On Sunday, October 16th, 600 plus delegates met in the Metropolitan Activity Center at the Metropolitan SDA Church in Hyattsville, Maryland for the Second Quinquennial Session of the Allegheny East Conference.
The theme was “More Than Conquerors”, and the emphasis was on all of the unprecedented things that the Allegheny East Conference had faced of late-the tragic loss of the sitting and much loved President, the late Elder Henry J. Fordham and his wife, Mrs. Sharon Fordham and an unprecedented world-wide pandemic, which closed down the Conference offices, the churches and schools of Allegheny East-to name two. But-the delegates were reminded throughout the day-through Christ, they were “more than conquerors”.
The day began with a stirring devotional from Elder Roger Bernard, President, Central States and the President of the Regional Presidents Council. The delegates then proceeded with the business of the day.
Shortly before lunch, the delegates were presented with a partial report from the Nominating Committee. But a motion was made to refer the original recommendation back to the Nominating Committee-a not uncommon practice of late.
While the delegates were served box lunches, the Nominating Committee reconvened and returned after approximately 2 hours of deliberations with their original recommendation for Conference President-Dr. Marcellas T. Robinson. Dr. Robinson has served as a Pastor and departmental leader in the Allegheny East Conference and was serving for the second time as Vice President for Administration.
As is the case with many conferences, Allegheny East had switched that morning to an electronic voting device, so the votes were quickly tabulated and the delegates affirmed the recommendation of the Nominating Committee.
Dr. Robinson thanked the delegates and also thanked outgoing President, Elder Pete Palmer. He and his wife, Mrs. Dahlia Palmer, received a standing ovation as a demonstration of the delegate’s appreciation of their service at a time of maximum challenge for Allegheny East.
The delegates then turned to the other administrative positions in Allegheny East-the Vice Presidents of Administration and Finance, respectively. The delegates affirmed the Nominating Committee’s recommendation of Elder Gary Wimbish, Pastor of the Columbia Community Center SDA Church, for Vice President of Administration.
Pastor Wimbish began his ministry in the Allegheny West Conference in 1974. Subsequently, he has served as a Pastor in the Southeastern California Conference and in academia-including at Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) and as a Law School Dean.
The delegates overwhelmingly returned long-time Vice President for Finance, Elder Lawrance Martin, to another term in that position.
Here are the other departmental directors that were voted on Sunday:
Elder Patrick Graham-Children and Youth
Mrs. Cynthia Poole-Women’s Ministries
Elder Jackson Doggette, Jr.-Religious Liberty
Dr. David Defoe-Relationship Ministries
Dr. Gene Donaldson-Ministerial
Mrs. Tasha Hewitt-Communications
Dr. Anthony Medley-Health
Elder Robert Smith-Community Services
May the Lord bless, lead and guide Dr. Robinson and the Allegheny East team.