Who We Are
God has called His last-day people to reach everyone, everywhere with the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 14:6-12) As members of Pennsylvania Conference, He has assigned us this corner of Earth as our mission field. The harvest of souls Jesus will reap at His return will in a large part be influenced by our faithful attention to the mission God has entrusted us with. This God-given call unites us together in faithfully fulfilling our mission.
#United Together, We Fulfill the Mission
In the Pennsylvania Conference, our churches, schools, Adventist WholeHealth Network, CORE School of Evangelism, and Laurel Lake Camp unite together to share the wonderful good news of Jesus and His promised return. This is not a mission of institutions, but of people. Every one of us, as believers in Jesus, is called by God and essential to His cause to win lost souls. This is why Total Member Involvement is a core theme in our Conference. Our mission field is vast, the needs are great, and every member is vital. As each of us engages in using our gifts, talents, and means to advance God’s cause, we personally are benefitted. We grow in spiritual fervor, our affections are more infused with love for God and others, our character adopts Christlike virtues, and our whole Christian life becomes more real, earnest, and prayerful. (Christ Object Lessons, p. 354)
The Advent Movement began across the northern tier of the state as pastors/evangelists from New York set up tents and shared the gospel, especially from the Mansfield area west toward Bradford. Groups of believers began worshiping together. Churches were planted and in 1878, the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventists was organized.
In 1900 a church school was opened at Williamsport, reportedly the first in the Pennsylvania Conference, with B. A. Wolcott as teacher.
Today 116 churches, 21 church plants, and more than 13,000 members seek to deepen their walk with God and share the good news of Christ’s return.
Christian education with an emphasis on quality academics and a life of service impacts the 9 parochial K-8th grade schools, 3 parochial K-10th grade schools, and a boarding 9th-12th grade academy we operate. Our desire to serve the communities around us shapes our summer camp ministry, camp/retreat center, heath ministry, and a network of community service centers.
Our Core Values
The Pennsylvania Conference exists to glorify God through a passionate ministry that includes worship, instruction, fellowship, outreach and service. We are committed to achieving the highest quality in our work while building leaders and impacting the people of Pennsylvania. We will seek to respond with relevance to the needs of the people of Pennsylvania with the love of Jesus as a result of our dependence on God. Jesus Christ is the center of who we are and what we’re about. We can accomplish nothing apart from Him. (John 15:1-9) We value the following:
Adventist Hope — We are committed to the hope of Christ’s return, and we live the Christian life based upon Scripture, Spirit of Prophecy, the Three Angel’s Messages, and the Seventh-day Adventist Biblical beliefs. We will serve Jesus Christ with a grace-orientation to life, solid in doctrine, encouraging our people to serve God with gratitude rather than guilt and condemnation. (Romans 6:14, 2 Corinthians 8:7)
Evangelism — We are passionate for the lost and thus committed to purpose-driven innovation and relational ministry. We will teach and preach our distinctive message in a way that is meaningful to the people we are trying to reach. We will build the kingdom through creative and innovative ways that will cause truth to stand out clearly and distinctly. We will constantly evaluate our forms and methods, seeking cultural relevance and maximum ministry effectiveness for Jesus Christ. (1 Chronicles 12:32; Luke 19:10)
Integrity — We will do all things with honesty and integrity. This leads us to conduct all ministry with a grace and integrity that communicates honestly to enhance the credibility of Gospel ministry in the eyes of the world and all believers. (Leviticus 19:35,26; Deuteronomy 16:20 and 25:13-16; Daniel 6:4)
Dependence — Knowing that we can do nothing in and of ourselves, we will be surrendered and dependent on God. It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we have salvation. His indwelling Spirit enables us to lead lives of service. (John 15:1-9)
Excellence — We believe excellence honors God and inspires people; this requires us to do our best in all things. As His “image bearers” we will glorify God through well-planned and well-presented ministries. From small groups to community outreach to office management to our weekly Sabbath worship services, we will focus on reflecting the highest qualities of God’s character to all whom we serve. (Colossians 3:17, 23, 24; Proverbs 27:17)
Loving Relationships — Because people matter to God, they matter to us and we will treat them with respect and kindness just as Jesus demonstrated His love for us. We believe that loving relationships should permeate every aspect of church life because life changes happen best in relationships. (John 13:33-35; John 15:11-13; Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:1-3)
Discipling — We see every member as a minister and are committed to empowering and equipping each one by fostering an environment of learning and growth, instilling within each person a sense of His purpose and His values. (Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Colossians 3:17)