Sabbath School Is Still Alive

Published on February 2, 2024

Each year, the Gulf States Conference brings together Sabbath School teachers and superintendents, as well as personal ministry leaders, for an energizing weekend of training at Camp Alamisco to inspire Sabbath Schools at local churches throughout the Conference.

According to Martin Fancher, executive secretary of the Gulf States Conference, Sabbath School is one of the most important parts of the church service because it is “where we get to handle God’s word.”

This year’s event took place February 2-4, 2024 at Camp Alamisco where Pastor Roy Ice, Director of Faith For Today, was the guest speaker.

Sabbath School Is Not Dead

One of Pr Roy’s rallying cries was “Sabbath School is not dead. It's only just begun!” This level of enthusiasm and inspiration permeated the camp, motivating attendees to carry that same energy back to their respective churches to revitalize their individual Sabbath School classes.

An example of this was Ivonne Norris, who is the Sabbath School superintendent at her local church. She attended the retreat because of encouragement from her pastor, but wasn't sure what to expect.

The Presence of the Holy Spirit

Recounting the weekend, she shared that she sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit and learned a lot from Pastor Roy’s presentations. “He taught that many times we miss small details in the Bible that can change our entire perspective on how we have understood parables and Bible stories. I learned a lot.”

Understanding the true power for the success of a weekend like this is the presence of the Holy Spirit, Elder Fancher described the retreat saying, “This year has been phenomenal with Elder Roy Ice, speaker of Faith For Today. I know there are people here who are going to go home transformed.”


Shawn Renee Lucas, from Clanton Seventh-day Adventist Church, was one of these people who experienced transformation over the weekend. One of the main takeaways for her was the emphasis on the importance of understanding the character of God and incorporating it into the lesson study in order to reach people.

The weekend not only prepared her to facilitate her Sabbath School class back at Clanton but also renewed her faith and her desire to share her love of Jesus with others, saying, “It’s been a beautiful weekend, and it's been awesome for me. It's renewed my faith, my love, my strength and my joy for Jesus, and that's all it took was this weekend so praise the Lord! I'm excited.”

Pastor Roy Ice expressed, “I had such a great weekend here at Camp Alamisco for the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Conference we had here.”

In speaking of the attendees, he said excitedly, “I wish I could have met with all of you. But I'll tell you, I met with some of the best people I've ever met. They're so excited about what's going to happen in [their] churches.”

Further Resources

To continue the learning opportunities, Pastor Ice shared, “We've got some great resources for you. If you missed this weekend, I don't want you to miss out. If you go to the website,, we want to make sure that you have resources that connect people directly with the most beautiful, surprising characteristics of God. And so if you would like to have those resources, please check out our website or contact me because I'd love to help and support you here in the great Gulf States Conference to make sure you're having the best Sabbath School ever!”

Summing up the weekend, attendee Shawn Renee Lucas shared, “God is such a beautiful Savior, and this is exactly what I needed –[understanding] how to implement this plan in reaching others. I love how the Lord blessed Elder Roy Ice to teach that. This is something I know I was getting excited about because I love Sabbath School, and the best part is God's character on how to reach people and how to implement it into your church and be a personal minister because the Lord is a personal God and so when you personally interact with people, one-on-one, what a beautiful thing that is.”

Elder Fancher concluded saying, “people's lives will be changed, if only we will continue to learn to love, to live in Christ and to share with others. That's what this weekend has been about, and it's truly the blessing we hoped it would be.”