Nine students graduated during the Northeast Evangelism Training School’s (NETS) first graduation program at the Spanish Broadway church in New York City on June 30. Two additional students received certificates of participation. The ceremony signaled the completion of the first NETS four-month program held in conjunction with the NY13 evangelistic meetings at the Manhattan church with Ted Wilson.
Administrators from every level of the Adventist Church were present to show their support. Ted Wilson, Seventh-day Adventist World Church president, thanked the graduates for what they’ve done for NY13. “Only in heaven will you truly understand the work you are involved with,” Wilson said. He referred to NETS as “a jewel that will propel evangelism in the Atlantic Union that the Lord will be delighted with.”
Kenneth Denslow, assistant to the North American Division president, thanked the graduates for their ministry to the Adventist Church and said, “May you know that Jesus is by your side and that you are accomplishing His will.”
Donald King, Atlantic Union Conference president and chairman of the NETS’ Board of Governors, shared a brief history on NETS and said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to Ted Wilson, Mark Finley, and Dan Jackson for the establishment and inauguration of the NETS program, and to the six conferences for their support.” He acknowledged the presence of conference presidents Jeffrey Brown (Bermuda), G. Earl Knight (Greater New York), and Daniel Honoré (Northeastern), and also Duane Cady, interim president for Atlantic Union College. Addressing the graduates, King said, “As you embark on this journey, lower your nets on the right side of the ship.”
Anthony Romeo, pastor of the Manhattan church, read 2 Timothy 2:1-4. He also shared a personal experience and reminded the graduates that they “shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel or the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
The commencement speaker, Mark Finley, assistant to the General Conference president, said, “NETS has unusually unique potential to make a dramatic difference, not only in the Atlantic Union, but the North American Division.” He told the graduates that “being Christ’s man and being Christ’s woman is priority,” and encouraged them to “know the Master; know the message; know the moment; and know the mission.” In his closing thoughts to the graduates Finley said, “Some day in a place called Glory, in a place called Heaven, you’ll get your reward.”
Steven Toscano, who responded to the commencement address, said, “We wholeheartedly accept the charge and earnestly desire to know the Master; know the message; know the moment; and know the mission.”
In a charge to the graduates, Carlyle Simmons, Atlantic Union Conference executive secretary, encouraged them to “go out and create a new history in soul winning for the church and for Jesus Christ.”
Eric Flickinger, NETS director, and assistant directors Kevin Sears and Lois King, presented the graduating class and awarded the certificates.
Lucille Thomas, who received a Certificate of Participation, said “I want to be used by God to finish His work. I plan to diligently fast and pray and ask God for wisdom as I take this official professional training and go light God’s world.”
NETS is an evangelistic training school that prepares soul winners who are cross-trained in Bible work, health evangelism, and public evangelism. Graduates are prepared for an entry level career in lay ministry or to more effectively serve God in their own churches, communities, or schools.
Upcoming certificate programs will be held on the campus of Atlantic Union College. The fall program runs from August 16 to December 10, 2013, and the spring program runs from January 24 to May 24, 2014. Learn more at www.netsatlanticunion.org, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (978) 696-6043.
—Ednor A. P. Davison, Gleaner editor