Exactly two years after an electrical fire in April 2016 that forced the Office for Regional Conference Ministry (ORCM) to vacate its small office building on the campus of Oakwood University, the ORCM held a dedication service for its brand new office suite on Thursday, April 29, 2018.
ORCM had occupied its original office building since 1996, but after the fire, the ORCM operated temporarily from the Oakwood Industries building that also houses the Oakwood University radio station, WJOU, among other OU entities. Thankfully, in November 2017, ORCM moved into a new 3,000 square foot facility, located on Millennial Drive, the road that leads directly into the campus through the Oakwood West Gate entrance.
“Many people don’t realize that this building is the headquarters of the regional conference work,” said Dana Edmond, director of ORCM. “I wanted the board members to see this space, but I also want them to get the vision for something greater…a facility that houses ALL of our offices: Breath of Life, Regional Voice, RCRP, ORCM, and Message Magazine.”
The ORCM Board Meeting and the Regional Conference Retirement Plan (RCRP) Board Meeting are both held annually on the Thursday of Oakwood’s Alumni Weekend, so this was an opportune time to host the officers that comprise the two boards, in a tour of the new facility.
Despite pouring rain, two small buses brought approximately 25 guests from their meeting location at the Bradford Brooks Cleveland Leadership Center, to the new office. Edmond led the Regional Conference Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers into the conference room where they gathered along the walls of the room and viewed a live demonstration of the video conferencing feature. Following the brief demonstration, president of South Central Conference, Elder Benjamin Jones, offered a prayer of dedication for the space.
After the prayer, the guests were divided into two groups and given a guided tour of the facility’s five offices, lobby area, workroom, breakroom, storage room, storm shelter, and conference room, by Elaine Allston, Assistant Director of ORCM and RCRP and Jo Ann Bushner, Administrative Assistant for ORCM and RCRP.
“The major benefit of this new location is that we have more space,” said Allston, who has worked for ORCM since 2007. “We even have a guest office for our board members to use when they are in Huntsville, to conduct interviews or use as a workspace.”
“Our team did an excellent job with decorating the space, so the response to the open house was very positive,” said Edmond. “But the ultimate goal is to build a facility on the OU campus that properly represents who we are as regional constituents—and who God is.
By Gianna Snell. A photojournalist who lives and works in Huntsville, Alabama.