ATCU Mid-year Meeting Focuses on Mission and Evangelism

By Henry R. Moncur III | ACTU Communication

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the executive committee of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) convened in Nassau, Bahamas for its mid-year meeting under the theme “Let Him Lead the Way.”  

The 31-member committee is made up of representatives from the four conferences and Northern Caribbean University (NCU) who are tasked with helping to develop and direct the work of the church in the Atlantic Caribbean region. Members include local conference administrators, church employees, lay leaders, and the president of NCU.  

As president of the ATCU, Peter Kerr chaired the meeting which focused on long-term strategies for fulfilling the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the territory.

Mission Refocus

Mission Refocus is an initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists aimed at encouraging the world church to adjust how it accomplishes its mission to efficiently reach a world facing profound changes. A key point of Mission Refocus is to involve every organization and every level of the church in sending missionaries to reach the world.

As part of Mission Refocus, ATCU has adopted the South Sudan Mission and plans to invest in developing workers for the mission.  According to Peter Kerr, “Mission Refocus in ATCU seeks to make local churches and members aware that there are still large portions of the world without a Christian presence that need someone to carry the gospel message.”

150 Years of Mission

This year, 2024, marks 150 years since the Seventh-day Adventist Church sent the first official missionary from North America to Europe.  During November 8-9, 2024, each field in ATCU will commemorate this event by celebrating their own missionaries.  Kerr noted, “The purpose of this occasion is to celebrate those missionaries who came to us and those who came from us. Not only will it be an opportunity for each country to celebrate its missionaries, but more so to remember the spirit of mission that has brought us where we are.” 

Evangelism Report

Committee members spent considerable time addressing evangelism.  Each field reported numerous evangelistic activities and baptisms. For the year to date, the Cayman Islands Conference reported 174 baptisms, the North Bahamas Conference 55 baptisms, the South Bahamas Conference over 300 baptisms, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference 96 baptisms. The committee praised God for these precious persons who were baptized.

Executive Secretary’s Report

The executive secretary’s report began by highlighting those who sowed the seed of the Advent message in the various countries of the union.  “These pioneers would be rejoicing today to see how the seeds they planted have blossomed into the memberships and churches that make up our union currently,” stated Dr. Cheryl Rolle, ATCU executive secretary.

Rolle noted that the work was started by a literature evangelist in each country in the union and encouraged fields to revitalize and use the publishing ministry to help to continue to spread the message and expand the mission in the territory.

At the end of December 31, 2023, the union had 87 churches and 5 companies. There were also 1,129 baptisms, equating to 71% of the baptismal goal for the year of 1,595.  For the quinquennium, the union has a baptismal goal of 8000; and for the period 2021-2023, it has achieved 36% of that goal with 2,892 precious persons following the call of God to be baptized into the Adventist church.  At the close of 2023, the union’s membership stood at 28,206.

Rolle noted that the report is a moment to celebrate 3 fields achieving over 71% of their baptismal goal in 2023.  However, she pointed out that the church in ATCU needs to continue to develop soul-winning plans for membership growth and work on redemptive membership review to find those members who are missing.

“We must not become weary in setting goals for the number of persons we would like to see in heaven with us.  If the pioneers had not answered the call to be sent to our territory, we would not be here,” Rolle aptly stated.  She also encouraged members to embrace the concept of the former GC executive secretary, GT Ng, to “lose none and disciple all.”

Treasurer’s Report

In sharing the financial report of the union, Roderick Sands, ATCU treasurer, thanked God for His faithfulness to the union in helping to carry out His work and praised Him for His blessings.

At the end of April 2024, tithe was down by 11.53%, and offering showed a 28.59% decrease when compared to the same period in 2023. Sands noted that there had been less Sabbaths in 2024 which could account, to an extent, for the decrease. He pointed out, however, that the financial picture of the union remains strong due to the faithfulness of the membership through the years for which he praised God.

Elder Sands also reported that during the mid-year meetings of the Inter-American Division (IAD), the division announced a decision to provide special assistance to the Haitian Union to help with humanitarian needs of its members and pastoral families in Haiti as they face ongoing gang violence and unstable conditions that have affected myriads of persons. In standing in solidarity with the members in Haiti, the union joined forces with the other unions in the IAD and pledged ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) to help church leaders and members there.

Dr. Lincoln Edwards, president of NCU, shared what the university has done to assist the church in Haiti. “The university has been able to make a student management system available to the Adventist University in Haiti at no cost to them, and we are assisting them with 10 students at the PhD level.”

The union committee also voted eight thousand dollars ($8,000.00) in additional subsidies to aid the development of the work in the various conferences of ATCU.

All the Family in Mission 2025 Initiative

As a continuation of the All the Family in Mission initiative for 2025, the Atlantic Caribbean, Belize, Caribbean, and Jamaica unions will come together to support the IAD’s Soul-winning and Discipleship Coaching Institute in the first quarter of 2025.

ATCU will be the host union for the event scheduled to take place during February 6-22, 2025.  The other three unions will send 30 pastors and 30 bibles workers in all to ATCU for this major evangelism event.  Training will take place beginning in January and culminate in a mass baptism on February 22, 2025, across the ATCU territory.

The executive committee voted the initiative and strategic plans are now being put in place in every conference to make this initiative one that will impact each country in the union in a significant way, connecting thousands of people wit