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  • Writer's pictureLeslie D. Louis

FROM THE President’s Pen

A Tribute to Our Adventist Educators

Our Adventist schools across North and South Carolina have now closed the memory pages of the 2022-2023 school year.

God has graciously and safely guided each of our Carolina schools through another year. The longer and lighter days of summer are upon us. Graduates from our academies are now headed to the next step of their lives.

Later this summer, over 6,000 Adventist educators from across the North American Division will soon gather together for their quinquennial convention in Phoenix, A.Z, from August 7-10. The theme is built on reaching for "Something Better." Rooted in scriptural teachings that vividly depict God's character, our teachers will be encouraged to delve deep, personally experience, and truly comprehend the transformative power of the One who seeks to restore us to completeness.

Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are intended to encompass every aspect of our lives, permeating our thoughts, actions, and worldview.

It was Samuel, under the Lord's direction, who established the schools of the prophets—the first in Ramah, his hometown, and the other in Kireath Jearim—prototypes or forerunners of today's Seventh-day Adventist Christian schools.

Exactly 151 years ago in 1872, the Seventh-day Adventist Church opened the doors of its first church school in Battle Creek, Michigan, with Goodloe Bell as the first Seventh-day Adventist church school teacher. How coincidental that we had a Bell as our first Adventist educator!

Today, I thank God for our church elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities that circle the globe from the Carolina to Calcutta, India. You'll find Adventist schools in nearly 150 countries. With 85,000 teachers, 1.5 million students, 7,500 schools, the Adventist school system is the largest Protestant Christian educational system in the world.

In India, my parents made the transition from Catholic schools to Adventist schools during their childhood. This change occurred after my grandparents embraced the message of the Adventist Church, which was prompted by their reading of The Great Controversy and their subsequent commitment to follow the Bible faithfully. As a result, I completed my elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education in Seventh-day Adventist institutions and had the privilege of serving in educational ministry for 32 years. Exactly 50 years ago (July 1973), I began my teaching ministry in Fort Myers, F.L., in a classroom of twenty 5th and 6th graders. I was only 20, and had so much to learn!

Ellen White's prophetic pen wrote this in one of her letters: "The teachers in our church schools should not be left to carry alone the burden of training and educating our children and youth. They need the sympathy, kindness, the cooperation, and the love of every church member" (Manuscript 22, 1904, Letters and Manuscripts, Volume 19, page 252).

Let's uplift and honor each of our Adventist educators in our prayers, invoking God's blessings in their personal lives, families, and in their schools. Let us fervently pray for God to provide teachers, as the pool of educators we urgently need has alarmingly diminished. This is not an exaggeration but a matter of utmost significance, as we seek to save our children from the influence of the enemy in these end times.

I am grateful to God for our Adventist educators and recognize the profound impact they have had on my life and the lives of the children and youth within our Carolina Conference.

Your servant leader,

Leslie Louis

Carolina Conference President

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