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  • Writer's pictureHaskell Williams

ANSWERING THE CALL: A Look at 2022 Ordinations in the Carolina Conference

In 2022, the Carolina Conference ordained five people to the gospel ministry. The process of ordination is not simple and often follows an unpredictable path. In addition to educational preparation for ministry, it involves recognition of God’s call by a conference, an invitation

to a ministerial internship, a recommendation by the conference Ordination and Executive Committees, and approval by the union conference Executive Committee.

When God calls a person to serve in ministry, He doesn’t choose them because they are qualified, but rather qualifies the willing. That is what God needs: people who are willing to serve Him, because “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37). Most ministers graduate with a theology degree from an Adventist college, such as Southern Adventist University, and have also attended the Seminary at Andrews University. They serve in one or more churches, connected with a seasoned pastor for mentoring.

Rubi Pimentel, upon graduating from Antillean Union College, served as a Bible worker, an academy Bible and English teacher, and an assistant director for literature evangelism/publishing. He served as an associate pastor and led a district of churches. While the assistant director for the literature evangelism department, Rubi felt the call to work in local churches and was given the responsibility of the western Hispanic churches of Asheville, Swannanoa, Hendersonville and Arden. He led the district to engage with the needs of their community, which led to baptisms. During that time, he met Monet, who became his wife and ministry partner. He was ordained on March 26, 2022, in the Fletcher Church.

Richard (‘Rich’) Maskelony also served as a literature evangelist. He followed his conviction to study theology at Southern Adventist University and pastored the Florence, SC, district. Even in elementary school, Rich felt God nudging him towards a calling in ministry. As he continued his education at Blue Mountain Academy, he followed this conviction and studied theology at Southern Adventist University. Following completion of his studies at the Adventist Theological Seminary, the Carolina Conference invited him to serve in ministry. Shelly, his wife, is an upper-grades teacher at the local church school. He was ordained on May 7, 2022, in the Arden Church, where he currently serves as an associate pastor.

Having experienced a challenging childhood, Hector Gonzalez is grateful for the Adventist

couple that God sent to his home to teach him about the Bible. As he completed his secondary education, Hector began feeling God’s call to ministry while leading Pathfinders and Sabbath School. A church elder suggested he enroll in the Theology program at Southwestern Adventist College. While awaiting a call, Hector worked as a social worker,

still involved in Sabbath School and Pathfinders. He later became an academy and college dean, where he volunteered as an associate pastor in the Takoma Park church with Jose Rojas. After serving for 27 years as both a dormitory dean and volunteer youth pastor in New Jersey, Maryland, and North Carolina, Hector was asked to take on the role of director of youth ministries, serving the Pathfinders, young adults and youth in the Carolina Conference.

His wife, Lorraine, serves as secretary to the ministerial department.

Henrique Gomes learned about ministry from an early age in Brazil, where his father pastored a 26-church district. Following high school, he perceived God’s call to ministry and enrolled in the theology program at Southwestern Adventist University. He worked as a literature evangelist to pay for school. After graduation, Henry worked with 3ABN, ADRA, and Novo Tempo (Hope Channel) in Brazil. He decided to prepare further for ministry at the Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University and served the Center for Adventist Research

and the E.G. White Estate as a digitization manager for the Adventist Digital Library to support his family. Henrique was then invited to serve the Carolina Conference through digital evangelism with the youth, ministerial, and communications departments. He was ordained at campmeeting in Lake Junaluska on June 4, 2022.

Evan Bujeker was 15 when his mother handed him a brochure from the Revelation seminar she was attending. Having attended Catholic church and school, the concept of the Mark of

the Beast initiated an interesting biblical journey. He enrolled in the physical therapy program at Andrews University, but after reading The Great Controversy, he put his studies on hold. As his understanding and conviction grew, Evan knew that God had called him to be a minister. He returned to Andrews University and graduated from the seminary. The Carolina Conference invited him to serve as associate pastor in Arden. He was ordained on June 25, 2022, at the Pittsboro Church, as part of his current district of the Albemarle and Asheboro churches.

At each ordination, a mantle was placed on the candidate, symbolizing the pastoral responsibility that rests on their shoulders as they serve God and His people.

— Haskell Williams, Ministerial Director

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