• Connecting people to an abundant life with Jesus Christ and preparing them for His return

Church Growth/Evangelism

NCCSDA.com Wins Prestigious ADDY Award

NCCSDA.com Wins Prestigious ADDY Award 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Part of the NCC’s path to organizational health is to effectively inform, educate, and tell the stories of our churches, schools, and ministries. To do this, a new website was launched in 2020.

The COVID pandemic was a catalyst that accelerated the need for online methods for staying current with news and events. The NCC website was no exception, and its professional look, functionality, and information were revamped with a new look.

Subsequently, the site was entered into the 2022 American Advertising Awards competition, winning an impressive Silver Award. Terrill Thomas, web designer and president of T13 Media, said of the project and award, “It was gratifying to see Christian content, graphics, and web design be recognized for excellence by a secular professional organization.”

The website is constantly updated with important conference information, including employment opportunities, education scholarships, events, and news.

Most recently, the communication and development department has posted an incredible help guide for creating a culture of stewardship in your church. You can visit the website here.

Featured in Northern Lights, July 6, 2023

Bernadette Johnson Retires

Bernadette Johnson Retires 384 504 Ken Miller

June 30- Bernadette Johnson retired from the NCC administration office after 19 years of service.

Johnson joined the NCC in 2004 as a clerk for Golden Gate Academy, where she was a substitute teacher and, eventually, treasurer. In 2007 she moved to the NCC administration offices in Pleasant Hill, where she became the administrative assistant for the ministerial department.

According to Jim Lorenz, ministerial director, “Bernadette knew how churches work, making her an outstanding advocate for pastors. She supported many pastors and churches in their day-to-day operations, and her insightful knowledge, dedication, and humor will be greatly missed.”

Johnson was known to be one step ahead of events throughout the territory, from pastor installations and group convocations to dedications and evangelistic series. Jennifer Kendrick, executive administrative assistant, stated, “I will miss her presence and associated laughter in the office. She was so fun to plan events with and would regularly know all the event’s particulars and have them half-planned in advance!”

Also respected as a spiritual mentor, Yolanda Frazier, administrative assistant to the African American ministries coordinator, said about Johnson, “When I started at the NCC, she took me under her wing and guided me to significant spiritual growth. I will truly miss her and am happy for her next mission with her family.”

Marc Woodson, NCC president, said, “Bernadette truly epitomizes our core values. She has a servant’s heart and is a passionate, hard worker. She always looks to help others, lending a helping hand wherever needed. She will be sorely missed.”

Bernadette and her husband, Willy, call Crowley, Texas, their home. They will enjoy their retirement close to their children and grandchildren.

Featured in Northern Lights, June 15, 2023

Honoring Public Servants Opens Ministry Doors

Honoring Public Servants Opens Ministry Doors 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Our churches are committed to demonstrating kindness, serving their communities diligently, and remaining relevant. A popular outreach method regularly honors the sacrifices made by public servants, both men and women, who serve our nation or communities.

Bob Mason, district pastor of Yreka and Scott Valley churches, recently offered the invocation at a ceremony to honor those who had fallen in the line of duty. Yreka townspeople and law enforcement personnel attended this event, and retired NCC pastor, Jim Crabtree, sang the national anthem.

In another instance, the Novato church planned an appreciation brunch for the Novato Police Department. One church member stated that while serving and eating with their uniformed guests, they connected by listening to their stories and noting their heartfelt needs. Most importantly, “they were able to pray with the officers.”

One Lieutenant emailed her appreciation to the Novato church afterward and wrote, “Thank you again for the wonderful brunch today. We enjoyed getting to know you all, and we appreciate the time and energy you put into making this special for us.”

The leadership of both churches believes that creating or attending these events can open up doors for service. Mason concluded, “I believe that participating in civic events and reaching out to communities in this way shows that our churches care about their community and are ready to serve those in need.”

Featured in Northern Lights, June 15, 2023

We Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 774 224 Ken Miller

In May we celebrated and honored our 23 Asian American and Pacific Islander Churches, companies, and groups in our territory who speak eleven different languages.

Our Asian Pacific Department works with the following cultural groups: Korean, Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, Samoan, Tongan, Japanese and Fijian.

We are also proud to have the only organized Fijian Church in the North American Division.

We wish to recognize our fifteen Asian Pacific pastors who are passionate hard workers and demonstrate a servant’s heart.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 25, 2023

Here a Pear, There a Plum, Everywhere a Yum Yum

Here a Pear, There a Plum, Everywhere a Yum Yum 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Auburn church members have a unique way of being community relevant, which takes much passionate, hard work.

The church has been maintaining a small farm for several years now. The farm boasts an orchard with fruit trees like pear, cherry, apple, peach, and plum. In addition to the fruit trees, the farm has a garden that grows different vegetables, including squash, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and this year’s new test crop – potatoes.

The Adventist Community Services program involves church gardeners and members of the community planting, growing, and harvesting large quantities of fresh produce. This food is primarily distributed to families in the community who struggle with food insecurity. Pam Haddad, community service director, stated, “Often during peak harvest, there is so much produce that we can offer it to other resource centers in the area, of which they are always appreciative.”

Haddad continued, “Each Monday, member Heidi Magorian provides a wonderful hot and well-rounded lunch for our unhoused brothers and sisters. As part of the ministry, guests are provided clean clothes, hot showers, and weekly supplies.”

Adam Weeks, associate pastor, stated, “The church highly supports this program with many volunteers, and many recipients of the food have come back and told of the blessings they received while unhoused. Several even come back and work in the garden today; it’s a ministry that yields results.”

