The Future of Ministry in Southeastern

By: W.L. Taylor
Date: 08/17/07
3 Comment(s) Read/Add Comment
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Bold leadership challenges complacency. It keeps a steady eye on the future
opportunitym lock and moves swiftly and appropriately to provide growth and
development through present challenges.

As early as August 30, 1974, Elder R.L. Woodfork was considering the bold
step of dividing old South Atlantic Conference. Standing on the shoulders of
his predecessors, men like W.S. Banfield, and H. Singleton along with their
supporters, he led the commission in the division that created Southeastern
Conference, still the newest Conference in the North American Division.

Southeastern quickly outpaced many Conferences in membership and with
a strong return in tithes by its faithful membership, it soon became the 14th
largest of 58 conferences.

A bold course was now set by our first president, Elder J.A. Edgecombe. He
emphasized evangelism and hired workers who labored especially during the
summers to increase the conference membership. He purchased our first office
building in Altamonte Springs. That 6,700 sq. ft. headquarters swallowed our
small office staff at the beginning. His congenial leadership style kept us focused
on growth and development.

Jackson M. Doggette, Sr. boldly took the mantle as president next and led
Southeastern through some difficult days with a steady hand. His stately eloquence
brought calm and reassurance, much needed qualities at the time. His careful
management style helped us to refocus and stay on course.

Hurricane Andrew hit Southeastern in South Florida during his administration.
It was one of the costliest catastrophic natural disasters to occur on planet earth.
As he led us through that amazing hurricane, he continued to add workers who
would make a difference,
as time would tell.

After calm winds returned, R.R. Brown began some of the boldest moves yet.
This visionary president listened for years to the complaints of members about the
June heat at Camp Meeting. He then envisioned and constructed a nearly 4,000
seat air-conditioned state-of-the-art pavilion in Hawthorne, Florida. Amazingly,
members now wear sweaters in June in the pavilion at Camp Meeting. R.R. Brown
planned and coordinated with the local help of Evangelist T.A. McNealy, a major
tent evangelism crusade in Miami and Orlando. The Miami meeting grossed over
800 baptismswhile planting two churches. An important forward thinking addition
during this administration was the creation of the Technology Department and
the hiring of Mr. Robert Henley.

I, as current president, with many of the pieces in place, quietly challenged boldness
by trying to take advantage of every opportunity for added service. Each president
has had the benefit of having a talented field. This is a primary reason for the blessings
of God in our short history.

My first act was to turn the Technology Department, which I chaired from its inception,
into a ministry. Mr. Henley successfully accomplished that and actually wrote the job
description for this new North American Division Department. He later hosted the Division’s
annual Technology meeting where this new ministry was voted into being. Awesome!

In 2003, I unfolded a new conceptof leadership and operational management called “Joint
Leadership Initiative.”Joint Leadership is a unified approach to Southeastern’s Ministry Services.
It is established in an effort to produce a more effective and efficient management of
Departmental (Ministry resources. Its goal is to partner Conference and church evangelizing
(Outreach) and educating (In-Reach) ministry teams to encourage increased efficiencies through
joint efforts resulting in enhanced services to local churches and communities.

Directors have begun to pool resources and work in cross-functional teams. It erases a
detachment that so long existed between departmental directors. Local churches must also
start using the joint effort. Investing in this collaborative design enhances the service
opportunity and saves time and money.

Southeastern Conference has become a brand in its own right. Talented directors are always
pushing the envelope to provide 21st Century resource services. From a 25th Anniversary
Banquet in our Adult Pavilion to a Family Life couples’ romantic dinner cruise on the St. John’s
River; from a Technology create-your-own Film Festival to a bring-a-friend Women’s Ministry
Convention; from a simple Spelling Bee that goes down to the wire to a Survival Training
Campout; and from Joint Leadership Summit Training opportunities to Satellite Camp Meetings
for community outreach, Southeastern Conference has continued to boldly make its mark in
“creating unique, innovative and above all, more effective ways to spread the gospel in the 21st Century.”


3 Comment(s) | Add Your Own Comment
Quest | Apr/17/10 01:04:13
My comment isn't so much about the writer of the article because I respect the man Pastor Taylor is. I, however, would agree with the response from "I am concerned" from the stand point of needing a healthy balance of young leaders and experienced men of God, not just "preachers" seeking to retire or make it to the Conference Office. Many of our churches are stagnant in growth and there is a non-existent exposure to their surrounding communities(not all but many) This is where a healthy balance of young leaders who are men of God will assist in infusing life and vision and experienced men of God will lead us through these obstacles. I believe in the potential of the Adventist church with all my heart and God's plan for us. The question is are we at the local churches prayed up and soliciting guidance from the Holy Spirit about appropriately questioning leadership or are we blindly excepting the statues quo. Seek the Lord in response to the seed that has been planted.
Evaluate | Nov/11/07 02:11:26
"Where your treasure is" serves as a spiritual measurement for how to spend God's money. Please evaluate the amount of funds going toward evangelism and ministries compared to the "temporal pleasures". What is the evangelical benefit of earthly gain. Earthly pleasures will soon pass away; how much more value can/will be attributed to the salvation of souls.
I am concern | Aug/20/07 11:08:21
How could a man of God write a story about himself and not others write about him. Under President Taylor many young pastor were not hired. Pastor Taylor I feel like your administation care more about the purchase of real estate then you care about hiring young minister to finish God's work. If you feel like when God come back, he is going to tell you Good job for buying land,then I am concern. Go ye therefore, and preach the good news, not buy land, and allowing many young men which are quilify to minister to work odd jobs such as, teachers aid, substitute teaching, wal-mart, I believe in the judgement day Gods must asked a you a few questions. Young ministers are not in it for the money; however, not giving opprotunity under your administion is the only legracy you left behind for future pastors. Dont tell me about another camp ground young minister are hunger and their family are too. Hire some young preachers; preacher. I will not disrect Gods anoited by publically speaking out agianst him. But I will tell God's anoited things must change in the hiring process, more young minister. The work of God must not die in Florida
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