On April 7, the Office for Regional Conference Ministries, the Regional Conference Retirement Plan and the Charles and Etta Dudley Foundation will dedicate the new monument in the front of the new Regional Conference headquarters-the Charles E. Dudley, Sr., Center for Regional Conference Ministries.
The Dudley Center is on the campus of Oakwood University, in Huntsville, Alabama, and opened in October of last year.
The statue is entitled “What Meaneth These Stones?” The title comes from Joshua 4:6, and comes from the story of the children of Israel passing over the Jordan River and entering the Promised Land. The Lord miraculously opened up the Jordan River for the children of Israel. When they passed over safely on the other side, Joshua directed that an altar of 12 stones be erected as a memorial of the miracle.
He said that in the future when their children would see the altar and asked “What do these stones mean?”, that the Israelites would relate the miraculous way that God has opened up the Jordan River, and the story would never be lost.
The statue depicts Elder and Mrs. Dudley and a small child, with Elder Dudley explaining to the child that “these stones”–the two story, 32,000 square foot, Dudley Center–tell the 80 year story of how God has led the Regional Conferences of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The sculptor for the statue is Professor Pamela Sue Keller, Professor of Art and Chairperson of the Visual and Performing Arts at Athens State University. Professor Keller visited the site several times during the construction of the Dudley Building.
Though she is not a Seventh-day Adventist, when the statue was delivered, she, her husband and grandson toured the Dudley Center. They met Breath of Life Speaker-Director and Oakwood University Senior Pastor, Elder Debleaire Snell, with whom she had become acquainted by listening to Breath of Life.
The Dudley Foundation is a philanthropic organization started by the South Central Conference. It resulted out of the vision of the late South Central Pastor and Oakwood University Professor, Dr. G. Russel Seayl, who wanted to memorialize the enormous contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church of the late Elder and Mrs. Charles E. Dudley. Elder Dudley served as President of the South Central Conference from 1962-1993.