Archive for May, 2012
Florida Conference In Mission is a monthly video series about people reaching people.
This month’s report highlights Frostproof Church’s ministry that provides free produce to the community.
by Sandra Doran
Forest Lake Academy has been blessed with strong leadership through the years, and that tradition will continue as two new administrators come on board, reports Arne Nielsen, Florida Conference Vice President for Integrated Youth Ministries.
David Denton, hired as the academy’s new principal, is well known to Florida Conference, having provided learning styles training for our teachers this year. Denton is known throughout the Southern Union for his research on student learning styles and his efforts to promote effective teaching for all types of students.
He has worked as an educator for 20 years, including 14 years of principal experience. Denton comes from Madison Academy, Tennessee, where he established a program to understand and honor student learning styles, directed comprehensive school improvements, increased enrollment by 25%, and developed a strategic plan that resulted in $150,000 in donations. With his high energy, optimism, humor, and vision, Denton will be a strong addition to the Florida Conference team.
Denton will be joined at Forest Lake Academy by Frank Jones in the Vice Principal role. Jones comes with 30 years of leadership experience, most recently as headmaster and resource consultant for Berean Christian Junior Academy, Atlanta, Georgia, and Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy. He shares Denton’s philosophy of providing whatever it takes to help students learn.
“Education is about having growth occur wherever, whenever, and however possible,” Jones states. “Education is as vast as the ocean. Schools are responsible for ensuring every child has an opportunity to rise with the highest tide, meeting educational, social, and personal success.”
Florida Conference and the Office of Education look forward to the continued progress of Forest Lake Academy under these two new leaders.
by Eda Visser
Conrad Visser and Eda Bertolo were born and raised in Argentina, South America. They met at River Plate Adventist College where Conrad graduated with a theology degree in 1951. After a wedding on March 13, 1952, they taught at J.B. Alberti Academy in the Northern Mission of Argentina. Five years later, Conrad became director of the youth and education departments.
In 1958, he was called to be director of youth, education, and public relations at North Central Conference in Santiago, Chile. While there, he finished his master’s degree in education and counseling and later became vice president and director of the Teacher’s College at Chile Adventist University in Chillan, Chile.
In 1965, the Vissers arrived in the United States where Conrad became pastor of Broadway Church in New York, N.Y. for nine years and finished his master’s in education at Columbia University.
In 1976, both Conrad and Eda were called to work in Puerto Rico—Conrad as president of Antillean Adventist University, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and Eda as translator for the nursing department. Later, he served as vice administrator of Bella Vista Hospital.
After working for ADRA in the public relations department, they moved to Florida where he was employed at Hialeah Hospital to complete his 40 years of denominational service. In retirement, Conrad taught Sabbath School for 14 years at Markham Woods Church in Longwood, Fla.
The Vissers have three children: Hernan, Claude, and Vivian, as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
by Pedro Perez
Lisa and Brad Gary, Florida Conference Adventurer State Administrators, recently received the North American Division (NAD) Excellence In Ministry Award. They were officially introduced as volunteer NAD Coordinators for Adventurers on April 5, 2010, and have served on the NAD Adventurer Committee/Advisory for more than a decade.
The Garys started working with Melbourne Adventurers in the fall of 1993. Because of their leadership, they were asked a short time later to serve as East Area Directors for Florida Conference Adventurers and Pathfinders. They have served as State Administrators for Florida Conference Adventurers for more than 12 years.
Pedro Perez, Conference Youth Ministries Director, says, ”It is exciting to learn of this Excellence in Ministry award for two deserving individuals.”
by Rafael Fernandez
Okeechobee, Fla., Church is conducting a Kids In the Kitchen cooking class on the first Tuesday of each month for students eight years and older. The hands-on class helps students enjoy culinary experiences in food preparation, presentation, and taste-testing.
Students are learning how to prepare healthy foods they love to cook and eat. They are also learning how to read labels, select good produce, set a proper table, have good manners, plan menus, use measurement equivalents, make healthy food choices, and practice kitchen safety. The students are supervised by adults, keeping safety as a top priority.
“The class is free,” reports Pastor Rafael Fernandez, “as this is a church ministry and community outreach opportunity.”
by Debra Whilby
The Rise Again Evangelistic Outreach conducted at Sunrise, Fla., Church by Roy Gordon, retired pastor and youth leader, had a tremendous impact on church members and the Sunrise community.
Meetings were held nightly for three weeks from Sunday to Wednesday with two sessions on Sabbath. Monday nights were specifically for young people as they were reminded to hold on to God even through the difficult times.
On the last Wednesday evening, something miraculous happened as Pastor Gordon presented his message, The Close of Probation. Prior to the meeting, there was a scheduled baptism for one confirmed candidate. At the close of the sermon, Pastor Gordon made an appeal, and five men requested baptism.
When the meetings concluded on Saturday, another baptism was held with eight more souls won for the kingdom of God. Those witnessing the baptisms were reminded, “…likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” —Luke 15:7.
A special music program brought the day to an end with Sunrise members praising and rejoicing in the Lord.
by Daniela Monzon
A long-awaited dream for friends of Forest Lake Academy (FLA) in Apopka came true March 1 when they attended ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremonies for new tennis courts. Among those present were key individuals who played a significant part in making the dream a reality by their support, expectations, and spirit.
Coach Rodney Fulbright, FLA athletic director, presented a history of the courts which were a dream of his since 1979. By this time next year, Coach Fulbright anticipates varsity tennis will be among the sports programs offered to students.
Another person making the dream happen was Cindy Latiak, whose visions of tennis courts trace back to the days when her children were academy students. Now, she envisions a community of Adventists gathering to play the sport, learning how to work together, developing sportsmanship, and, overall, enjoying a fun and healthy pastime.
FLA coach Tamara Ritterskamp was present when the project was first discussed, and she is excited to get students involved in tennis. Seeing the courts now completed, she looks forward to teaching a new sport in the physical education curriculum.
Patty Manoucheri is among those who helped create FLA varsity sports. She envisions memberships for the courts with community folks enjoying them as well. “It’s awesome now that the courts are here,” she comments. “Just the reality of it! This is where people discover their talent.”
Forest Lake Academy’s new tennis courts are only a glimpse of recent renovations on the campus. Expansion of the Alumni House to accommodate the Distance Learning Program has begun. Just last school year, the gym received a new roof. The swimming pool is currently being refurbished and, thanks to Brandon Forbes and Richard Carr, Class of 2012, the outdoor basketball courts have received a facelift.
Great things are happening at Forest Lake Academy and, God willing, the best is yet to come!