News reports from the Inter-European Division, Newbold, North American Division, Oakwood University

Church in the United States’ South Intentionally Set on Fire

Police and federal agents are investigating after a South Carolina, United States, church with many African-American members, was intentionally set on fire on Nov. 16, 2021, according to an article from the Herald.

Investigators determined an incendiary device had been thrown through a window into New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church. There was minimal damage to the church from the fire. No injuries were reported.

The pastor at New Life, Monte Newbill Sr., said the church leaders and members remain undaunted by the fire and will continue to serve the community.

Richly Awarded

Rico, a short film produced by the South American Division of the Adventist Church, won two awards at the UK Christian Film Festival (UKCFF) in Brixton, Nov. 15-17, 2021: “Best Short Film” and “Best Director,” according to an Inter-European Division article.

Inspired by a true story, the 29-minute film Rico: He Had (Almost) Everything addresses issues such as violence, forgiveness, and hope. Rico takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Rico, a crime boss, is involved in a tragedy that changes the whole story of his family and several other people in the community.

Rico is available in Portuguese on Feliz7Play, the Adventist Church’s streaming platform.

New Head for Newbold

In a Nov. 15, 2021, letter addressed to the Newbold College of Higher Education Chair of Governors, John D. Baildam, Newbold College principal, announced his intention to retire on May 31, 2022. Baildam is Newbold’s second-longest serving principal.  His tenure as principal lasted more than 40 years, according to an article from the Trans-European Division.

Applications for a new principal are being accepted. The position’s start date is June 1, 2022, or earlier by mutual agreement. A letter of application, a CV and the names and contact details of two referees should be emailed as soon as possible, but no later than January 31, 2022, to, according to an article from the Inter-European Division.

Happy 125th, Oakwood University

Oakwood University, the historically Black Adventist college, opened its doors on Nov. 16, 1896. It began as the Oakwood Industrial School in Huntsville, Alabama, United States, with 16 students.

Oakwood University is considered a historical landmark in Huntsville. The 350 acres purchased in 1896 were the property of plantation farmer Peter Blow. Among the slaves owned by Blow was one named Dred, who would become famous for his role in the Dred Scott case, a historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the long post-Civil War history of Black civil rights.

In 1943, Oakwood received its first accreditation, as a junior college. In 1958, it was accredited to award baccalaureate degrees. On Jan. 1, 2008, it achieved university status after adding its first graduate program, the Master of Arts degree in pastoral studies.

U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Oakwood University among top-tier private liberal arts colleges and universities in the South, in both the “Historically Black Colleges and Universities” (HBCUs) and “Regional Colleges/South” categories.

Reason for the Season

“Happy birthday, Jesus” is a free, downloadable 25-day activity devotional for the entire family created by the North American Division, Children’s Ministries department. This devotional, available in English and Spanish, guides readers through the first 25 days of December, celebrating and remembering Jesus, the real reason for the season. LEARN MORE

(Photo: Rico, a short film produced by the South American Division of the Adventist Church, won two awards at the UK Christian Film Festival (UKCFF):  “Best Short Film” and “Best Director.” Photo via South American Division website.)

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