General Conference Annual Council 2017

Eli Tenorio
October 24, 2017
United States
The General Conference Annual Council took place from September 17-October 1, 2017, in Roanoke, Virginia.

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA—On September 17 - October 1, 2017, the General Conference Council met in Roanoke, Virginia for the yearly council session. At this yearly meeting, council members from around the world meet to represent their respective regions and to report on the progress of the work since the last session.



At this year's council session, the decision concerning the location of the 2019 General Conference session was revisited. It was decided that the location would be changed from Romania to Brazil due to unforeseen circumstances. An official communication with more information concerning the event is to be released soon. The public meetings have been confirmed to be taking place in São Paulo state on September 19-22, 2019. 



The recipients for the First Sabbath Offerings of the years 2020 and 2021 were also decided based on proposals received. 



The name of a new General Conference non-profit organization was also selected. The name of the organization will be Abundant Life Relief Agency. This non-profit organization will have its own registration as a specific organization subsidized by the General Conference enabling it to organize welfare missions in other countries. Thus, it will open the doors for the church to enter other countries as an organization focused on welfare assistance as a response to natural disasters, conflicts, etc. without being directly associated with the church name, which causes prejudice and hinders the entrance of this department in some countries.



Some modifications were also made concerning unions and missions for better development of the work in the Northern African Region. 


The East Africa Union Mission was dissolved and the Uganda Mission and the Tanzania Mission are now attached directly to the General Conference.


The two missions in Kenya that were part of the East Africa Union Mission were reorganized as one mission: the Kenya Mission.


The Burundi Mission was reorganized into two missions and combined with the South Kivu Mission to form the Burundi Union Mission.


As the work in Sierra Leone has developed and 100 souls were baptized there this year, the Sierra Leone Mission was also formally recognized as a mission attached to the GC.


The working policy (policy on proper work procedures, department functioning, and the bylaws) was amplified, edited, and clarified. Every year the GC Council analyzes the new articles suggested by the Bylaws Committee and forwards them as well as suggestions to improve the already approved Sections and Articles to the next GC Session.


On Sabbath, September 30, 2017, the council members joined the local brethren in Roanoke for a special Sabbath conference during which souls were impressed by the Holy Spirit to give their lives to Jesus and others were led to renew their vows with the Lord. 


On Sabbath afternoon, the church rejoiced with the two souls who were baptized and received into the church fellowship. Praised be the Lord our God for this happy occasion!


We thank God for His traveling mercies and for keeping the brethren safe. May He bless the plans that were made and prosper His work around the world.