In 2013 we celebrate one hundred years of the restoration of water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. While this teaching is biblical and has been practiced throughout church history, it was renewed in the modern Pentecostal movement through the Worldwide Camp Meeting in Arroyo Seco near Los Angeles in April 1913, culminating in the rebaptisms of Frank Ewart and Glenn Cook in April 1914. Throughout 2013 our fellowship will celebrate 100 Years of the Jesus Name Message. We are also encouraging districts to plan special events in 2014 as we follow up with Celebrate the Name 2014. Some of these events will be planned in conjunction with other Apostolic organizations who participate in the annual Apostolic Fellowship Summit.
Thirty Days of Prayer
Let’s enter the new year with special prayer. The World Network of Prayer has developed a prayer guide for January 1-30, 2013, available at 30 Days of Prayer 2013. The first seven days also include an emphasis on fasting. When Apostolic people unite in the name of Jesus, our prayer is powerful and productive. I urge every pastor, saint, and church to link together for thirty days of focused prayer.
The revised format of General Conference was a great success, and we are incorporating many constructive ideas from our recent survey of conference attendees. Our next General Conference will be held in St. Louis on October 1-4, 2013, beginning Tuesday night and ending Friday night. The ministers business session will take place on Wednesday and the closed ministers session on Thursday. The iChurch sessions will be expanded on Thursday and Friday. The theme of the conference is “In the Name.” To enhance the General Conference experience, we are endeavoring to bring more vendors to our exhibit area. To help us understand the needs of your church or area of ministry, please fill out a survey by clicking here.
As a cooperative efforts of all divisions, in 2013 we will launch a savings plan to enable youth to participate in short-term missions trips and assignments. The Stewardship Department will develop an investment vehicle. Parents, grandparents, and youth will be able to save towards a Youth on Missions trip, a North American Missions trip, an Associates in Missions assignment, and other service opportunities.
The motel on our headquarters property is now in the process of demolition. In recent years, it had become unprofitable, a security risk, and a potential liability as well as needing substantial repairs in the future. The property will be used for parking and green space, and we will no longer pay property tax.
Recommendations from Consultant
This year we engaged in a review of all operations at World Evangelism Center (WEC), hiring Collaborative Strategies, Inc. as a consultant. CSI interviewed over 100 UPCI employees, executives, former executives, district officials, and pastors and analyzed our business processes. From this evaluation came six major recommendations, which we are implementing as described below.
1. Chief Administrative Officer
The Executive Board has appointed Billy Babb as chief administrative officer, effective January 1. The CAO will oversee and coordinate operations at WEC, reporting to the general superintendent and general secretary. Bro. Babb is currently the administrator of the Pentecostal Publishing House, which he restructured and which in 2011 returned to profitability for the first time in 10 years. Before coming to WEC, he was an executive in the telecommunications industry. His replacement at PPH will be Mark Blackburn. By reorganizing some of our work, we are able to make these personnel changes at no additional cost to WEC.
2. Centralized Accounting
Beginning January 1, we are centralizing accounts payable, accounts receivable, and related functions under our Accounting Department. This change will enable us to be more efficient, implement standard policies and procedures, and fulfill recommendations of our outside auditor.
3. Information Technology
Beginning January 1, we will begin the implementation of a new solution for Information Technology. To maintain functionality we have urgently needed to upgrade our software for several years. Now we are in a position financially to move forward, and we are able to take advantage of new IT options to solve existing problems and enhance our effectiveness.
4. Family Ministries Council
We have established this council to coordinate the work of five divisions at WEC: Sunday School, Youth, Ladies, Men, and Education. It is chaired by the general secretary and will address four major needs: (a) interdivisional communication and coordination, (b) areas that overlap or fall between divisional mandates, (c) joint projects, and (d) ministry to families.
5. Communications Council
This council consists of the promotional representatives from the divisions, and it is chaired by the general secretary. It will address four major needs: (a) coordination of communications from WEC with the goal of developing a common “brand,” (b) public relations needs, (c) information on the UPCI website, and (d) a monthly email to our constituency to highlight the work of the various divisions.
6. Human Resources
We will address the needs in this area at a later time. Initially we will rely upon a consultant.
Sincerely in Christ,
David K. Bernard
(Reverend David K. Bernard is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International.)
The most effective method of planting new churches is for existing churches to establish daughter works and preaching points, because this approach provides for oversight, mentoring, accountability, spiritual and logistical support, and unlimited ability to reproduce.
