$50,000 up in smoke
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Mortgage Burning Service at Emmanuel
The term “Mortgage Burning” may not be synonymous with most churches in New York City but for the Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bronx NY, it symbolized a time for celebration - The occasion was the 21st anniversary of the church and a very fitting time to celebrate the paying off of the church’s mortgage.

It was a full weekend of celebration. Under the theme 21yrs – Looking Back…Reaching Forward, the church took the time to reflect.   It started with a call for personal introspection with a special Consecration service on Friday, where members took the time to re-consecrate their lives to Christ.  Our Guest speaker was Pastor S. Bulgin.

On Sabbath Morning, the church was full to capacity for the Dedication of the Temple where Dr. G. Earl Knight delivered the main address. It was a power packed, spirit-captivating message which captured the hearts and penetrated the souls of the hearers. Fitting at a time to dedicate the sanctuary, Dr. Knight extended an alter call for people to accept Christ and become apart of the fellowship of believers.  Several individuals accepted the call to dedicate their lives to Christ as we dedicated the temple to the Lord.  After the dedication service it was time for the church to symbolically burn the mortgage note.

With songs of celebration, the President, Dr. G. Earl Knight,  Executive Treasurer, Pastor Carlos Gonzalez and Communications Director, Pastor Rohann D. Wellington of the Greater New York Conference, the current and all but one of the former pastors, foundation members and the congregation all watched as Elders Michael Green and Yvonne Sheridan, former and current treasurers of the church, set the note on fire.  Pastor Earl Baldwin, who assisted us in purchasing the building gave us the charge for that evening.

For the members of Emmanuel this is a splendid accomplishment; having acquired the current property just ten years ago, it took tremendous sacrifice and effort for this to be a reality. It was no wonder therefore, that the brethren took the time to Consecrate, Dedicate and Celebrate.   

We ended our weekend with a Special Gala Banquet.  Former Pastor, Rohann D. Wellington, challenged us that now that our mortgage was burnt, we should engage intentionally in caring for our brothers and sisters in the church and in the community not just spiritually but financially also.  

We give God thanks for the way he has led us in the past and for helping us to accomplish this significant milestone.  To God Be the Glory.

Submitted by:  Eion Williamson