World Report

February 7, 2018

Dominican Republic Installation Letter

From the Superintendent's DESK

As was reported earlier, this past Sunday at the Dominican Republic headquarters church in La Romana, an installation service for the newly appointed Dominican Republic Supervisor and new Board members was held. The full English text of the letter read during the installation service is below. After the public reading of the letter in Spanish, the new appointees were formally installed.     

February 3, 2018

Dear Dominican Republic Saints of God;

Greetings to each of you from Sister Debbie and me, in Jesus’ name. Brother Tim and Sister Lisa have come to the Dominican Republic to represent Portland headquarters and our Apostolic Faith churches around the world in formally installing Rev. Gledwin Mills as Dominican Republic District Superintendent (who you refer to as national supervisor).

As you already know, on Thursday, October 5, 2017, the Dominican Republic board of Alberto Smith, Gledwin Mills, Luis Payne, Edwin Gilfillary, and Andres Pichardo, met with Tim DeBusk, Director of Caribbean Work, and me. In the meeting, it was determined that Alberto Smith would retire from the role of Dominican Republic national supervisor and board member for health reasons and be succeeded by Gledwin Mills. It was further agreed that this change of leadership would take effect on that date, with a formal installation service to be conducted in the La Romana church as soon as scheduling allowed for either Brother Tim or myself to return to the Dominican Republic. While my schedule prevents me from returning just now, I am happy that Brother Tim and Sister Lisa are able to be with you.

Since our October visit, Brother Alberto has gone on to his eternal reward. While we are sad to miss him, we are thankful that his suffering has ended. As soon as we learned of his passing, we extended our heartfelt personal condolences to Sister Sylvia and the Smith family. We also to extend condolences to all of you. We are confident that the Comforter will extend grace and consolation to Sister Sylvia, and their five children, as well as their grandchildren. While the work of God is greater than any one man, we will all miss his enthusiasm and evangelistic zeal.

To briefly summarize, our October meeting followed the procedure required by the Dominican Republic constitution and the same procedure followed in past appointments of Dominican Republic national supervisors and board members. Official Dominican Republic legal documents from 1952, 1957, 1969, 1994, 2001 show the succession of national supervisor appointments from Leonora Elfrida Richardson to Theodore Dunlop to Angelica Dunlop to Hugo Sams to Alberto Smith, all of which were approved by the Dominican Republic board in place at those times, as well as by world headquarters in Portland. Board members who voted to approve your national supervisor and board member appointments over the years included Joseph Browne, Lucian Bastian, Joseph Gumbs, Emilia Charles, Viviana de Maynard, Clair Mayphen, Celina Coplin, Mezina de Powell, Jacorbo Pena, Alfred Francis, Hugo Sams , Alberto Smith, the father, Gledwin Mills, Flavius Vespasiano Liburd Roper, Luis Payne, Peddro Abrahamson, Pio Wyatt, and William Huggins, as well as Alberto Smith, the son.

Portland missionaries who worked with the Dominican Republic board and the Portland General Overseer (title later changed to Superintendent General) included Forrest Damron, Dick Taylor, Earl Phillips, and Ivon Wilson. Portland General Overseers were Raymond Crawford and Loyce Carver, and Superintendent Generals have been Dwight Baltzell and me.

As established by the veteran Dominican Republic leaders who wrote your church constitution, the Dominican Republic national supervisor represents the Apostolic Faith of Portland, Oregon, and as such is appointed by the Portland General Overseer/Superintendent General who works in concert with him and the Dominican Republic board.

For the past 15 years, Dominican Republic board members have been Alberto Smith, Gledwin Mills, Luis Payne, Edwin Gilfillary, and Andres Pichardo. During that time, board members who passed away included Pedro Abramson, Pio Wyatt, Viviana de Maynard, and William Huggins. Their vacancies were never filled. However, following the retirement of Brother Alberto and the appointment of Brother Gledwin, the Dominican Republic board met by recommendation and approval of Portland headquarters and appointed Hector Julio Guilamo Perez, Heriberto Martinez Batista and Deivys J. Pichardo Cabrera to the Dominican Republic board.