In the past, we have relied primarily upon an entrepreneurial, pioneer model that has been effective in many ways but can sometimes result in isolation, kingdom building, turf protection, lack of accountability, and abuse of authority.
Today, however, there is a greater need for a team model of planting many churches in an area so that diverse ministries can reach more people. Such an approach might resemble that of a business such as McDonalds or Starbucks that seeks to increase its outlets. By multiplying locations, the company increases exposure, name recognition, and desire for what it offers. It thereby grows its customer base and benefits all its stores.
(Reverend David K. Bernard is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International.)
Last night Brother Scotty Slaydon, Director of Compassion Services for the UPCI, was able to speak with the UPCI SMART Team as they were assembled at our compound in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Yesterday they purchased some $3,000.00 worth of basic food items and water which were loaded into a 30 passenger bus for land transport to Haiti. There is a man in the church there who is a government official and he has taken care of the border crossing for them. Thank the Lord!
Here is his report:
This morning at 7:26 the team texted me to say they were departing for Haiti. Let’s keep them in our prayers. The news is reporting that because of the desperate situation there are gangs attacking the convoys for food. On a good day Haiti is pretty wild and I cannot imagine what it must be like now.
This morning the UPCI sent several Med-Packs and boxes of medical supplies to Med Express in Alexandria, LA for shipment to Haiti next week. A big thank you to Cherry Air and Med Express for making this happen!
In the coming weeks we will send medical teams and probably construction teams to Haiti. If you are interested in participating in these trips, please monitor our website http://www.compassionservices.org for upcoming information there.
We are getting inundated with phone calls, text messages and emails from people wanting to help with the Haiti relief effort so let me list some ways that you can help.
1. Pray for the people of Haiti, the SMART team and everyone involved in the relief effort.
2. Spread the word to everyone you know to get involved on some level.
3. Give – via www.compassionservices.org or send a check to CSI/Haiti 8855 Dunn Road, Hazelwood, MO 63042
4. Gallon Ziploc bags (personal care kits) – You can fill these with the items below. (This is a good project for a school or Sunday School class). 1 toothbrush, 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 bar of soap, 1 small wash cloth, 1 pack of matches, 1 small hand sanitizer, 1 pack of chewing gum, 1 package of sweetened Kool- Aid, 1 small bottle of aspirin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, etc., 1 tube of antibiotic cream, 1 tube of anti-fungal cream, 1 pack of disposable wipes
5. Five Gallon buckets (for families) – You can fill these with the following items. 1-3 toothbrushes, 1 tube of toothpaste, 1-2 bars of soap, 1 tube of antibiotic cream, 1 tube of anti- fungal cream, 1 pack of disposable wipes, 1-5 packages of sweetened Kool-Aid, 1 small bottle of cooking oil, 1-2 bags of rice, 1-2 bags of dried beans, pasta, Raman Noodles, 1-2 packs of matches, candles (plain white), hand towel, bath towel, pack of gum, candy for kids (not chocolate), hand sanitizer, beef jerky
6. Donate supplies for the medical teams. Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Betadine, Hydrogen Peroxide, Syringes for ear cleaning, Cold Medicine – Adult and Child, Cough Syrup – Adult and Child, Alka-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol, Band-Aids (latex free if possible), Rubber gloves (latex free if possible), Ace bandages, Gauze – Rolls or squares, Medical tape, Triple antibiotic ointment, Vitamins – Adult and Child, Imodium AD, Hand sanitizer, Wet wipes
Please write “CSI” in permanent marker on the Ziploc bags and five gallon buckets and ship these along with medical supplies to the following address — Med Express Ambulance Service, Inc · 7525 Hwy 71 · Alexandria, LA 71302 · Attn CSI Haiti Relief
Thank you for praying and for responding with donations of money, medical supplies, and personal care kits.
(Reverend David K. Bernard is the General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International. Reverend Scotty Slaydon is the Director of Compassion Services)
From Haiti Relief Effort
Rev. Jack Cunningham
Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
This morning I received the following update from Brother Carlton L. Coon Sr., UPCI General Home Missions Director. He received from Rev. John F. Hopkins, Director to Central America/Caribbean, on the current status in Haiti.
Please partner with us in responding to Brother Hopkins request.admin upcphils.org
Slideshows of the aftermath of earthquake in Haiti.
The United Pentecostal Church International of Haiti is comprised of 56,000 constituents, 764 ministers and 586 churches and preaching points. We have thousands of saints that live in and around the Port-au-Prince area where the earthquake did the most severe damage. Our Haitian brothers and sisters in the Lord are hurting and NOW is the time for us all to be FIRST RESPONDERS in their time of need.
