by Terry Hall
After six years as senior pastor of Forest Lake Church, Apopka, Derek Morris has accepted a call to Silver Spring, Maryland, to be an associate ministerial secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Morris’ last Sabbath in the pulpit will be Christmas Day December 25.
Morris will become editor of Ministry, the Adventist Church’s international journal for pastors. He will also travel the globe to teach and minister to local Adventist Church pastors.
Morris received the invitation to his new post during the General Conference’s Annual Council meetings in October. After Morris and his wife, Bodil, flew to Maryland to talk with church leaders about the position, he said, “This was not an easy decision. We weren’t looking for a new assignment, but God sometimes calls you to minister in a new place when you least expect it, and when He calls, you must listen.
“Being a registered nurse practitioner, Bodil will also continue to minister in her area of passion,” says Morris. “She has been asked to join the General Conference’s Health Ministries department and is looking forward to ministering with me in my travels around the world.”
Morris’ six-year tenure at Forest Lake Church has greatly impacted the ministries and growth of the congregation. Under his vision and leadership, the church has grown to nearly 3,700 members and seen a fifth worship service added, as well as more children and adult Sabbath School classes.
The church’s web and media ministries have also grown. The church now has a full-time web church pastor and seven separate web sites (including the main one at www.forestlakechurch.org) which highlight the church’s numerous ministries and programs. Forest Lake Church online has grown from a few dozen members in 2004 to more than 1,000 worshiping from numerous sites around the world.
With Morris at the helm, the church’s media ministries records and produces Forest Lake’s church services and the popular Hope Sabbath School program, as well as special series such as the Life and Teachings of Jesus, that are viewed world-wide via satellite on the Hope Channel.