By Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr., Presiding Officer
Over five hundred ministers and lay delegates met at the Cornerstone Conference headquarters and campgrounds in Browns Summit, North Carolina, on Saturday, June 9, for the 2018 Quadrennial Conference. This was also the 103rd annual session for the Cornerstone Conference. Among the attendees were former conference superintendents Rev. Jack Goodson (former IPHC secretary/treasurer and member of the General Executive Board), Rev. Tommy Fuquay (former General Board of Administration), and Rev. Tommy McGhee (IPHC vice chairman and executive director of Discipleship Ministries). Also present was Rev. Talmadge Gardner (member of the Cornerstone Conference, IPHC corporate secretary, and executive director of World Missions Ministries).
Also present were President Chris Thompson and his wife Betty representing Holmes Bible College, Rev. Matt Bennett representing Southwestern Christian University, and Rev. Tres Ward representing Emmanuel College. These three institutions presented excellent videos related to their vision and mission to train IPHC young people. Also present were several retired and active IPHC missionaries, including Hobert and Marguerite Howard, Hugh and Lois Hoyle, and Mitch and Jewell Nichols.
Bishop Doyle Marley called the meeting to order with a warm welcome and prayer, followed by a time of worship led by Rev. Tres Ward.
General Superintendent A.D. Beacham, Jr., presented the All Generations video and the All Generations teaching.
Rev. Michael Turner presented the Decorum Committee report, and the voting delegates ordered themselves in the voting bar.
Rev. Garry Yeatts presented the Ministerial Credentialing Report. It was encouraging to learn that the Biblical Ministries Institute, the conference ministerial training course, has over 100 students enrolled!
The following received their Local Church Minister’s License: Tina Brinkley, Donald Delancey, Ronald Sexton, Erika Rivera, Juan Rivera.
The following received their Minister’s License: Obdulio Berrios, Edward J. Curran, Robert A. Graeber, Sarah G. Haley, Jack D. Haynes, Jr., Abram L. McCaskill, and Matthew E. Morgan.
The following were ordained: Christopher L. Burns, Rachel M. Floyd, Anthony D. Hammock, James M. Oates, Sherry C. Pyles, Jammie J. Redd, Michael R. Springston, and Ricky W. Wagoner.
After the license and ordination service, Assistant Superintendent Michael Ainsworth called the body to a special time of recognizing and honoring Bishop and Mrs. Doyle Marley. Though retiring from his duties as conference superintendent, Rev. Marley will remain active, preaching in IPHC congregations in the conference and in other conferences. His vision, passion for Christ, and enthusiastic preaching will be a blessing for years to come.
A video of Rev. Marley’s life was shown. It was full of humor, yet captured his dedicated service to the IPHC in many roles. A denominational leader in Christian Education, a pastor, a church planter, and a member of the Cornerstone Conference board and council, Rev. Marley assumed the office of superintendent in the summer of 2012 when Bishop Tommy McGhee was elected executive director of Discipleship Ministries.
A special part of the program were the remarks by Bishop McGhee and Bishop Gardner. Both men and their families are close to the Marley’s, and their comments were humorous, insightful, and deeply respectful of the impact of Doyle and Sherrill as friends and colleagues in ministry.
At the close of honoring Bishop Marley, the bishop presented his final State of the Conference report. He gave thanks to God for 148 local congregations in the conference, with a total membership of 16,188. There are 414 ministers in the conference. Under his leadership, the conference has aggressively adopted the Arise 2033 goals. World Missions Ministries continued to be blessed by the conference. In 2017, $1,188,819.91 was given–the second largest in the IPHC.
Bishop Marley closed his report with personal remarks of appreciation to his wife and the people of the Cornerstone Conference. He joined the conference in 1963, “at the close of my first year at Holmes Bible College. For almost 55 years now I have tried to serve my Lord and be a productive member of Cornerstone. It’s my intention to finish this race and give my best until He calls.”
The Marley’s were presented special gifts and the delegates warmly expressed their love and appreciation with a rousing standing ovation.
The conference adjourned for lunch and reconvened at 2 p.m.
The Bylaws Committee Report was presented by Rev. Darrell Greene. Upon adoption of the officers of the Conference Executive Council, elections began. The results of the elections are as follows:
- Conference Superintendent: Bishop Michael Ainsworth
- Assistant Superintendent: Rev. Anthony Craver
- Secretary-Treasurer: Rev. Darrell Cox
- Conference Executive Committee at-large: Rev. Keith Gilliam, Rev. Darrell Greene, Rev. Danny Penny, Rev. Frank Sossamon, Rev. Garry Yeatts, Rev. Mark Richardson.
The Memoirs Report was presented by video. The following ministers were remembered and prayer was offered for their family members and friends: Rev. Frankie Reid Williams, Rev. Ransom Randolph Radford (on a personal note, Rev. Radford served in the Georgia Conference while I was superintendent, 1994-2001), Rev. Amy Elizabeth Lambert, Rev. Esther Rose Gamble Gardner (the mother of Bishop Talmadge Gardner), Rev. James Albert Stowe, Rev. Ronald David Carpenter, Rev. Jack Robert Foley. The following ministers’ wives were also remembered: Mrs. Martha Farmer Eades, Mrs. Helen Taylor Rice, Mrs. Faye Yeatts Taylor, and Mrs. Joyce Ann Hunt.
The conference concluded with Presiding Bishop Beacham installing the newly elected officers who will serve from 2018-2022.
All present were invited to a reception honoring Rev. and Mrs. Doyle Marley.