The Acts 12:24 Churches‘ first orientation conference for immigrant pastors was held in Alexandria, Virginia, for pastoral leaders from Central Africa and India. The conference was planned by Chris Pulice, Doug Cross, Myller Olivio and Howard Olver. The Alexandria Free Methodist Church hosted the event and provided the meals and lodging.
At least 25 pastors attended the sessions that included Free Methodist history and polity, a course that is required of all conference ministerial candidates and new pastors, and orientation information for pastors new to the Free Methodist Church – USA and Acts 12:24 Churches. Kurt Erhard and Howard Olver taught the course.
The April 27-30 conference also provided an opportunity to conduct 17 Ministerial Education and Guidance interviews. The results included three people approved for ministerial service with Acts 12:24 Churches, 10 people recommended as conference ministerial candidates and three people approved for ordination as elders. In addition, one pastor was approved as a church planter, and two new churches signed affiliation agreements.
On the evening of April 28, the participants traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. As they stood together in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln’s statue, the group began to sing in Swahili, and many of the other people there gathered around to listen. When the singing ended, Pastor Doug Cross invited everyone to join them in prayer. Many people did as Pastor Jean Bizimana led in a prayer for the healing of America.1