All roads led to Mobile, Ala. On March 11 – 13 to be a part of the 5th Annual Pastor’s Conference at the historical St. John’s Deliverance Temple, Inc. No doubt the Pastors and clergy who traveled from all parts north, south, east, and west, took an active part in this year’s conference were from all indication, blessed beyond measure.
Apostle, Dr. Cleveland Smith, the Host, established this conference after recognizing a need for pastors to come together in intimate sessions that would allow them to share in the word of God, as well as to receive an impartation from the Apostle. The goal of these sessions has been to allow leaders to experience any needed restoration, healing, strengthening, and enlightening out of the eyes of congregants. Because the offices of Apostles, Bishops, Pastors, and Prophets, are prone to burn-out due to the pressures of the responsibilities, this time of dedication and refreshing, serves to strengthen their commitment to their call. The conference was opened to other leaders who serve in ministry as well.
This year’s conference focused on the Old and New Testament revelations regarding Jesus and the covenant He made with mankind, in spite of the sinful nature of man. In the Old Testament, sin was magnified to make sure that we understood what God considered to be wrong. In the New Testament, Jesus’s perfect example shows us that we can live a holy life in Him, and that forgiveness is readily given to those who are in need.
It was noted that we cannot do anything right without Christ in our lives, and that all unrighteousness is sin, no matter who is the person. Finally, Apostle made clear to the leaders that we must let the people know how much Jesus loves them, and that we ought not “throw anyone away”, because Jesus knows already who will be saved.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Apostle Smith opened up the session on the topic, The purpose of Jesus: God in the flesh, taken from Matthew 5:17, which reads “Jesus came to fulfil the Law. He had no sin and could show us all ‘perfection’ through himself. Further discussion for the day was taken from the following scriptures: Romans 7: 1-25 and Col. 2: 1-23.
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Apostle spoke about The Present condition Of The World
with the scriptures for the day taken from II Timothy 3:1-5, Romans 3: 8-19, and Jer. 7: 1-16. Much of the focus and discussion referred to The last days and how it is that Jesus could make his return at any time. In the Old Covenant, revelation is how God handled different things with the people of God, and His characteristics in dealing with his chosen people. We see God’s attitude toward his chosen people. And in the New Testament, the religious folks were slanderous and disobedient.
The Jews were no better than the Gentiles. None of us can do right on our own, because we were born sinners, the seed of Adam. “The ‘last days’ and the ‘former days’ all have the same characteristics.”
Friday, March 13, 2020, was the end of the conference, and what an end it was. Apostle Smith began this session with Hebrews 11:1-3, 32-34. The discussion dealt with the character of those mentioned in the ‘Hall of Faith’. He emphasized that God changes our character even though our reputation is what others make of us and attempt to keep it that way. He spoke about one of them being Gideon and how his life was described as fearful and insignificant among his family. However, God called him to be a mighty man of valor. The devil is always railing accusations against us to convince God to condemn us, but Jesus is our propitiation. Romans 8:33 lets us know that no one can tell God anything about us that he doesn’t already know. Apostle Smith began speaking about us being increased and strengthened in the knowledge of God (receiving revelation), that He is the first in all things, that He has preeminence, and that in Jesus there is the fullness.
The floor was opened for comments and questions, at which time the participants shared their salvation walk and how it was necessary to shield others from them when they accepted Jesus Christ into their lives, because they believed that they would be judged harshly by them. Material that contained scriptural information regarding the spiritual gifts of the Holy Ghost, their operations, and the need for them in the Church, were shared by Apostle Smith. He ended the session with prayer for those in attendance, asking God to enrich, refresh, and empower each to be effective in their roles.
The Spirit of the Lord rested in the conference and upon Apostle Smith with revelation. Indeed, there was a sweet, sweet, spirit in the place, and all were blessed in fellowship with God and one another. The aroma of the Holy Ghost continued to resonate in the building during the Sunday service. God had his way and the Temple choir sang melodiously as the room was filled with the presence of God. This conference will take place again on March 10 – 12, 2021, and all are welcome to meet Apostle Smith and St. John’s Deliverance Temple, Inc. at 2621 Ralston Rd. in Mobile, AL.
This article was written in part by Pastor Kylynn M. McMillian, Ministerial Staff at St. John’s Deliverance Temple, Inc., Mobile. Alabama.