Monday, September 9, 2013

Lebanon Hispanic

Two Sabbath's ago, my wife joined me, as did Doug Hilliard and Elder Steve Rose, at the celebration marking the first Sabbath for the Lebanon Hispanic congregation to be in their newly acquired facility - the former Laguardo Baptist Church -  on Hwy 109, just south of Gallatin, and north of Lebanon. There were as many as 300 in attendance with many coming from area churches to join in the festivities.

I spoke a few minutes ago with our Lebanon pastor, Elder Nathan Dilema, who tells me that in moving to this new location, the congregation has added almost forty new members who are living in the Gallatin area.  This swells the congregation to over 100 members in attendance and he believes, that in a years time, they will add as many as 30 more members through evangelism.

The journey to purchasing this building was not easy and included not only complex  financial negotiations, but dialog with the Presbyterian congregation who own property adjacent to the church.  Of concern was the Presbyterian's refusal to allow our congregation to use the drive way or the parking area that is owned by the Presbyterians, but for many years, was used by the Laguardo Baptist's for accessing their parking lot, and providing much needed parking. Without the drive way access and parking area, our congregation faced some expensive and challenging issues to accommodate our guests and members  need to safely access the grounds and have adequate parking.

Just before we took occupancy of the building, this issue was resolved through the best and most preferred means, by a simple appeal on the part of the Lebanon Hispanic head elder, who approached a few of the Presbyterian members one Sunday morning and asked if they would re-consider their opposition . . and praise the Lord . . . they did!

Here are a couple of pictures of the Sabbath service including former district pastor Elder Marco Barerra who was present having traveled all the way from Bogata, Columbia. The third picture is of my daughter, Carissa, hugging her little brother, Christopher, after he had moved into his dorm room to begin his freshman year at Highland Academy. The last picture is of the memorial service held last Sabbath at the Georgia Cumberland Academy Church honoring Eleanor Juhl, mother of Chris Juhl.

I'll share some more news in my September edition of Haley Comments but we're pleased to have good enrollments at our two constituent academy schools and also, some strong numbers at several of our larger elementaries.

A news note of interest:
It was a tragic even horrible event when Suzanne York lost her life while sitting at her desk at Memphis Jr. Academy one morning in August of 2011. On September 3, her assailant, Eduardo Mamalejo, in a plea agreement, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

I'll be sending out my e-newsletter with more updates soon; I'm on my way Wednesday to Orlando for the fall Adventist Health Systems board meeting, then by the weekend, will be in the North West for an event which will include some vacation, including a few days touring Alaska, where I have never visited, but understand is one of God's stunning masterpieces of nature.
We should have our new conference web-site up and running in a few days, and it will be great!

Saying Goodbye and Good luck
Lebanon Hispanic Celebration Sabbath

Pastor Marco Barerra former Pastor
now retired in Columbia.
Juhl Memorial Service

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