Maxton- Today was the final day of the 112th Annual Conference of the Lumber River Conference of the Holiness Methodist (LRCHMC) meeting at Shoeheel Holiness Methodist Church. The morning Sunday school adult session was led by Michael Angelo Milicia (Shoeheel) and what an appropriate name for the teacher of the hour. He painted a wonderful portrait of Paul’s ship wreck as told in Acts 27, encouraging those present to follow wherever God chooses to lead us. We were fortunate to get an interview with Brother Michael that follows this article. The Worship hour was powerful with soul stirring singing provided by Sister Janice Chavis and Sister Barbara Scott the sermon was given by presiding Bishop James H. Woods. The closing cabinet report was given by Conference Secretary Dianne Belcher, this saw only one pastoral change with the Reverend Scott Hammonds being appointed to the New Bethel congregation in Fairmont. Congratulations Brother Scott and his family on the Bishop’s faith and confidence in the many gifts and graces which God has empowered him with.

What follows is in part comes from an interview that Michael Angelo Milicia granted the author at the conclusion of the Sunday school session November 11, 2012 at Shoeheel Holiness Methodist Church

Interviewer: How long have you been a part of this congregation?
Michael: I have been here since I was a child, having moved in and out of the community for short periods of time but since I come to know the Lord I have been here.

Interviewer: Why do you teach?
Michael: I love to study and research the scriptures I often tell the folks here that we must know the scriptures if we are going to be able to face the obstacles that the Devil puts in front of us. And if we the church are going to reach our communities for Jesus. We must be prepared and that comes only by the Word of God.

IMG 7883-mikeInterviewer: You mentioned obstacles what are some things you would like to see made with in the Conference that you feel would be beneficial to your church here?
Michael: I think there needs to be more communication between our churches as a whole. Maybe some of those from the other churches could just drop in on us from time to time. It is almost like we are out here on our own. I know that the Bishop and others have obligations but it really seems like we are so disconnected from the rest of the conference here at Shoeheel and part of it I believe is a lack of communication between the churches. This is probably for other local churches as well.

We would like to thank Mr. Milicia for his willingness to speak with us and especially his honesty and compassion that he expressed for Shoeheel and the LRCHMC as a whole.

112 Annual Conf day 1

Maxton- Shoeheel Holiness Methodist Church played host to the 112th Annual Conference of the Lumber River Conference of the Holiness Methodist Church. The Conference kicked off with a Worship Service led by the Reverend Steve Locklear and Sister Janice Bryant (New Prospect). The invocation was delivered by Brother Earl Maynor (Union Chapel) and the morning message was presented by the Reverend Elton B. Hunt, Superintendent of the Conference his thought was “If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it”. The Reverend Hunt encouraged the seventy-five clergy and laity present to follow God’s plan and move when He says move.

During the morning business session the Reverend James H. Woods was re-elected presiding bishop while sister Dianne Belcher (Cherokee Chapel) was re-elected as Conference Secretary/Treasurer, brother Crawley Locklear(Cherokee Chapel) was re-elected Sunday School Supervisor and sister Kathy Oxendine (New Bethel) to the position of Conference Lay Leader. After the business session the fine folks from Shoeheel provided a great lunch.

The Afternoon Worship was led by the host pastor the Reverend Neal Locklear after special music by himself and his wife the sermon was preached by the Reverend Oscar Henderson from Mt Carmel Holiness church.