Certainly we must respond with our prayers, however we must also follow the biblical mandate to extend our hand to our brothers in need through a tremendous outpouring of financial aid to relieve the suffering of our Haitian ministers and saints. No amount is too small at this time! Please go to: www.compassionservices.com and make a donation TODAY.
Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere. Even in the best of times it has almost no infrastructure to help the millions of Haitians living in abject poverty. NOW is the time for the church to RESPOND with love and compassion for our real flesh and blood brothers in Christ. Your offering will be used to alleviate the suffering of UPCI ministers and saints. Please donate today!
Let’s continue to pray for the team of first responders that will be entering Haiti to assess the situation of our ministers and saints. We know that there will be great testimonies of God’s protection, but we are also keenly aware that there will be stories of loss and pain. Please pray for Bro. Ron Brian, our Missionary to Haiti; Bro. Mark Hattabaugh; Bro. Danny Wilkerson; Bro. Toby Brazzel and Bro. Steve Shirley as they make initial contact with our leadership in Haiti. They are traveling to the Dominican Republic today and will enter Haiti on Friday. Let’s pray for God’s protection for this team.
Pray for Haiti, pray for our Haitian brothers and sisters! Give of your finance, so that we respond now to the real needs of those that are hurting!
Thank you.Rev. John F Hopkins CAC Regional Director
The United Pentecostal Church International had announced the election of the Reverend David K. Bernard as the 7th General Superintendent of the 3-million-member church. The ministers of the organization selected Reverend Bernard at their 85th annual General Conference held in St Louis, Missouri dated September 30 – October 4, 2009.
Rev. David K. Bernard has been our Bible Teacher in our conferences and leadership seminars for many years. His messages came just in time to meet a particular need in the church in the Philippines by providing adequate exposition and contemporary application of the principles and truths of the Word of God. We cannot forget the messages he delivered during our Jubilee Celebration, “What makes us Apostolic and Pentecostals is what we believe that the apostles’ experience, teaching and practice are the standard for the church today.” He reminded us to continue in the doctrine, the way Apostle Paul reminded Timothy in I Timothy 4:16. Let us listen to him again not only as our speaker on the 53rd UPC Philippines General Conference, but also as the General Superintendent of the UPCI. Read More Here
The 85th General Conference of the United Pentecostal Church convenes in St. Louis on Wednesday, September 30, 2009.
We have never in all of human history lived in an age to compare with the one in which we now live. That is not news to you. Tension and strife, wars, earthquakes and prophetic events of far-reaching proportions are occurring. It appears time is running out and civilization’s days are numbered.
But we have the PROMISE. “In the last days saith God, I will pour of My Spirit upon all flesh.” For your prayer on Sunday, September 20, let’s ask God to grant repentance worldwide in every people group that they may seek the Lord with humility.
Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Pray that repentance will grip the hearts of men, women and youth around the world from every culture.
Secondly, let’s pray for a revelation of New Testament Apostolic baptism. That various religious groups would see that water baptism was/is always performed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for this revelation to come to pastors and church leaders worldwide.
Thirdly, as we have mentioned, pray for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon us at conference. We do not want conference as usual. We are asking God to step into our meetings and stir us up and shake us from complacency. God, give us a visitation of Your Spirit like never before. Let this conference experience a spiritual breakthrough.Thomas Suey International Coordinator World Network of Prayer .
Greetings in the wonderful Name of Jesus! I am writing to make you aware of a special event taking place in conjunction with our 2009 General Conference in St. Louis. With all my heart, I believe Wednesday evening, September 30th, will be the high water mark for this conference.
I am convinced that the United Pentecostal Church International was birthed for this very hour, and somehow, by God’s help, it must be impressed upon every minister of the gospel and every member of this fellowship that this is, without question, OUR DAY! This fellowship must understand that our destiny for this hour will be determined by how dedicated we are to the One God Message and how we propagate it around the world. The plans for this night are very special; a 300 voice choir, a 60 piece orchestra and a drama entitled, “One That They May Be Won.”
This is an incredible message in drama form, and it is built upon the revelation of the Name of Jesus and the tremendous price our founding fathers paid for what we enjoy today. Every member of this cast will be so saturated and anointed for their part in the program that it is going to have a profound effect upon the audience. I believe that if we all pull together, we will have 10,000 people there for that night!
