Stories & Commentaries

About Stories & Commentaries

From time to time, the North American Division shares commentaries on issues and/or events important to Adventists in this division. We also publish stories, which sometimes include interviews and features, to inspire our leaders and members.

ACS nov 23 article WHO church job fair

The Church Parking Lot

What does your church parking lot look like during the week? For many, the answer is “empty,” but for two Adventist Community Services (ACS) ministries in the Houston, Texas, area, the answer is “full of cars.” The Fondren Seventh-day Adventist Church ACS moved their food distribution into the parking lot in 2020 to abide by COVID-19 recommendations and they haven’t moved back inside. Rain or shine, Fondren ACS volunteers distribute boxes of food to their community every Wednesday.

jump ball at Oakwood Adventist Academy boys' basketball final championship game 2023 screenshot

Oakwood Adventist Academy - "Bigger Than Basketball" Part 2

The Oakwood Adventist Academy Mustangs boys varsity basketball team, after being denied a Sabbath accommodation in the finals for the 2021-2022 state championships, forfeited their semi-final game. Fast forward to the 2022-2023 season and the team is back in the tournament and able to play. Watch what happens at the March 2023 finals; and what lessons the team learned.

stock photo of man holding Bible with finger inserted in text

Expectations With Honor

A pastor’s biblical role and function include having a servant leader’s heart, caregiving, and shepherding. That leading includes coaching, equipping, teaching, and preaching. The layered expectations pastors face in role and function can, however, be fulfilling and overwhelming simultaneously.

stock photo of man in prison reading Bible while kneeling in cell

Walking Miracles of God’s Amazing Grace

At first glance “Pastor Joel” appears to be just an immigrant from another country. When you speak with him, however, you discover a heart devoted to God, his family, and God’s people. And you realize that he strives to “pay forward” the blessings God has bestowed on him.

Jacqueline Galloway-Blake, a devoted 40-year member of Sharon-Inkster church, joins local protest toxic waste

Toxic Chemicals. Scarce Fresh Food. How One Detroit-area Church Took Action

Jacqueline Galloway-Blake, a devoted 40-year member of Sharon-Inkster, found herself thrust into action when she learned toxic waste from a train derailment in Ohio was now being shipped to a toxic injection well just four miles from the Sharon-Inkster church. Galloway-Blake said, “I was not going to sit by quietly as they shipped toxic waste all the way from Ohio to our backyard, where our people live.”

Martha Munoz, third grade teacher at Greater Miami Academy

Filling in the Gap: An Adventist Teacher Dedicates Efforts Toward Special Needs

Students who have difficulty in school are no longer written off as “problem students” but rather, they are often diagnosed with ADHD or Dyslexia. Through evaluation, students are finally given the tools to encourage comprehension and regulation, prompting a more efficient education. This approach is desperately needed in our schools, and teachers such as Martha Muñoz have risen to the challenge. 

Adventist Pioneer Phebe Marietta Lamson

Hidden Figures: Stories of Adventist Women

This past year saw the creation of a new Pathfinder honor. My own daughter, along with two of her friends, were the initial catalyst to beta-test and help develop the requirements. As we did so, it became an opportunity to look at little-known or even unknown stories of early Adventist women.

stock photo of dad and son playing hide and seek around a tree

Come Out Into the Open

When my sons Jason and Brandon were little, we would occasionally play hide-and-seek. It didn’t matter where we were—in the house, in the yard, or on vacation somewhere—there were always enough hiding places to make it fun. I would count to 10 slowly with eyes closed, and the kids would scamper around attempting to find some item large enough to conceal them from sight.

graphic with STEM in bright letters, pencil drawings of STEM themes and tools.

Against All Odds

Attendees of Ophelia Barizo’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) seminars at the recent NAD educators’ convention would never have guessed that she had been hospitalized just days prior. The smiling woman in front of them, a passionate STEM education consultant, showed no trace of illness.

G. Alexander Bryant addresses the educators at the 2023 "Something Better" convention on Aug. 11

“Why We Teach”

On the morning of the fourth and final day of the 2023 NAD Educators' Convention, teachers who would step into classrooms that following week felt anticipation, exhilaration, and appreciation. Nicole C. Mullen set the tone through her music. Then G. Alexander Bryant, president of the NAD, rose to speak. He addressed the teachers, recognizing their oft-overlooked efforts to invest in their students and uphold the tenets of Adventist Education.