Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Chesapeake Conference

The Chesapeake Conference has over 13,924 members in 74 congregations (64 churches, 10 companies) in Delaware, Maryland, and on the edges of Virginia and West Virginia. It has a pastoral workforce of 65, and its largest congregation, Spencerville (Silver Spring, Md.) has a membership in excess of 1,719. The Chesapeake Conference operates a strong Christian educational program that includes nearly 100 teachers and more than 1,050 students in 11 schools including one high school, a Pre-K - 12 grade academy, a Pre-K - 10 grade academy and eight elementary schools. It also operates an Adventist Book Center and four Adventist Community Services centers in Maryland and Delaware.

Mt. Aetna Camp and Retreat Center, outside Hagerstown, Md., is a fully-accredited camping and retreat center that hosts more than 700 youth during the conference's annual summer camp program. The site, which houses a nature center with a collection of stuffed animals, birds, insects, and reptiles from around the world, is used for field trips, outdoor learning programs, church retreats, spiritual seminars, and camping and hiking excursions.

Story by Samantha Young

At its January 28 meeting, the Chesapeake Conference Committee elected Jerry Lutz, MDiv, to the position of conference executive secretary. He replaces Kleyton Feitosa who accepted a call to serve as president of the Egypt-Sudan Field.

As the 22-year-old mother of two tried to get her friendly, rambunctious, four-year-old daughter to sit still at the dinner table, her five-year-old son sat counting. He was doing pretty well. He almost made it to 100, when Luritz Parker, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Atholton church in Columbia, Md., interrupted to hand them three clear sandwich bags filled with soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and wash cloths.

The images on Quang Ngo’s TV screen were graphic. It showed just how devastating an impact that Typhoon Haiyan had, not just on the landscape of the Philippines, but the also the people. This was how he ended up on the doorsteps of Allegheny East Conference’s Oxon Hill Filipino church in Oxon Hill, Md., toting some 1,000 T-shirts. “We saw the people suffering and it reminded me of our situation. My family and I escaped our country of Vietnam in a boat,” he said. “When we got to Malaysia, we had no food, no clothes and no water. So we see what’s happening in the Philippines and feel like this was us and we have to do something for them.”

Looking back, Josephine Benton, now 87, knows exactly where her desire to minister came from. Her father was a Seventh-day Adventist evangelist who frequently moved their family around the country. “I would sit and listen to my dad’s sermons, and I always knew that if I had been born a boy, I would have been a preacher,” she said. “But that path didn’t seem open to me.”