Welcome to Conyers Seventh Day Adventist Church
By Sherrie Stein
The seed of our Conyers Church was first planted in the fall of 1972 by Elder Perry Green who was the pastor of the Belvedere Adventist Church in Decatur. Elder Green passed away in March 1985 with the knowledge that his efforts with God's blessings had borne fruit with the establishment of our church in 1983.
In early 1973 Elder Fred Minner organized a company of eleven people which included Wilber O'Quinn, Eeanor & John Findley, Charlie & Carolyn Griffis and the Gordan family and Mitchell families. Some time afterward Elder Bill Henson, the new pastor at the Belevdere Church, started a branch Sabbath School. He went house to house inviting people to church and also held an Oldest Bible Contest. Pearl and Hayward Byrd were to become lifelong members as a result of this outreach and the continuing Bible studies given to them by James & Robbie Lee Land.
During the years of 1975 and 1980, a ladies prayer group met at the Belevdere Church with the success of the Conyers Church as their special prayer project. Two of these ladies, Suzanne Land and Marsha Land, are presently members of our church.
In September 1979 invitations called "Something Wonderful For You" Bible enrollment cards were sent to all residents of Rockdale County. There were 166 responses for Bible studies! The following April a "Daniel Seminar" was conducted by Mrs. Del Anderson and was held in the Holiday Inn with many interested guests, some of which became members of the church.
Elder David Dobias became the pastor of the Belvedere Church in August of 1980. He encouraged us strongly with our plans for the establishment of a church in Conyers. We have also been blessed with the work done by Steve Darmody and Larry Buckner in furthering this goal.
Tuesday evening Bible studies were begun in 1982, first in the office of an attorney, James Nexsen who came into the church after a series of meetings. Later they met in the home of Eric Ristau. As many as 28 people would attend these Bible studies. In an effort to make people aware of health problems, a medical van was set up where blood pressure readings were taken. In January of 1983 our first "Stop Smoking Clinic" was held at the Rockdale County Hospital. There were at least twenty people who attended this clinic with many successfully giving up smoking.
A "Revelation Seminar" was conducted in the fall of 1983 by Elder Dobias and his new assistant pastor, Mark Fowler. There was a good turn out and several baptisms resulted from this out reach. It was then decided to rent a facility and start a church company in earnest.
The first regular church service was held on October 8, 1983 at the Lutheran Church in Conyers. In January of 1984, the Georgia Cumberland Conference voted that we would become an official Seventh-day Adventist Church, the organization taking place on March 31, 1984 with forty nine people signing the Church Charter. Our first pastor was Mark Fowler, who with his wife Yolanda worked mightily in God's work.
Pastor Mark and Yolanda Fowler were transferred to Thomaston, Georgia in June 1984. They were very much loved by the congregation and their contributions were greatly appreciated.
In July of 1984 Pastor Brian Aalborg came to assist Elder Dobias at the Belvedere Church and also our church at Conyers. Pastor Aalborg and his wife Sharon, worked with love and enthusiasm to help build up the church. He led out in many ways, including Evangelistic meetings and a "Stop Smoking Clinic" that attracted twenty-nine people.
All during the year of 1985 plans were discussed concerning our own church building. It was voted to accept the school building of the Beverly Road Church on the north side of town. In May the building was moved to the land that we had purchased on highway 138 southwest Conyers. All through the summer and fall, members and friends worked on the renovation of this building. The opening service was held on December 14, 1985 with many Conference officials as honored guests.
The first Vacation Bible School was led by Sharon Aalborg and Ginger O'Neil in June 1986. This was a very successful endeavor and attracted twenty two Adventist and seventeen non-Adventist children. A V.B.S. has been held every year since that first one in 1986 with attendance increasing each year.
Ronda Coody and Susan Fleming have whole heartedly led out in subsequent years.
In June 1988, the Aalborgs left Conyers for their new pastorate in Pennsylvania. They will be remembered for the deep love they had for their church and the many hours that they worked so diligently to spread the message.
On June of 1989, Elder W. J. Henson, and his wife Gertie, and his mother Rosamond Henson were present at V.B.S. graduation ceremonies. Elder Henson began his official duties as our pastor on this date. On December twenty four, Elder Henson conducted the first annual Candlelight Christmas Communion Service which was very much appreciated by all who attended. On April, 1989 the church celebrated its Fifth Anniversary with great joy and even greater plans for the future.
Evangelistic Crusades have been held once or twice a year. These meetings have been attended by many area residents and quite a few new people have become members of our church because of this outreach.
Pathfinders and Adventure Clubs have been organized and have done much to bolster the enthusiasm of our youth. Susan Fleming, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Heinlein and Ronda Coody have been the sparkplugs for these organizations.
Our Sabbath School has functioned well and grown since the Conyers Church began. It would be impossible to name all the dedicated teachers and helpers who have made these classes and activities a success.
The original building soon became too small for our growing congregation and an Education wing was started, with the church members doing most of the work, in the spring of 1991.
This addition would include three new class rooms that were greatly needed, a Fellowship Hall, kitchen and pantry, and storage. Two larger rest rooms were added. In the old building the kitchen became the Mother's Room and the two small rest rooms were the Pastor Study.
This was a much needed addition to say the least.
By the time we finished this addition we realized we did not plan big enough. We still needed more room in all areas of the church. So we had to start thinking bigger again; a new sanctuary.
Pastor Henson after about nine years at Conyers had to retire because of his health. Mykal Ringstaff and his wife Cyndra and family moved to Conyers in 1996. They were with us for two years and were transferred to Thomasville and Barwick Churches in Georgia.
Elder Henson, who stayed in Conyers when he retired, was asked to take the church as interim pastor until the new pastor would arrive. It was at this time that we decided to organize a Building Committee consisting of : Beverly Jackson as Chair Person, G.S. Culpepper, Jim Corbett, Don Land, Louise Brooks, Martha Land, James Land, Bill Henson. They began their work with great enthusium. We also had to begin to raise funds for the building.
At this time our new pastor Harold Peggau and wife and family arrived. Things continued until we had the plans we wanted and so far have raised over $356,000.00 (8-2000).
That's only about $14,000.00 from our goal and the rest will come in!
The new sanctuary is going up now. The foundation and slab is poured and walls are up and the roof is being put on now. The completion date is January 2001.
Under the loving leadership of our Pastors, our forty nine members have grown to 283. Our Conyers Church is noted for its loving atmosphere and we pray that the Lord will continue to bless us as we work for Him.
Pat Ristau 1995
W.J. Henson 2000