Front page: The Bible Sabbath Association's conference in Oklahoma: Where do we go from here?

By Dixon Cartwright

TULSA, Okla.--Members of the board of the Bible Sabbath Association met here the first weekend in November to elect or reelect candidates from among themselves, decide several other items of business and talk about where the 60-year-old association is headed.

Outgoing and incoming members of the board of the association, which exists to promote Christian Sabbath observance, met the weekend of Nov. 1 in the building owned by the Tulsa Church of God (pastored by Lawrence Gregory) for the annual face-to-face meeting of directors.

The new board consists of president Richard Nickels of Gillette, Wyo.; vice presidents Marsha Basner of Tulsa and June Narber of Raleigh, N.C.; treasurer Bryan Burrell of Fairview, Okla.; secretary John Paul Howell of Glen Burnie, Md.; Tom Justus of Springdale, Ark.; Sidney Davis of Reading, Mass.; Darrell Estep of Port Orchard, Wash.; Calvin Burrell of Houston, Texas; Ken Ryland of Mulvane, Kan.; Barbara Parada of San Salvador, El Salvador; and Earl Lewis of Neck City, Mo.

The previous board had also included Kenneth Westby of Auburn, Wash., who served as a vice president; Daniel Botkin of East Peoria, Ill.; Mike Galimore of Spence, Ind.; and John Conrod of Lakewood, Colo.

In a voice vote the board members present at the Tulsa meeting named Mr. Westby, who had declined to run in the recent election, as "director emeritus" of the board.

In other board business, Mr. Westby announced the election at the beginning of the meetings of Mr. Nickels as new BSA president. Mr. Nickels then presided over the election of the other officers (see the above list).

Expanding the membership

During the meetings the directors decided to expand the benefits of BSA personal memberships (at $25 per year) to include one free book and 100 copies of several BSA tracts.

The board agreed to establish a special fund for donations to the affiliated Nigerian Bible Sabbath Association to help pay for travel and the printing of literature for Nigerian members.

The board decided to apply for booth space at the 2005 general conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Louis, Mo., which will cost $700.

Scholarship funds

Board members agreed to set up two scholarship funds for college-age applicants, one for English speakers and another for applicants who do not speak English as their first language. The BSA has awarded scholarships for several years but only through a competition conducted entirely in English.

The board discussed at length the BSA's Web site ( Mr. Howell, a board member and Webmaster, plans to produce an online address database and credit-card-based ordering system by June 2004.

The board decided to form a committee to help plan issues of and articles for The Sabbath Sentinel, the BSA's monthly magazine. The editor, who will chair the new committee, is board member Ken Ryland.

BSA history

The BSA traces its history to 1943 in Fairview, Okla., when a few Sabbath-keepers of various beliefs and affiliations joined forces to promote Sabbath observance among Christians.

The home office is still in Fairview, where board member Bryan Burrell lives, although the mailing address is in Wyoming, where Mr. Nickels lives.

The present-day BSA has branches in the United States, Nigeria and Australia.

The BSA's Web site lists five purposes of the association:

o To promote fellowship and cooperation among Sabbath-keepers of various groups.

o To promote Sabbath observance on a nondenominational basis.

o To restore respect and honor for the Ten Commandments as a whole, with emphasis on the fourth (the Sabbath command).

o To encourage the repeal of laws that enforce the keeping of Sunday or any other day by any entity of man's government.

o To defeat the adoption of any calendar that would disrupt the seven-day weekly cycle.

Write the Bible Sabbath Association at Mr. Nickels' address, 3316 Alberta Dr., Gillette, Wyo. 82718, U.S.A., or . Or call toll-free (888) 687-5191.

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