Front page: Church of God Big Sandy board appoints new president

By Dixon Cartwright

BIG SANDY, Texas--The board of trustees of the Church of God Big Sandy named a new board president, Karl Wilson of Tyler, Texas, Aug. 5. Mr. Wilson is the board's third president.

The action comes a few weeks after the congregation sent three incumbents--Wayne Weese of Big Sandy, Mr. Wilson and outgoing president John Warren of Big Sandy--back to the seven-member board in its annual general election.

The board, as specified in the congregation's bylaws, selects officers once a year from the seven trustees. The congregation directly elects the board members in binding annual elections.

Mr. Warren, who had served as president for 3 1/2 years, asked not to be considered for reelection as president for the new term.

Mr. Weese nominated Mr. Wilson as president, and the board voted 6-0 with one abstention (Mr. Wilson) for Mr. Wilson.

The board selected board member Wynn Skelton of White Oak, Texas, as vice president, replacing Mr. Wilson, and returned Don Walls of Gladewater as secretary and Don Mischnick of Hawkins, Texas, as treasurer. The men had held their offices for two years and 31/2 years, respectively.

Mr. Warren said he declined to stand for president because the rotating of a group's leadership is "healthy."

"I do not think it is healthy for individuals to get entrenched in church-leadership positions," he said. "It seems to be so easy for men to think they have a special calling from God. We need to realize all the churches either have self-appointed leaders or leadership chosen by other men."

The bylaws direct that the president preside at board meetings and be responsible for "the general and active daily operation" of the church corporation.

"I'm happy we have been able to host multiple Feast sites," Mr. Warren said. "From a board point of view, I am happy that I never had to call a closed session."

Mr. Warren said he is also happy the congregation could retire the mortgage on the church building during his tenure. The building went up in 1998; the congregation paid off the 7 1/2-year mortgage in 2 1/2 years by January 2001.

The building is conservatively valued at $750,000, even though the congregation paid only $450,000 for it, said Mr. Mischnick, thanks in part to donated materials and labor.

The Big Sandy congregation differs from quite a few other Church of God congregations in that the pastor is neither president of the board nor even a board member, although the board delegates to him responsibilities for directing the day-to-day operations of the congregation's formal ministry including Sabbath and feast services.

"We are happy to have such an outstanding board serving the local congregation," said Mr. Havir. "The good news is we have many other qualified people who would also do a fine job serving on the board."

The congregation is informally affiliated with many other congregations in the United States and this year is host or cohost of Feast of Tabernacles sites in Angel Fire, N.M.; Big Sandy; Destin, Fla.; and Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

It meets at 1106 W. Broadway (Highway 80) in Big Sandy each Sabbath at 1 p.m.

The August 2002 issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

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