Report on the 2019 MIP Commissioning Celebration and 40th Anniversary

Cleveland, TN–Some in attendance at the 2019 MIP Commissioning Celebration and 40th Anniversary held on May 17-18 said it was one of the best celebrations ever. The more than 1,300 registered attendees were blessed with anointed preaching, inspiring worship, and commissioning of the 460+ MIP candidates and spouses.

The Celebration began on Friday morning with the MIP Leadership Seminar. Mario Mendoza, an ultra-marathon runner who is ranked ninth in the world and is a Church of God credentialed minister, drew lessons from his running experience and applied them to the Christian life and ministry. His teaching was insightful and inspiring that the leadership gave him a spontaneous standing ovation.

The 40th Anniversary reflected over the years since the Ministerial Internship Program originated. Mary Fisher, wife of Dr. Robert E. Fisher, the founder of the MIP, was recognized for her support of Dr. Fisher in creating the MIP. Dr. Larry Hess, the director who expanded the MIP around the world, reminisced about his service with the MIP. Sandra Kay Williams, who is a graduate of the MIP, shared about the meaning the MIP had for her and the hope MIP gives people going into the ministry. Tommy Powell, the administrative bishop of Missouri and MIP graduate, shared about the benefits he has experienced as both a MIP candidate and administrative bishop. And John Lombard, who has the longest serving record as a state MIP coordinator—37 years, recalled his experience with ministerial training as a coordinator.

General Overseer Tim Hill addresses 2019 MIP candidates at their Commissioning on May 18 (click photo to enlarge)

The Friday evening service included Dr. John Childers, secretary general of the Church of God, telling about his enrollment in the first MIP class and its benefits for him. Vaughn Mathews, shared how he participated in the very first beginnings of the internship with Dr. Fisher in Hawaii, as the MIP was being created. Lillian Turnipseed, the state MIP coordinator in Southern New England, told about the blessings she has received watching the MIP candidates grow and mature in ministry. Wade Miller, recollected the impact the MIP had on his wife, Tammy, and himself as a MIP candidate, and then on other candidates as a supervising pastor, and now as he serves as the state MIP coordinator for the Ministry to the Military. Miller described that the MIP is implemented around the world and the monthly seminars are conducted through video conferencing, since the candidates may be stationed in Europe, North America, Asia, and other parts of the world. Finally, Dr. Michael Reynolds preached an wise message on the Parable of the Sower, exhorting the attendees to lock up the seed that they receive from the Lord so that they can be fruitful spiritually and in ministry.

The Saturday morning service was twofold—recognition of the MIP participants and commissioning of the MIP candidates. State MIP coordinators and supervising pastors were recognized for years of service, and the MIP candidates and supervising pastors were individually congratulated by the leadership—Dr. Tim Hill, Dr. Raymond Culpepper, Dr. David Ramírez, Dr. Michael Baker, Dr. Michael Reynolds, and their spouses—as they went through the congratulatory line. Presiding Bishop preached a most powerful message on the “foundation is Jesus Christ” and then led in a powerful commissioning prayer for the MIP candidates, as he was joined by the International Office leadership, administrative bishops, state ministerial training leaders, and supervising pastors.

(Source: Church of God Division of Education)

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