It was a joy to attend and preside over the Grace Bible Ministries (Texas Conference) Annual Conference on Friday and Saturday, July 7, 8th. This was a historic conference as there was a transfer of leadership from one conference superintendent to another.
Earlier this year Bishop Ricky Walter spoke with me about stepping down as the conference superintendent. Diligently working to complete his doctoral degree in counseling next year, Bishop Walter did not feel he could give the time to the conference work that was needful. Several months ago, Bishop Walter, Assistant Superintendent David Salazar, and I met in San Benito, Texas to discuss this transfer.
The three of us agreed on the timing and that Rev. Walter would assume the vacant office of Assistant Superintendent. Since the quadrennial conference elections will be next year, the conference agreed with this simple step.
On Friday afternoon, I had the honor of installing Bishop David Salazar as the conference superintendent. His wife Rosa was with him. In the installation service Rev. and Mrs. Walter joined with me as well as two other board members. We were privileged to have Bishop Scott Hampton of Great Plains Conference with us and he joined me in laying hands on Bishop Salazar. Bishop Salazar will be present for the Council of Bishops meeting in Orlando, Florida on Monday morning, July 24th.
I want to take a moment and express appreciation for Rev. Walter. He has served on the Council of Bishops for about four years. He took office during turbulent times and brought stability to the churches and ministers. He is a gifted musician with a great anointing upon his ministry. He also brought significant insights to the COB on various issues related to care for distressed ministers. His counseling experience and background will continue to be a great resource for the IPHC for years to come.
Friday morning of the conference, Bishop Scott Hampton brought an excellent two-session teaching on leading organizations. The youngest serving conference superintendent on the Council of Bishops, Bishop Hampton’s vision, energy, and leadership are being recognized across the IPHC.
Early on Friday evening Dr. Luis Avila, IPHC Hispanic Ministries Director, spoke in a bilingual service. A gifted speaker, Dr. Avila opened the Word of God in a powerful way. He also shared about the successes of the Instituto Nacional de Capacitacion Ministerial program in Grace Bible Ministries. There is no doubt this will lead to a new generation of men and women trained in effective ministry.
On Friday evening Bishop Beacham spoke on “We Prayerfully Value Christ’s Kingdom.” It was an honor to have former conference superintendent Barry Boatright attend this evening service. A dear friend and godly leader, he joined Bishop Salazar, Rev. Walter, and I in prayer for the many young people who were in attendance.
On Saturday morning Bishop Salazar shared his vision and heart for the conference. He is an inspiring and humble leader. He has traveled across the conference meeting with pastors and congregations bringing encouragement.
Carlos and Nuria Bolanos shared their heart and vision for ministry with Acts2Day in Hawaii. I have been with this inspiring couple at several events and deeply appreciate their ministry. They are working with EVUSA to do church planting in Maui. Many tourists do not realize the depths of despair and depravity that operate in Hawaii. There are great opportunities among Spanish speaking people in this state and the Bolanos are worthy of our financial and prayerful support. I am thankful that Susan and I are supporting this couple and encourage you to do the same.
One person received ministers license and another was re-instated. Two persons also received local church ministers certificates.