Seventh-day Adventist church welcomes new pastor

Seventh-day Adventist church welcomes new pastor
March 01
03:00 2018

The transition from one pastor to another is not always an easy one.  For Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church on Cleveland Avenue the transition has been somewhat easy.  They recently welcomed their new pastor the Rev. Allen Baldwin.

Baldwin hails from Cleveland, Ohio, but came to Ephesus from his previous assignment in Macon, Georgia.  He was installed as pastor here in Winston-Salem on Nov. 11, 2017 and says he has had a great experience thus far.

“I have enjoyed my time thus far in the Triad,” said Baldwin.  “The time with my congregation has been good and I know it will take some time for them to get used to me and for me to get used to them.  It has been a good experience thus far and I have enjoyed working with my officers and meeting my members.”

As a young man, Baldwin says he acknowledged that “God has something for me to do” but was not quite sure what that was at the time.  He says he finally gave in to the call in his early 20s but did not immediately go into preaching.

“I was actually in my early 30s when I got my official call,” he said.  “When I say official, I mean by my conference and then going to seminary school.”

Baldwin has ministries and issues that are close to his heart.  Children, health care, food insecurities, community service and social justice are just a few of the things on his list.

“But I think the quality of lifestyle is what I am really interested in helping church members with, but also members of the surrounding community,” he said. 

Another goal for Baldwin is to integrate himself with some of the local pastors in the area as well.  He says he has met a few of the local pastors who have come to introduce him to the area.

Baldwin said many people have certain misconceptions about the Seventh-day Adventist faith.  He acknowledged there are differences, such as the belief in the eternal soul or the day they observe the Sabbath.

“We are not a separate religious entity; we are Protestant,” he said.  “People get us mixed up sometimes with JWs (Jehovah Witnesses) or with Mormons.  There is a distinct different between a Seventh-day Adventist, a JW or a Mormon.”

“The Seventh-day Adventist probably has more in common with the Baptist and the Methodist than they ever would with JW or Mormon, because we believe in the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit,” he continued.  “We believe that Jesus died and rose for us.”

Ephesus has had a long tradition of bringing information to the community about important issues that plague the community, such as dementia or how to work with youth.  Baldwin says he wants to continue to attack those issues and more going forward.

“I think the church needs to speak on the issues,” he continued.  “I am not necessarily shy about including these issues in my sermons from time to time as well.  The church cannot be divorced from the struggle.”

The youth is also a point of emphasis for Baldwin.  He says he knows that you have to meet the young people where they are instead to sticking to traditional methods used in the past.

“We don’t have accountability partners and mentors for some of our youth,” Baldwin said.  “I’m really saddened when I hear African-American males say that’s all they could have done as far as selling drugs.  That type of mentality fits right into the new Jim Crow.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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