Six Church of God leaders and their spouses were honored with the prestigious Global Impact Award during special services at the leadership conference being held in Cleveland this week.
The Church of God Executive Committee honored the six couples who have answered the call from God, “Go to the ends of the Earth and proclaim my name.” The 2018 Circle Of Global Impact Award recipients are Dr. Paul and Darlia Conn; Rev. Victor and Ada Pagan; Dr. Carl and Beverly Richardson; Dr. Wallace and Dorothy Sibley; Rev. Perry and Pamela Stone; and Dr. Lamar and Vickie Vest.
“From the beginning of the ages, God has called workers into service for the Kingdom,” stated General Overseer Dr. Tim Hill. “From all walks of life and with various gifts and talents, He has called laborers – laborers who were willing to serve Him.”
“Because faithful and dedicated servant-leaders have obeyed His call, the course of nations – actually the course of history – has been changed,” proclaimed a video presented during the Wednesday ceremony. “His presence and His blessings have changed even the most hardened hearts and minds; it has changed the way we live our lives; and it has given us hope for generations to come. “
These heroes of the faith were recognized as willing to go when they heard the voice of God and willing to give their lives to make a difference; willing to help FINISH the Great Commission.
The Circle of Global Impact Award exists to recognize and honor people who have committed their lives and their ministry to expanding the Kingdom of God around the globe and for their lifetime of achievements and commitment to the Church of God. Each recipient has left an indelible impact on millions of people around the world and created legacies that will last for eternity.
Five of the six awards were presented on Wednesday, September 12, with the final recognition taking place the next evening.
Dr. Paul Conn has been president of Lee University for the last 32 years, since 1986. He, along with his wife Darlia, has led thousands of students seeking higher education degrees. Conn has presented over 19,000 diplomas and taken the Church of God’s premier educational institution from just under 1,000 students in enrollment to nearly 5,400 this fall. The campus has grown from 22 to 125 acres, with campus buildings increasing from 15 to 51. The budget has gone from $6 million annually, to over $100 million and the employee family is now 760 compared to 160 in 1986. Under Conn’s leadership the academic programs have been increased from 22 to 125 and athletic programs from 3 to 18. Prior to leading Lee as president, Conn was a vice president and psychology faculty member. He is the author of several best-selling books, including The Possible Dream, the story of entrepreneur Rich DeVos.
Victor and Ada Pagan previously served as National Youth Director in Puerto Rico. They pastored six churches and he was Administrative Bishop in Puerto Rico and in five U.S. regions. He was Field Director for the Church of God in South America and was elected Assistant Director Church of God World Missions in 2008. The interpreter of choice for past many general overseers, Dr. Pagan has been awarded the order of J.H. Ingram and Spirit of Azusa recognitions. Founders and presidents of the VIDA Foundation in 2012, Victor and Ada Pagan have led the ministry of support and care for ministers, providing scholarships for needy ministerial students and retreats for pastoral care. In six years of operation, VIDA has granted scholarships to ministerial students from Bangladesh, Brasil, Cuba, Haiti, Kenya, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Carl and Beverly Richardson began their ministry pastoring churches in Ashland, Ohio and Lakeland, Florida. In 1972, Carl Richardson was named speaker for the Forward in Faith radio broadcast. During his leadership for the next 12 years, the program was heard on 532 radio stations, a recording studio was constructed, Minister’s Tape Service begun, and an office complex purchased. He led nationwide television specials including New World Coming, Freedom Celebration, 20th Century Day of Pentecost and Power Unlimited. During the period the Vision Foundation was formed, and he conducted overseas crusades in South Africa, Philippines, and India. Over his ministry career, Richardson served on the Church of God Executive Council for 14 years, on the board of National Religious Broadcasters, and chaired the boards of Children of the World, Operation Compassion, and Center for Spiritual Renewal. He founded the television ministries Goin’ Places and Oasis, planted churches in Macedonia, Belarus, Siberia, and Russia and conducted benevolence programs and outreaches in several countries.
Wallace and Dorothy Sibley were also honored as a 2018 Global Impact award recipient. During his ministry, Wallace Sibley was elected by the Church of God to serve as Third Assistant General Overseer; Secretary General; to the Council of Eighteen; as Evangelism and Home Missions Director; and Assistant Director of Evangelism and Home Missions. He was appointed Director of Cross Cultural Ministries, Regional Director of Evangelism, SE Black Churches, chairman, General Board of Black Ministries and the International Advisory Council. Wallace and Dorothy served together in the states of Southern New England and Florida Cocoa as state overseers and as youth directors in Florida Cocoa and Georgia State (Black Churches).
Perry and Pamela Stone founded Voice of Evangelism Ministries in Cleveland, Tennessee. Preaching at age 16 and a national evangelist at 19, Perry Stone has produced hundreds of audio teaching albums and messages, authored and published over 60 books and booklets, written and recorded over 40 gospel songs, distributed thousands of CDS and DVDS around the world and completed an all-digital tele-production studio. They host the weekly national television program Manna-Fest with Perry Stone and have raised millions of dollars for Christian television through telethons. In his revival ministry, Perry Stone hosts several camp meetings and conferences nationwide each year. He has conducted evangelistic outreaches in Africa, Bulgaria, Mexico, Peru and Romania, and supports churches along with missions outreaches in Africa, Australia, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Cuba, Haiti, India, Mexico, Romania, South America and the West Indies. They have directed and hosted over 34 tours with 7,000 tourists to Israel with an emphasis on Biblical prophecy. In Cleveland the ministry has built and completed two International Ministry Centers. Over the course of hundreds of revivals, some lasting up to eleven weeks, over 60,000 have been saved and over 70,000 filled with the Holy Spirit in 35 years of ministry.
The final 2018 recipient is Lamar and Vickie Vest. A fourth generation Church of God minister, Dr. Vest began his ministry with two South Carolina pastorates. Since his first appointment with the Church of God as a youth director in Oklahoma, Lamar Vest’s executive leadership has been second to none. His elected positions include General Overseer (1990-1994), General Overseer (2000 – 2004), First Assistant (1996-2000), Second Assistant (1988-1990), Third Assistant (1986-1988), General Director of Youth and Christian Education (1980-1984), Assistant Director (1976-1980) and a member of the Executive Council. Appointed leadership roles include President, Lee University (1984-1986); President, Pentecostal Theological Seminary (2014-2016); Director, Media Ministries (1994-1996); Chancellor, Division of Education (2004-2006); and State Youth and C.E. Director for Oklahoma, California-Nevada, and Delmarva-DC. Outside of the Church of God, Lamar Vest has made a global impact through his leadership of the American Bible Society. He has been a member of its Executive Committee, chairman of the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee for United Global Societies, led the ABS Mission/Vision Task Force, served as Executive Vice President for Global Scripture Ministries and President from 2009-2012. During his tenure, ABS distributed 29,000,000 portions of scripture and raised $151,000,000 for Bible ministry. Vest is author of five books: What A Life, The Church and Its Youth, Spiritual Balance: Reclaiming the Promise, Spiritual Renewal: The pain and the Glory, Reclaiming Your Testimony.