The grand finale of this service will be the preaching of Brother Witherspoon, in the person of Brother Wayne Huntley, as he preaches with fervor of the commitment and sacrifice that characterized our early days. It is our desire that the great passion, possessed by our early pioneers for this revelation of truth, will grip the hearts of everyone present. Brother Huntley is going to give a massive altar call for every preacher, and every young man/women present, to rededicate themselves and renew their commitment to this blessed Truth. We expect that the entire congregation will flood the altars that night!
In the history of our organization, there has never been a service like this, and perhaps never will be again. So let us make it a service of destiny for the UPCI! 64 years ago in this very city, the UPCI was birthed by the merger of two oneness organizations. In my mind, and without question, we were birthed for this very hour TO CHANGE THE WORLD!
From Greensboro, North Carolina…
The exposure of our fellow Filipinos who attended the recent UPCI General Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina was an overwhelming experience. Our active participation in this type of event has led us to an increase of exposure and promotion of our Filipino Outreach in North America. Nothing quite like this has ever done before in the history of UPCI General Conference, at least not in the United States and Canada.
The Filipino Mass Choir was unique and only one of its kind. There were more or less 70 Filipinos who participated and joined the Mass Choir. These were folks who came from all over the United States, Canada, and from the Philippines. Most of the choir members have not met each other before. The songs were totally unknown and foreign to most of them. But thank God for the exceptional ability of our leadership in coordinating the song practices remotely through internet video that came handy with the song lyrics and live lessons of music parts for all the participants. When these folks arrived to the event, they were ready to be put on stage.
Friday Night Home Missions Service, the Filipino Mass Choir was on the platform throughout the service. Reverend Don Hanscom, the Multi-Cultural Director of Home Missions Division, introduced the Filipinos very favorably to several thousand attendees of the conference and they were received with standing ovation and warm approbation. And once again, the contagious revivalist spirit of the Filipinos took over… and made an incredible legacy of experience for our generations to come.
Saturday, the day after the Mass Choir event, there was a Multi-Cultural service which was focused on Filipino Service. The Filipinos sang again, and our Filipino Pastor Ryan Valenzuela from Maui, Hawaii did a fantastic job in preaching to us with such a powerful and anointed message. This talented and energetic young man is truly a gift of God to the Filipino Evangelism in North America. That service was concluded with wet eyes, and apostolic roars from all corners of the room which are evident signs of God’s mighty outpouring of great revival.
All the songs we sang were not only unique and noteworthy, they were also composed originally by our very own local talents. The lyrics of “Praise the Lord” was composed by Pastor Glenn and Sister Megan Villarin, music arranged by Brother Yoyong Nalasa, …and we sang it in 7 major languages. The lyrics of “Let’s Rise Up and Build”, was composed originally by Sister Irene Chavez and Pastor Glenn Villarin. The song “Temple of Praise” was by Brother Yoyong Nalasa.
And the cultural “barong” attire of all the men, and the women in black and white, added the spice to their incredible singing performance. Overall, the presence of the Filipinos at the UPCI General Conference was remarkably awe-inspiring.
We want to express our sincere appreciation to the Home Missions Division under the direction of Reverend Carlton Coon Sr. for showing their high confidence to the Filipinos. They could have chosen other groups to sing for that special night, but they handpicked us because they believe in the Filipinos.
Our hats off appreciation to Pastor Jess Fortaleza, our National Filipino Evangelism Coordinator of North America, who led our fellows to a remarkable experience; the result was a big pay-off for his hard work. But he said he could have never made it without those people who rallied behind him. He is extending his deep gratitude to all the Mass Choir members, all the Church Pastors who supported by sending Filipinos to participate in the choir, and all the Filipino Ministers who unselfishly worked with him behind the scene.
Big thanks and congratulations also to Pastor Glenn Villarin who did an excellent job in directing the Mass Choir; the musicians, Pastor Nestor Villarin, Brother Yoyong Nalasa and Brother Daryll Villarin who were outstanding in handling of the music.
Nonetheless, all of these were never ever to be accomplished without the leading and powerful anointing of our Holy God, our Lord Jesus Christ. ALL THE GLORY AND HONOR GOES TO HIM!
Just like the lyrics in one of the songs we sang, I would say, “Tsang May Zhu” (Chinese), “Aruji-O Sansho Shimasu!” (Japanese), “Gloria A Dios!” (Spanish), “Jai Masih Deh!” (Indian Hindi), “Yawaste ki Itaca!” (Native American), “Praise the Lord!”, “Purihin ang Panginoon!”
Brother Mike S Lacsamana
Kent, Washington U.S.A.