By Carl Stagner
With the retirement of Servant Solutions’ Jeff Jenness and Children of Promise’s Paul Maxfield later this year, Convention 2019 was again an opportunity to celebrate the past. With the selection of new leaders to carry on the mantles of these ministries, and with the commissioning of missionaries Nate and Stacy Tatman, Convention 2019 also celebrated even more indications of a bright future for the Church of God. Special moments were set aside on the Convention 2019 and General Assembly schedule to mark these milestones.
Church of God Convention has long been a connecting point in time where a wide cross-section of the movement has come together to mark important milestones. Such milestones have included the celebration of retiring pillars of the faith, the recognition of new leadership among the various partner ministries of the church, and the commissioning of missionaries. Calling attention to notable transitions like these always gives the Church of God pause to reflect on what God has done, and observe that he continues to do great and wonderful things in the midst of his people. Immediately following the evening main session on Friday, June 24, a joint agency retirement reception honored both Jeff Jenness and Paul Maxfield.
Late in the evening on Friday, in the Servant Solutions Sabal Ballroom of the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida, Convention attendees showed Jeff and Paul how much we’ve been blessed by their ministry leadership over the years—twenty-six years for Jeff and sixteen for Paul. Memorabilia display tables were set up in advance to recount the accomplishments and demonstrate the heart of each leader for their respective God-ordained roles. Board chairs for each agency were on hand to deliver special presentations as multimedia imagery will augmented the reflective and celebrative tone of the evening. In a glimpse of what’s to come, those called to succeed these Church of God heroes were also recognized: Jim O’Bold for Servant Solutions, and Mike and Heather Webb for Children of Promise. They were each recognized in the General Assembly, as well.
The anticipation for the future doesn’t stop with O’Bold and the Webbs. Saturday night’s main session shone the spotlight on God’s activity in Europe and the Middle East with the commissioning of Nate and Stacy Tatman. As associate regional coordinators, their role will continue to strengthen the already dynamic work of the Church of God taking place in the region. A highlight for convention attendees every year, this missionary commissioning was especially fitting for a gathering with an especially global emphasis.
During Saturday morning’s main session, there was also a special moment set aside to honor our ministers who went on to be with the Lord over the past couple of years. Even as we mourned these losses, we celebrated the multitudes of new ministers accepting and pursuing the call. A powerful prayer of blessing offered by the new General Assembly chair, Tim Clarke, was spoken over all newly ordained ministers present during the special service.
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