Mr. Justus helps pastor is not part of CGOM. His association with CGOM is a "personal" one, he said, and he has been a critic of CGOM in the recent past.

The conference took place for two days in Tulsa beginning Friday, March 9.

Mr. Justus has been associated off and on with CGOM since its inception when he resigned from the board of directors of the Church of God International in 1996.

Some CGI elders attended a meeting Mr. Justus called in Dallas, Texas, that year and ended up forming an association of independent congregations, the CGOM.

The theme of the conference this year, organized by Lawrence Gregory, pastor of the Tulsa Church of God, was "Learning to Serve and Help," Mr. Justus told The Journal March 14.

"We are still struggling to find the right way to do things, but we are going in the right direction," he said.

Mr. Justus thinks CGOM shifted from its original focus on service toward a "major effort to preach the gospel." But he is happy the association is getting back to being a service organization and leaving the preaching of the gospel to individual Christians and congregations.

Mr. Justus said he is glad this year's conference decided to cut down on the number of committees and limit individuals to serving on only one committee each and decreasing committees' size.

He also likes having Julian Cruz, a pastor from San Antonio, Texas, as committee coordinator.

"I refuse to be a part of any association that meets in closed board meetings," Mr. Justus said. "I was very happy that all the meetings were open to everyone in attendance."

More on the Tulsa conference is planned for another issue of The Journal.

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