…well, the short answer is because the Steering Committee ignored my counsel….Not true! Austin is one of the most gifted young pastors today, and he’s doing incredible work in Raleigh, North Carolina…and his wife Ja’Lissa is his super power, I might add.
But as much as we anticipate his message, Austin is actually not the point of this post. The PELC selection process is. This time of year we get flooded with last minute questions and requests to present. How and when do we decide who preaches, or teaches, or sings at PELC? Periodically, I like to walk through the selection process.
PELC Steering Committee
I’ll never forget the first time I was invited to preach at PELC, then Evangelism Council. I was shaking hands with the late Elder E.E. Cleveland after one of his messages and he said, “Young man, I want you to open up for us this year.” That was it. It wasn’t a question. It was a command. He was the committee! I loved Dr. Cleveland, but it doesn’t work quite like that today.
The PELC steering committee is made up of approximately 30 members. They include the Ministerial Director of the North American Division, the Ministerial Director of the Southern Union, and Ministerial Directors from the Regional conferences. There are representatives for the Pacific Union, Hispanic caucus, Clergy spouses, and a large number of pastoral representatives from across the country. The most effective way to present at PELC is to have a talk with your Ministerial Director or any of the other members of the committee. Their names are regularly listed in our bulletins.
In January or early February of each year, the committee gathers in personto spend a few days selecting the theme and planning the conference. From there we meet online the first Monday of each month.
Once the theme has been selected, it influences the decisions we makefrom plenaries to preachers to presenters. The theme is the primary reason that some great presentations or preachers are not included in a particular year. It’s not personal. More often than not, it’s the theme. The theme for PELC 23 is “ Change! Expanding minds, Engaging generations. Enhancing ministries.
December 3-4 will be the 44th gathering of PELC/Evangelism Council. It is the largest and longest running conference of its kind in the Adventist Church. Religious leaders from as far away as Fiji and South Africa will be meeting on the campus of Oakwood University for training, motivation, and inspiration. Our special guest preacher on Monday night will be Dr. Gina Stewart, Senior Pastor of the Christ Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis Tennessee and the President of the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Society. Dr. James Doggette Sr. of Orlando, Florida will open on Sundayand President Roger Bernard of Central States is our Tuesday night speaker.
PELC Music and Worship
Music has always been central to the PELC experience. This year we celebrate the 10th year of Damian Chandler and our Praise Team with a music conference called The Gathering. Musical guests will be Gale Jones Murphy, Stephen Manders and Decree, Sunday’s Best winner-Melvyn Crispell III, and Stellar Award winner-Lena Byrd Miles. The Gathering kicks off Friday night, December 1, with a Celebration of Hymns at First Church.
On Sunday morning, December 3 there will be 3 hour workshops for Local Elders and Bible Workers. The Awards Service will be honoring Norman Miles, Trevor and Edith Frazier, T. Marshall Kelly and others at 6 pm, and the conference officially starts at 7. And this year the special guest for our Hispanic Caucus will be the popular Jose Rojas.
You can enjoy PELC 2023 in person or virtually, so register today at pelcpower.com.