From the beginning of the Dominican Republic work decades ago, Dominican Republic national supervisors and the Dominican Republic board have held themselves accountable to Portland world headquarters, the same as all of our churches throughout the world. This approach has proven to be a safeguard throughout our 110 year history, fostering unity and accountability. Portland appoints directors who are responsible for the oversight of given geographic areas. Tim DeBusk has served as Director of Caribbean Work for a few years, a role once filled by Dick Taylor, and Forrest Damron before him. Directors work closely with District Superintendents (or in your case, national supervisors), often being guided by them and then reporting to the Superintendent General. The Superintendent General is responsible for appointing district superintendents and national supervisors, but does not independently do so. He confers with local boards who recommend appointments. Portland approval is constitutionally required and nearly always granted.

Portland also issues minister and ordained pastor certificates worldwide. Those holding certificates represent the Apostolic Faith of Portland, Oregon and all of our churches throughout the world. The Superintendent General in Portland, who has the responsibility to issue certificates, also has the authority to rescind them and recall appointments.

The motivation behind our legal structure and every decision is to provide a safeguard to insure that generations to come benefit by the same old-time Gospel and sound Bible doctrine that has so blessed each of us.

The appointment of Brother Mills is the result of prayerfully determining that God’s mantle of leadership has fallen on him. We recognize that he is highly regarded by all of you, being the longest serving pastor in the Dominican Republic Apostolic Faith and faithfully pastoring the first Dominican Republic Apostolic Faith location. He has the support of his own family as well as pastors throughout your country and beyond.

It is worth noting that during our October 5, 2017 Board meeting, Brother Alberto was the first to speak when it was suggested that Brother Gledwin succeed him. He wholeheartedly supported the proposal saying, “I think it is a good idea,” and assured Brother Mills of his support, just as Brother Mills loyally supported Brother Alberto for so many years. We rejoiced at Brother Alberto’s approval and endorsement.

We are confident that the stability and growth of this great work will continue with Brother Mills at the helm. Please continue to assure him of your prayerful support.

When Brother Mills and the Dominican Republic board feel it is time to pass the mantle to the next successor, the same procedure will be followed as has been followed over the history of the Dominican Republic work. The Dominican Republic board members will recommend a successor, while asking for Portland world headquarters approval, which is required by the Dominican Republic church constitution. The Dominican Republic church constitution was written by the founders of the great work here in this country. Brother Mills has already expressed a desire to pass the mantle to a successor while he is still young and healthy enough to publicly throw his full support behind the one the Dominican Republic board feel God has chosen to succeed him. Whether that is done a month from now or a decade from now, we express our deep appreciation to Brother Mills for his dedication to the work of God and his loyalty to the Apostolic Faith saints in the Dominican Republic and world headquarters in Portland.

When it comes to publicly installing leaders, we follow the Bible example of laying on of hands. Some have asked if we should also anoint with oil when installing a new leader. In the Old Testament, we see anointing with oil when consecrating a king or a priest. We are installing neither today. We recognize that oil symbolized Holy Spirit anointing. However, from the Day of Pentecost until now, the Holy Spirit Himself provides the anointing, making the symbol unnecessary and even demeaning when we chose the symbol to represent He whose presence is available and whom we pray to anoint us. Anointing with oil was used in the New Testament and still today when praying over the sick. Oil was also used during Bible times to prepare the dead for burial. We are doing none of these things today. Rather, we are praying over and recognizing the appointment of a Dominican Republic national supervisor. We will follow the Bible model in doing so.

Some examples of publicly installing leaders by the laying on of hands include the following.

  1. We see Moses publicly laying hands on his successor, Joshua. Nu 27:18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; 19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation….22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: 23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
  2. We also see it in the appointment of the seven, including Stephen and Philip, Acts 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 
  3. Paul reminded timid Timothy of his ordination, 1 Tim 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery (body of elders, leaders). 
  4. In sending Paul out on his first missionary journey in Acts 13:2, we read, As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 
  5. In encouraging Timothy to be strong and courageous, Paul wrote, 2 Tim 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
  6. We are not swift to be ordain in keeping with 1Tim 5:22, Lay hands suddenly on no man.

We ask now that the Dominican Republic board, with Brother Tim, lay hands upon Brother Mills in accordance with these Bible writings and pray for God’s blessing to be upon his ministry and leadership of this work. At the same time, we are praying that God’s blessing will reside upon his loved ones, and all of the Apostolic Faith saints in the Dominican Republic. After doing so, Brother Tim and board members other than the three newest ones will lay hands on the three newest board members to publicly formalize their appointments. We also pray for God’s blessing upon each of them and their loved ones, as well as upon each of you. God bless you all.

In His Service,

Darrel D. Lee

Superintendent General