News and information from around the Ohio Conference
Celebrated Author, Speaker Dr. Philip G. Samaan Guest Speaker for One-Day Camp Meeting
Celebrated author, pastor and speaker Dr. Philip G. Samaan will share how Christ Is Still the Way during the Ohio Conference One-Day Camp Meeting on June 6 at Camp Mohaven.

Samaan will share his passion for Christ during four presentations throughout the day. These include:
  1. Sabbath School: The Uniqueness & Universality of Christ
  2. Main Service: The Flavor & Fragrance of Christ
  3. Early Afternoon Worship: Christ the Real Restorer 
  4. Late Afternoon Worship: The Revolutionary Power of Prayer & Witness 

After lunch, attendees can enjoy a harp concert by Sherilyn Samaan.

Samaan served for 20 years at Southern Adventist University as a professor in the School of Religion. Now, as a professor emeritus, he still teaches a religion course twice a year.

While teaching at Southern, he was the recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the President's Award for Commitment to Student Success, and the President's Award for Customer Service Excellence. He also held the Ellen G. White Memorial Chair in Religion for 18 years.

Prior to his long experience at Southern, Samaan served as the chief editor of the  Adult Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly  at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and as a professor at the Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Michigan. While there he served as the director of the Doctor of Ministry program, the MA in Pastoral Ministry program, and the Center of Continuing Education for Ministry. There he received the Zappara Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Earlier in his ministry, pastor Samaan served as a missionary in the Africa-Indian Ocean Division and director of Youth Outreach and Campus Ministry of the North Pacific Union Conference. He was ordained to gospel ministry and pastored in the Idaho Conference.

Among his published works are the books  Christ’s Way of Reaching People, Christ’s Way to Pray, Christ’s Way of Salvation, Christ’s Way of Making Disciples, Christ’s Way of Affirmation, Christ’s Way to Spiritual Growth, Christ’s Way to Restoration, Christ’s Method Alone, Blood Brothers, Dare to Be a Daniel, Abraham’s Other Son,  and  The Mideast Messiah .

He is still active in his outreach on campus and continues to be an accomplished author, an engaging teacher, and an inspiring public speaker.

Watch for additional details for the One-Day Camp Meeting coming soon in Faithpoints and on our website, .
The Jethro Model of Small Groups
Pastor Michael Stough II, Springfield First, Delaware, New Carlisle District
The question of how many people left in the Exodus is a debated topic in some circles, but most estimates place it around at least two million people based on Exodus 12:37’s “six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.” [1]  There was also the mixed multitude to factor in as well. No matter how you slice it, it was a lot of people. 

Modern business theory states the number of direct reports the typical person can manage is between 5-9 people, while small group experts put the number of people a group can support in the church setting at between 9-15. More than that they say, and you have a church. So, imagine Jethro’s surprise when he arrives with Zipporah and their two sons at the camp of Israel. Here he finds Moses, from morning until evening, giving guidance to the people. Not only did Jethro realize this was not ideal for the well being of his daughter and grandsons, but he clearly saw the implications for the people as well as Moses.

Jethro saw he needed to pass along some advice to his eighty-year old son-in-law. His advice; change your methods or there wouldn’t be much a nation left to worry about. He recommended for Moses to divide the people so that there would be leaders over the thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They would help pass along the needed wisdom to help build up the people in their knowledge of God’s law and would allow more difficult matters to be passed up the chain to the appropriate person.

When we look at the church today, I wonder how much we are taking Jethro’s counsel to heart. Much research tells of burned out pastors who would quit ministry but continue because they merely have no idea what they would to support their families if they did quit. Look at many church membership rolls and usually only half of those listed show up on any given Sabbath. Then there are the raging infernos consuming members lives with the sophistry of Satan traps in distracting us from Christ and our call to go make disciples and become more like Him. Surely, there must be a better way.

So again, we turn to Jethro’s model. Is it time the leaders in the church, the pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses, Sabbath School teachers, and small group leaders to take a moment and stop and look at Jethro’s principles and apply them more earnestly to the work of building up members in the church? Would it be wiser if pastors were able to focus on discipling elders, deacons and deaconesses, who could then in turn disciple the members under them? I believe this a part of the solution we need to start taking seriously in our churches today. What do you think?

