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Is Your church Declining?

About half of the churches in the Southern Union are plateaued or declining. Churches of all sizes can plateau or even decline over time. Russell Burrill, longtime professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, with extensive research in this area, has a lot to say on this subject in his book, Waking the Dead. He says most of the churches in the North American Division plateau around the 15-year mark of their existence (page 32). He also reveals in the same book that churches have a life cycle similar to human beings. However, it has been demonstrated by churches that allow the Lord to empower them to fulfill the Gospel commission, and keep that as their priority, do not have to follow this cycle. There is also hope for those churches that have plateaued or are declining.

>Read More! (Page 4)


Onward and Forward

The Adventist Baby Boomer generation is starting to retire, and the gigantic size of it, plus the well-documented longevity connected with the Seventh-day Adventist lifestyle, will create an exciting opportunity for service, mentorship, and recreational activities for persons in this group and those dedicated to their support.

In much the same way that the preceding decades created a culture of youth immersed in prolonged education, delayed marriages, and numerous lifestyle options, the new and improved 50-, 60-, and 70-something group are creating a new breed of retirees who are foregoing the rocking chair and comfy quilts for hiking, running, volunteering, building stuff, and returning to the workforce >Read More! (Page 9)

Heart Transplant Team Performs 100th Procedure

Florida Hospital, Orlando, Florida, is pleased to announce its heart transplant team performed their 100th procedure on Christmas Day, December 25, 2016, marking a significant milestone for the program.

The Florida Hospital Transplant Institute launched the specialty in 2012, and the medical team performed six heart transplants that year. In 2015 the heart transplant team performed 26 procedures, and in 2016 the five-member physician team performed 52 heart transplants. >Read More! (Page 12)

Hattiesburg Ephesus Church Hit By Tornado

South Mississippi counties were on alert for potential tornadic activity on the morning of January 21, 2017. In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, around 3 a.m., the University of Southern Mississippi’s tornado siren began to sound. It could be heard for about a three- to four-mile radius.

Sam Amfo Jr., D.Min., shared, “At 3 a.m., the church’s security system called immediately to notify me, and Michael Thomas, head deacon, that there was a problem at the church.” Alerts were steadily coming in, and around 4 or 4:30 a.m., it was reported that a tornado had touched down in west Hattiesburg. Soon after, it was reported that William Carey University had been hit by an EF3 tornado. Ephesus Church, in Hattiesburg, is located about a half mile from the University and had sustained massive damage. >Read More! (Page 16)