For the first time in two years, the Pacific Union Conference Bible Instructors’ Guild (BIG) held its annual rally in person at Tamarind church, centering on the theme “It Won’t Be Long.”
Jerrold Thompson, senior pastor of San Bernardino Community church, opened the celebration weekend with a message on Friday night, and Norman Knight, pastor of Valley Crossroads church, spoke during the divine service on Sabbath.
The purpose of this rally, as with rallies in the past, is for the members to get to know each other, to encourage each other, and to emphasize the importance of a Bible instructor’s role at a given church. Personal invitations, flyers, and word of mouth were just some of the ways news of the rally was shared. People in attendance were encouraged by the dynamic messages, uplifting music, and fellowship.
“One lady just heard about us online and started coming to our church,” said Esther King, BIG Southern California chapter president and member of Tamarind church. “After the rally, she said, ‘God sent me here. I want to be a Bible worker.’ She’s going to be at our next meeting.”
Loreen Mason was invited to attend by King, from whom she receives weekly Bible studies. “I learned how important it is to have Bible instructors teach us to seek knowledge and grow a closer relationship with God,” Mason shared. “I truly enjoyed the service and was blessed by the word I received from Pastor Knight. I will definitely be back to visit Tamarind church.”
Several churches in the Greater Los Angeles Region (GLAR) of the Southern California Conference (SCC) that are a part of BIG were in attendance, such as Smyrna, Normandie Avenue, Fifty-Fourth Street, University, Ephesus, Maranatha, Altadena, and Antelope Valley. In addition to these local churches, representatives from beyond the Pacific Union were also present. Following the rally, those interested passed out tracts in the community.
“One highlight was seeing Bible instructors from Alabama to Tennessee, from Nevada to Central and Northern California,” said Jean Pierre Kouadio Thomas, an attendee and friend of King. “Another big highlight was to be able to witness in the neighborhood in Compton. What a blessing!”
BIG was formed 46 years ago when founder Vivian Boyce sought to unite the Bible instructors in the Pacific Union. The organization has grown to recruit and train Bible instructors who have a passion for evangelism to win souls for Christ in their communities, with Betty Glenn as the current president.
“My hope for the ministry is to have Bible instructors in every church in the Southern California Conference who are constantly doing the work of God and have the spirit of evangelism in them,” reflected King. “My purpose is to find those people, because I believe every church has them.” If you would like to learn more about BIG or get involved, visit https://bibleinstructorsguild.org/.