Featured in Northern Lights, May 18, 2023


Garrison Chaffee Installed At PUC Church

Garrison Chaffee Installed At PUC Church 2670 2936 Ken Miller

April 29- The PUC Church welcomed Garrison Chaffee as their new youth and associate pastor.

Chaffee, an alum of PUC, was most recently the associate pastor at the Napa Church and said about his new posting, “Coming back to campus has a special meaning for me. PUC provided my first ministry job at a time when I was headed in a different career direction. I fell in love with youth ministry during a summer internship program, and it’s a beautiful full circle moment to be back sharing Jesus on the same campus where I felt God calling me into ministry.”

Chaffee joins Nate Furness, senior pastor of the PUC Church, and Lem Garcia, associate pastor. They are passionate, hard workers excited to create a dynamic, community-relevant ministry. The reunited pastors make a complete ministry team.

Furness stated, “Garrison has a passion for connecting young people to Jesus. That passion fits our mission of demonstrating Jesus and preparing young people to serve God.”

Chaffee shares his life with Merilyn, his wife of 22 years. They have three children, Lilliana, a PUC Freshman; Makayla, a Junior at Prep; and Grayson, a Freshman at PUC Prep.

Featured in Northern Lights, May 11, 2023

First Responders Served and Celebrated at Camino

First Responders Served and Celebrated at Camino 2000 1125 Ken Miller

April 29- Members of the Camino Church showed their kindness and commitment to their community by hosting a church service and potluck to honor and celebrate first responders from El Dorado County and the Highway 50 corridor.

The event included many CAL FIRE personnel, California Highway Patrol, The Sheriff’s Department, and other first responders, who were all invited to attend.

Lloyd Ogen, head elder, and fire service chaplain, said, “The goal was to affirm these dedicated individuals and show them that they are never alone in our community and are always welcome in houses of faith throughout the county.”

During the service, Ogen quoted Micah 6:8 in his homily: “He has shown you, Oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God… those are values that every single agency and their personnel meet in some way every day.”

Nick Rose, Captain of CALFIRE for El Dorado County, wrote in a thank you letter, “I was overcome with gratitude for the generosity, love, and sense of community I experienced at the service. Sometimes it can be easy for first responders to get lost in the stresses of their job, but events like this make it all worth it.”

Featured in Northern Lights, May 11 2023

Mysterious Guest Anchors Sermon Point

Mysterious Guest Anchors Sermon Point 877 957 Ken Miller

Cherise Gardner, pastor of the Chico Church, recently preached at the Nevada City First Baptist Church.

The request to speak was the result of church members from each church working together in a local hospice. Gardner stated, “My message was taken from Haggai, and how intentionally building on the foundation Jesus has started in our lives, He will bless us and build our house in return.”

A lady, not a member of the church, approached Gardner after the sermon and related how she had roots in Adventism and had felt impressed to come that day to hear Gardner speak. Gardner remembered, “This woman described how she had raised money for lights and insurance for a skateboard park when she was homeless.”

Gardner continued, “This woman poured all she had into her ministry while living out of her car just to provide a safer place for children to play.”

The irony of the day’s sermon topic was not lost on either Gardner or the woman when she revealed that since those leaner days, God had honored her and provided a home.

This kind soul was the personification of the sermon that day, that the Lord will continue to build on the foundation He has started in our lives.

Featured in Northern Lights, April 27, 2023

Quick Acting Member Fights For Ukrainian Students

Quick Acting Member Fights For Ukrainian Students 2000 1125 Ken Miller

Fourteen months ago, Pacific Union College Church member Julie Lee witnessed her friend and fellow church member perform a contagiously kind act, engaging her church and community in ministry.


Jennifer Klingbeil was stunned by the war taking place in Ukraine. Of Ukrainian descent, she was devastated by the unfolding destruction of the invasion–a scene that left much of the world feeling helpless. However, Klingbeil was not one to watch as refugees flooded bordering countries. She jumped into action.


Klingbeil created “Mission: Ukraine,” a project to bring Adventist Ukrainian students displaced by the war to study at PUC. Her plan worked, and in collaboration with the college, church, community members, and business associates, enough donations were raised to bring five student refugees to America.


But her servant’s heart didn’t stop there. Klingbeil stated, “The students are grateful and have adapted relatively well. The college is doing everything possible to help them adjust to their situation.” She is working to keep them at PUC long enough to earn their degrees.

Klingbeil and her team have engaged their calling to ministry and shown servants’ hearts by following Matthew 25:35. “For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” (ESV)

Featured in Northern Lights, April 27, 2023

Caring For The Forgotten Behind Bars

Caring For The Forgotten Behind Bars 1997 955 Ken Miller

April 1- The Prison Ministries Department sponsored a training seminar for those that serve men and women behind bars. Thirty-four people attended and learned how to be more effective in their ministry from speaker Daniel McManus, an ex-convict and president of the Alliance of Prison Ministry Organizations and Affiliates.

Rudy Peters, prison ministries director, stated, “We are dedicated to the support of our members involved in this important ministry. We are creating a program named The Prison Ministry Federation that will provide a framework that assists volunteers, pastors, and churches in their prison work.”

Peters concluded, “Members that serve in prison ministry are contagiously kind and passionate about caring for the forgotten. Many have been inside those same walls. We want to ensure they have all the training and tools needed for this important work.”

Featured in Northern Lights, April 13, 2023