Conference Includes a Kick Off for Southeastern District’s 300th Anniversary Celebration

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 10, 2007

The Southeastern District Conference was held on July 27-29 at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C. Moderator Donna Shumate called the conference together as the delegate body met with 96 delegates. There were 33 churches represented.

The delegates heard reports on Friday afternoon. Guest speaker Dennis Webb, pastor of Naperville (Ill.) Church of the Brethren, brought the message on Friday evening from Ezekiel 37:1-14, “Can These Dry Bones Live?” Saturday morning’s message by moderator Donna Shumate was from Matthew 14:29, “Walking on Water.”

In new business, the delegates approved closing two Bible Study Projects that were started in 2005, and approved a new Hispanic Bible Study Project for downtown Asheville, N.C., with sponsoring church HIS Way Fellowship Church of the Brethren/Eglesia Jesucristo El Camino, in Hendersonville, N.C. Carol Yeazell, a member of HIS Way, told the conference how the Bible Study Project is already sharing Christ with 27 individuals with regular attendance.

The conference also approved and celebrated the Hispanic HIS Way Fellowship moving to “church” status. Several members from the congregation attended the conference in support of their church, and also brought special music. The delegate body and others in attendance shared their support with a standing ovation for a time of celebration, and pastor Raul Gonzalez expressed the congregation’s appreciation for the district support.

In other business, a 2008 budget of $81,748 was approved. Pastor Jeff Jones from Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren in Knoxville, Tenn., was called as moderator-elect. Pastor Wallace Cole of First Church of the Brethren in Mount Airy, N.C., was selected as district representative to the Church of the Brethren General Board. Proceeds from the Quilt Auction went to the district’s Ministry Assistance Fund.

Jeremy Dykes, who will serve as district moderator for 2008, announced the theme “Come, Holy Spirit” based on Acts 1:4-8 for the 300th anniversary year of the Church of the Brethren. After the business session closed Saturday afternoon, the district held its kick-off celebration for the upcoming 300th anniversary. Several people attended in “old Brethren dress,” with Shirley Spire and Pete Roudebush acknowledged for their old Brethren style. The children played several old-fashioned games, and the adults had a time to visit with Ruell Pritchett’s granddaughter. Old quilts from past conferences were on display along with early history information concerning meetings and events held in Southeastern District.

The district’s Youth Heritage Team of Rebecca Thomas and Jennifer Stacy also shared with the delegate body concerning their training. After the worship service held by the youth, everyone enjoyed a time of ice cream and cake.

For the final worship service of the conference on Sunday, Dennis Webb based his message on Matthew 14:29. A time of feetwashing and the Bread and Cup closed the conference.

–Martha June Roudebush is co-executive minister for Southern District.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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