My Call to Self-Supporting Work

Feb 1, 2009

I never thought I would leave denominational work for self-supporting work. How wrong I was!

Thirty years ago, I left denominational work for self-supporting work. Since then, I have occasionally been questioned why I, as an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and former president of two SDA colleges, chose self-supporting work. My answer has always been the same: I did not choose self-supporting work! While I admired the work that self-supporting people were doing, I did not believe that it was the work to which God was calling me. How wrong I was!

In February 1978, Columbia Union College (CUC) had the opportunity to follow God’s call to relocate to the country. As president, I strongly supported that initiative. In two surveys taken throughout the Columbia Union, church members voted 70 percent in favor of moving CUC to the country. My passion to move the college, however, was not because of a poll, but the result of my study of the Spirit of Prophecy.

Sadly, the initiative was voted down by the Columbia Union Constituency. The deceitful politicking involved only reinforced my belief that the vote was not of God. God’s people had let Him down!

Riding back from that constituency meeting, I breathed a silent prayer, “Lord, if you want me to remain president of CUC, please give me strength. But if there is somewhere I can serve You better, please send me a call.” I had no thought of self-supporting work; only denominational work. Almost immediately, a call came from the newly-established Weimar Institute, asking me to be the leader of the yet-to-be-established Weimar College. I had not told anyone of my silent prayer. My shock was great! But I had made a promise that if a call came, I would accept it. That I did.

Since then, He has enlarged my ministry for Him. It has been the toughest responsibility; the alienation by many denominational leaders has not made it easier. But false rumors and criticisms are small concerns when weighed against the knowledge that I have followed God’s will.

In these closing moments of Earth’s history, I urge you to place your life on the altar today. Ask the Lord, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” This is the least we can do for the One who gave all for our salvation.