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August 2011 Newsletter
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GETTING TO KNOW YOUR PASTOR AND ELDERS

The Communication and Audio Visual Departments are working together to bring you the events that affect our lives together here at Northwest Dade Seventh-Day Adventist Church. It is our intention to celebrate the baptism of new members, the birth of each other’s children, and all of the events that bind us together as a thriving, caring community. Getting to know all about each other and sharing our lives with one another are two of the goals that members share here at Northwest Dade Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Keeping these goals firmly in our minds, welcome to the launch of the Northwest Dade e-newsletter!! We are relying on you, the membership, to let us know the things that are of interest to you. If you have pictures for the newsletter, information that should be shared, or anything else that uplifts, please contact Jossette Sookie, with the Communication Department, at nwdcommunications@yahoo.com.

Enormous talent and dedication walks the isles of Northwest Dade Church. From the Pastor to the teeniest, tiniest baby, and everyone in between, the wealth of Northwest Dade Church lies in the resourcefulness and tireless dedication of its members. There is something for everyone to give— worship, time, talent, creativity, organization, etc. and so much more for people to receive—Christian fellowship, friendship, love, and support.. At the head of this extraordinary group of people are the Pastor and the Board of Elders. The articles below will assist you in getting to know them a little bit better.

 
Pastor Marco A.Valenca is the spiritual leader of the Northwest Dade Seventh-Day Adventist Church Family. He and his wife, Lucia, have been at Northwest Dade SDA Church for 2 years. They are known throughout the Florida Conference of Adventists as Church Builders. Lucia Valenca has been his support throughout their 46 years of marriage. Northwest Dade is fortunate to have their experience and dedication. Pastor Valenca believes in the involvement of each member in the mission of the church. His vision is to see the NWD Church as a caring and mission driven community of believers in Jesus Christ and the message of the Seventh day Adventist Church. Pastor Valenca and his wife have as one of their goals the completion of the building project which includes a Sanctuary and Classrooms for children and adults.
 
   
         
  Harold A. Sookie (Uncle Harry) is the Head Elder of the Northwest Dade SDA Church. Elder Sookie comes from a family of Baptists. As a youth, he was constantly getting into trouble. He was sent to school from Monday to Friday and attended church on Sundays with his Baptist family but he kept getting into trouble on Saturdays. To keep him occupied on Saturdays, his mother sent him to the Seventh-Day Adventist church to attend services. This was how Elder Sookie accepted the Seventh-Day Adventist message. He has been a faithful Seventh-Day Adventist ever since. This Jamaican native has assisted in building 3 Seventh-Day Adventist Churches throughout his life as an Adventist. The Portmore SDA Church in Jamaica, which is the largest church building in the Inter-American Division, began in his and his wife’s living room. He and his family are charter members of the Northwest Dade Church. As Head Elder he also sits on every committee of the church and leads the Board of Elders. At the Conference level, he sits on the Executive Committee  
       
 
Elder Fred Drummond (Uncle Fred) also doubles as the Safety Officer and Chair of the Building Committee at NWD SDA Church. He was the Chairman of the Building Committee Taskforce from its inception to when it finally broke ground on our current building. Elder Drummond continues to work diligently to break ground on the main Sanctuary for NWD. Elder Drummond is also the elder over the Prayer Ministries Department and the Deacons. In addition, he is also an assistant Chorister and often functions as a Greeter on Sabbath. He works extensively with the Social Committee as well. Elder Drummond’s personal philosophy is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Elder Drummond loves the Lord and takes pride in knowing that his entire family attends and are active members of the Northwest Dade Seventh-Day Adventist Church
 
 


Elder Heather Drummond (Aunt Heather) is the Elder over Health Ministries, Community Services, the Deaconesses, and the Social Committee. With her radiant smile and even-tempered demeanor, Elder Drummond exudes calm and logic. She, like her husband, Elder Fred Drummond, is also used to wearing many hats. In addition to being an elder at the Northwest Dade Church, she is also a Nurse Practitioner, a wife, mother, and grandmother of two. Aunt Heather has been a Seventh-Day Adventist for the past 11 years. She calls them, “the best years of my life.” Her personal philosophy is to have a Godly Philosophy at all times and to walk with the Lord. Psalms 16:8 encourages her. It reads, “I have set the Lord always before me: because [He is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” In addition, she says that, "because I am a wife, grandmother, mother, nurse, and a leader at NWD, I have to have the Lord at my right hand. It is because of His grace that I am not consumed. I thank God for NWD and my family…I love working for the Lord and this church."

 
       
    Elder Carlton Foster is the Elder over Communication, Audio Visual, and the Sabbath School/Personal Ministries Departments. In school, Elder Foster studied Accounting; however he became fascinated with computers and began studying Computer Science. He completed six years of Computer Science at CAST in Jamaica, then migrated to the United States and continued his studies at Miami Dade Community College and Florida International University. Using his new skills, he became a Computer Programmer Analyst for FPL FiberNet. His expertise gives him the knowledge he needs to fulfill his role as the Elder in charge of the three departments. He is the liaison between these departments and The Board of Elders. He was baptized in 1996 at the Coral Spring SDA church, and has been working as an elder shortly thereafter – serving three churches since coming to NWD. He is married to Lauretta with 5 children (4 boys and 1 girl), and 2 grandchildren. He is dedicated to the work of the Lord.  
       
 

Elder Joel Newman, or Uncle Joe, is very well known at Northwest Dade Church. Uncle Joe has the special task and great responsibility of conducting the New Believer’s Bible Study. When someone asks to be baptized, Uncle Joe is the person who makes sure that person is guided, supported, and understands exactly what it means to be a follower of Christ. He leads by example, acknowledging the Christian struggle and revealing his own spiritual successes. Elder Newman is the elder over Children and Youth Ministries, Men’s Ministries, and the Welcoming Ministries. His philosophy in life is that, “Every day above ground is a good day.”

 

 
  Elder Dwight Perry studied Theology at Southern University. He sometimes preaches at Northwest Dade Church as do many of the other elders. This native born Jamaican is married with one child. He assists in teaching the Early Teen Class at Northwest Dade Church. He is also the elder over Family Life Ministries, Pathfinders, and Adventurers. Elder Perry’s philosophy is, “Nothing is so broken that it cannot be fixed, so don’t sweat it.”  
  Elder Rosann Simon is the youngest elder of the NWD SDA Church. She is from the Island of Trinidad. As an elder, Rosann is responsible for the Education and Women’s Ministries Departments. Elder Simon is a Registered Nurse who works in Utilization and Review for a Medical Insurance Company. If asked, she will indicate that she is married to a wonderful bald-headed man by the name of Fitzroy Simon and she has two wonderful children. Elder Simon is a member of large family, with brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. She is a listening ear for many members of NWD Church. Elder Simon believes in giving her best to the Master and all with whom she makes contact with at Northwest Dade. Her personal philosophies come from Psalms 27, Psalm 37:25, “I have been young and now am old: yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread”, and she purposes in her heart to learn to love her enemies and to do good to those that hate.  
     
   

Articles written by James Simon and Jossette Sookie; All photographs taken by James Simon; Edited by Jossette Sookie

Northwest Dade Seventh-Day Adventist Church,
6500 NW 202nd Street
Miami, FL 33015
305-625-5630
www.nwdsda.org