After a two-year hiatus from regular in-person convocations, the 42nd annual Arizona Conference Black Ministries Convocation was a smashing success,” declared Tucson Sharon church Pastor Jonathan Smith.
Held at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church—the oldest African American church in Arizona—the two-day event featured Pastor Alexis Madrid from Florida and Southwestern Union Conference Executive Secretary Stephen Brooks, along with several musical artists.
The theme of the gathering was “So Where Do We Go From Here?” which is an appropriate question for churches to ask these days. “With the global impact of COVID-19, the rising fear of political uncertainty, and the mounting threat of civil and religious unrest, many are left with this question,” said Phoenix South Mountain church Pastor Russel Lewars.
Delivering the Friday evening message, Madrid entreated both the in-person and online audiences to go forward by faith in these uncertain times. Using an analogy about a couple who purchased land for a home for a family they didn’t have yet, Madrid declared to the audience, “Go and buy a field!”
“Sabbath morning felt like a good old Adventist revival,” said Smith, commenting on Brooks’ powerful sermon and call, which was backed up by the keyboardist.
The 200-plus people in attendance were treated to a delicious meal after the Sabbath morning service. Due to the size of the group, the meal was served at both the host site as well as down the street at the Tucson Sharon church. The afternoon program featured more music and another compelling message from Madrid.
“The Black Ministries Convocation was a phenomenal experience and was inspiring and impactful,” commented Lewars. “The spiritual experience renewed and reinvigorated faith in God’s moving over His people, especially coming out of a pandemic.”
Smith jokingly chided fellow Arizona Conference church members: “If you missed convocation this year, shame on you.” He continued, “Though it is a coming together of all the Black churches in the Arizona Conference, all are invited.”
The next annual Black Ministries Convocation is scheduled for Nov. 10-11, 2023, and will be held in the Phoenix area.
By Jeff Rogers