[1]   The New King James Version . (1982). (Ex 12:37). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Update on Presidential Search from Dave Weigley, Columbia Union President
February 26, 2020

Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists - Office of the President
Important Information Regarding Ohio Conference President Search
An Update from Dave Weigley, Chair
Selection Committee & Search Committee

As prescribed by Ohio Conference’s Code of Regulations the Conference Executive Committee (CEC) chose an additional 24 individuals to participate in electing a president. The additional individuals were chosen and along with the CEC is identified in your Regulations as the  Selection Committee .

The  Selection Committee  is tasked with the responsibility of choosing a Search Committee who is to process the names of potential candidates and then make recommendations to the  Selection Committee  for final determination.

A Search Committee of 15, with four alternates, was chosen on January 19 and has met on two different occasions reviewing & processing a list of over 30 potential names.

The first two weekends of March may prove to be critical in the election of president as both the Search Committee and the  Selection Committee  will be meeting to consider names. As previously mentioned, it is the responsibility of the Search Committee to recommend to the  Selection Committee  names to be considered.

In light of the fact that we follow a representative form of governance, should you have observations, counsel, or concerns please contact a member of a committee listed (please contact Heidi Shoemaker at  to receive the email of a committee member that has released their email). 

An Appeal to Pray  — please join me and other leaders to pray for God’s counsel and guidance as your governing committees make their selection.

Beavercreek Hosts Voice of Prophecy's 'Discovering Revelation'
Beavercreek Communications Team
“I was desperately searching for peace. I knew the answers lay in the Bible, but I never read it . . . .”  Many seekers in Beavercreek and Fairborn, Ohio, like Jim are anxiously looking to understand the meaning of the messages in the book of Revelation and their importance today.

Beginning Friday, March 6, 2020, at 7:00 PM along with scores of churches around the North American Division, the Beavercreek Church will host the Voice of Prophecy’s  Discovering Revelation  seminar at the Holiday Inn (Off Colonel Glenn Hwy.), 2800 Presidential Dr., Fairborn, OH 45324.

The Beavercreek team, including speaker Pastor Delthony Gordon, covets your prayers as they complete the final weeks of preparation.

How to Create Opportunities for Prayer in the Digital Space
Jamie Jean Schneider Domm, Digital Strategist, Social Media + Big Data, North American Division
Even among the skeptical, there is a longing for someone to care enough to pray for us personally. Social media is a powerful tool for soliciting prayer requests and following up on those requests. Prayer can be just one “like,” comment, or message away. Online communication lowers the barrier to asking, making it easy for people to reach out when they can’t bring themselves to do it face to face.

I can personally attest to how sending recorded prayers can be a powerful way to minister to others. In the wake of a recent tragedy, I found myself asking, “What if we went beyond ‘thoughts and prayers’”? It happens all the time: a friend posts online that they lost a loved one or something else bad happened. We press the “like” button and carefully scroll over to the sad emoji. Then we type below “thoughts and prayers” or something similar.

We’re sincere about it, too. The person is in our thoughts, and we are praying for them. But we can take it one step further.  What if they could hear us pray for them?  It impacts people so much more when they hear someone petitioning God on their behalf. In times of crisis, they may not be able to answer the phone, or they may not want to talk to anyone. They can still hear us pray if we send audio recordings of our prayers. This can be done on most smart phones and messaging apps. It’s personal and intimate. That extra step that we take to invest in another can have a much more meaningful impact than the standard social media response.

Geography Challenge Premier - Sunday at 1:00 PM
Did you miss the Geography Challenge last week? Watch it on Sunday, March 1 at 1:00 PM during a special "Premier" video launch on the Ohio Conference Education Department's Facebook page.

Photo of the Week
The Akron First church helped celebrate a very special birthday last Sabbath. John Linberger turned 100 on February 21, and was interviewed by his son Peter during the worship service. Even William Levin, Akron pastor, shared a few words.

Many of John's children and great grandchildren were present for the celebration. "John lives alone and drives to church every week. Pretty amazing!" shared Sue Kirschbaum of the Akron church.

PC: Sue Kirschbaum
Inspirational quote of the week:
Verse of the Week
Upcoming Events Around the Ohio Conference
February 28
Fredericktown Church
February 29
Columbus Eastwood Church
March 3
First Adventist Community Church
Have an event you would like to share with the Ohio Conference? Let us know!
Read the Current Issue of Mission Ohio in the Columbia Union Visitor
Highlights of this issue include Ron and Buffy Halvorsen accepting call to Pacific Northwest and the launch of a new church plant in the Lorain area.

Read these articles and more in the current issue of Mission Ohio in Visitor magazine.
Heidi A. Shoemaker, Communication Director
Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
1251 E Dorothy Ln, Dayton, OH 45419