Report: Cornerstone Annual Conference

Report:  Cornerstone Annual Conference
Western North Carolina Conference
June 10, 2016

It was my privilege and distinct joy to preside over the annual meeting of the Cornerstone Conference on Friday, June 10.  I arrived on Thursday in time to enjoy a preliminary meeting with Bishop Doyle Marley over salt and pepper catfish.  The meeting, fellowship, and food were beyond description.  Bishop Doyle and I have been friends for many years.

The meeting began promptly with worship at 9am.  I gave a short devotion on our theme, “We Prayerfully Value Holiness.” The material was well received.  All were excited and blessed as they watched the holiness video.

Some 307 delegates were registered by morning’s end.  I estimate the total attendance to be between 350 and 400.  The conference had been well promoted and organized.  All the various ministries had exhibits and displays around the auditorium.

Our colleges were well represented.  Both Holmes Bible College and Southwestern Christian University had excellent videos.  Emmanuel College had a display and was represented by Harold Queen.   Bishop James Leggett was present.  Bishop Leggett is the current president of Holmes Bible College.

I was able to introduce and lead the Conference in honoring three former Superintendents/Bishops – Jack Goodson, Tommy Fuguay, and Tommy McGhee.  These men served the conference exceedingly well.

Bishop Tommy McGhee joined the team on the platform.  Bishop McGhee serves as the Discipleship Ministries Director and Corporate Treasurer of the IPHC.  He introduced a very special guest from Oklahoma City – Rev. Dr. Stan Toler.  Dr. Toler was introduced as a Discipleship Ministries’ Consultant for Stewardship.  Dr. Toler shared a presentation on the need for stewardship training on the need for our churches along with the strategy for leading “Give to Live” seminars across the church and resources that will be given to those who participate.  This is an excellent opportunity for our people and our churches.

Superintendent Doyle G. Marley gave an excellent and motivational state of the Conference Report.  He presented his report in two ways – oral  (with passion) and a written report, etc.  Bishop Marley spoke well of his team and listed major accomplishments for each department.  He cited a strong revitalization and church-planting program led by Director Mike Ainsworth.  He mentioned that missions Director Keith Gilliam had led them to the highest GO Offering ($262,282.00) ever and a record total of World Missions ($1,141,528.00).  The Conference is definitely moving forward into their second century.  They celebrated their 100 year anniversary last year.  Well Done, Superintendent and team.

Thirteen were given license – Laura L. Abernathy, Marcus T. Abernathy, II, Anthony D. Hammock, Nathaniel E. Hill, James M. Oates, Gerald W. Kelly, Dedrick D. Phillips, Sherry C. Pyles, Jammie J. Redd, Michael R. Springston, James B. Suddreth, Ryan L. Vass, and Ricky W. Wagoner.  There was much diversity in the group with gender, age, and ethnic.  Four were ordained – Mike S. Ainsworth, Jr., David R. Lineback, Ransom R. Radford, and Pat B. Roland.  Bro. Radford was actually returning to the IPHC.  He is 90 plus.  I attended high school with his son, Wayne, (back before the flood.)

A Memoirs video was seen listing several clergy and many spouses.  The video was excellent and very timely.

Several Conference awards were given at the end of the session.  Rev. Garry Yeatts, Director of the Biblical Ministries Institute, presented several awards.  Bishop Marley presented some very special service awards.

I was thrilled to see one of our National Evangelists present at the meeting, Rev. Amy Lambert.  She is one fantastic evangelist and minister.  Amy also serves on our national Human Trafficking Board.  She is a member of the Cornerstone Conference.

I commend Bishop Marley and his team on the use of the videos.  They were well received and resulted in an excellent management of time.  We had a fantastic morning and were adjourned by 11:57.

The best is yet to come for Cornerstone.

D. Chris Thompson
Executive Director of EVUSA