East Central Colombian Conference is a part of North Colombian Union Conference in the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
Territory and Statistics
East Central Colombian Conference is a part of North Colombian Union Conference in the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Its territory includes the east-central portion of Santander state with the municipalities of Barrancabermeja, Cimitarra, El Carmen, Giron, Landazuri, Puerto Parra, Puerto Wilches, Sabana de Torres, San Vicente del Chucurí, Santa Helena de Opon, Yarima, and Zapatoca; the municipality of Yondo in Antioquia state; the municipalities of Cantagallo and San Pablo in Bolivar state; and the municipality of San Alberto in Cesar state.1
The conference has 121 churches and 13,405 members in a population of 642,209. Its headquarters is located at Carrera 24 No. 45A-07, Barrancabermeja, Santander, to the east of the Magdalena River.2 In early 2019 the conference had 21 districts, 72 organized groups, two high schools, three elementary schools, 15 ordained ministers, and nine licensed ministers.
The conference activities are framed by the statutes and constitution of the North Colombian Union Conference and by the constitution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, represented by the Inter-American Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The conference statutes and constitution are registered in the Ministerio del Interior de Colombia. Therefore, the conference is officially recognized as an entity of the Adventist Church in Colombia under NIT 900815070-9 with its president as its legal representative.
Instituto Adventista del Carare is located in the city of Cimitarra and has 340 students. The Instituto Colombiano para la Evaluación de la Educación has given it an “A+” rating.
Colegio Adventista Libertad de Sabana de Torres is located in the municipality of Sabana de Torres and has 430 students. The Instituto Colombiano para la Evaluación de la Educación has given it an “A” rating.
Centro Educativo Adventista Libertad offers primary basic education and has an enrollment of 77 students.
Colegio Adventista Libertad de Landázuri offers primary basic education and has an enrollment of 33 students.
Colegio Adventista Redención located in El Carmen de Chucurí offers primary basic education and has an enrollment of 22 students.
Origins of Adventist Work in Conference Territory
The first missionaries in this territory established themselves in Bucaramanga. In 1950 copies of the El Centinela magazine arrived in Barrancabermeja from the city of Barranquilla via the Magdalena River. Missionaries used these copies to spread the gospel throughout the territory.
The work of the church in this region began to spread and grow. In 1985 East Colombian Conference was organized in the region and reorganized in 2008.3 In 2016 the existing conference territory was reorganized, and the East Central Colombian Conference was established.4
The Conference Fulfills its Mission by:
Practicing revival and reformation in all areas of church life.
Making each member a disciple committed to the mission.
Integrating and managing all resources wisely for the development of missionary work.
Preparing each church home to look forward to the coming of the Lord in glory.
Making each family a missionary family.
Ensuring by God’s grace that each household lives in a balanced, healthy, joyful way.
Extending arms of service to the community to win many for the kingdom of heaven.
Consolidating the development of churches and schools to better serve the community.
During the beginning years of the conference much has been accomplished to help the church’s missionary work. Pastors receive constant training to improve their knowledge so they might better serve the members and support church work. Laity and leaders have obtained certification from Andrews University in health and temperance, homiletics, home and family, leadership, and church planting. Church elders also receive ongoing training. Women are prepared for leadership roles, preaching, and soul-winning evangelism. Youth receive attention through the Adventurer, Pathfinder, and Master Guide clubs and through annual camps. Children and adolescents are intentionally served through the program, La Mochila que Habla Sola, which teaches Christian values and principles.
The conference headquarters was moved to a new building to better care for the members, promote church growth, and serve the community. Training and awareness of Adventist philosophy for worship and a healthy and comprehensive lifestyle are emphasized. Training teachers is a priority in conferences with continuing education provided by special guests such as Rector Ismael Castillo of Montemorelos University.
List of Presidents
Enrique David Anaya Pava (2017-present).
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.
“East Central Colombian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, accessed February 8, 2021, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=53728.↩
“East Colombian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2016), 144.↩
“East Central Colombian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2017), 150.↩