Our ministry is here to support the 1st Amendment of the United States constitution rights of members and the community.
Amendment I States
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. It prohibits any laws that establish a national religion, impede the free exercise of religion, abridge the freedom of speech, infringe upon the freedom of the press, interfere with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibit citizens from petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted into the Bill of Rights in 1791.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church has advocated for these goals for more than 100 years, through our department of Religious Liberty, to governments, religious and international organizations. We are here to continue this mission in the city of Atlanta, and surrounding communities of the Berean Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
U.S. President Harry Truman awarded Desmond Doss (a Seventh-Day Adventist) the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 12, 1945, he said, “I’m proud of you. You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president.” The Hollywood movie “Hacksaw Ridge” directed by Mel Gibson famously portrays the story of his fight for his religious liberty rights, and portrays how Seventh-Day Adventist strongly believe in religious liberty rights, and will stand for them.
You may use our Adventist online giving link to make 501c3 contributions and support ourReligious Liberty Ministry.
United States Congressman David Scott is in his ninth term representing Georgia’s 13th Congressional District, which includes Cobb, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton and Henry counties. A native of Aynor, SC, he received a BA with honors from Florida A&M University in 1967 and an MBA with honors from Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1969.
After graduate school, David Scott moved to Atlanta and started his own successful advertising company, Dayn-Mark Advertising. He also created and performed in the Georgia PBS Emmy-award winning television production, “Langston!” about the poetry and life of Langston Hughes. In addition, he created and was the voice for the award-winning national radio program, “Inside Black America.”
David Scott began his political career in 1972 by working with Andrew Young’s winning congressional campaign. Two years later, he was elected as a Georgia state representative and served from 1975 to 1982. As state representative, he wrote laws to provide for gun safety, including creating background checks for gun purchases, and helped create Peachcare, the health insurance program for children.
In 1982, David Scott was elected as a Georgia state senator and served until 2002. While in the Senate, he passed several major laws, including a moment of silence for reﬂection or prayer in Georgia’s public schools.
In Congress, Representative David Scott is a strong voice for jobs, healthcare, education, veterans, children, and transportation. He serves on the Financial Services Committee, Agriculture Committee, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He has written several laws including student loan repayment assistance for law students who become public prosecutors and defenders so that top attorneys will be attracted to public service.
U.S. Congressman David Scott spearheads a wide range of local initiatives to beneﬁt the public, including sponsoring annual job fairs that have secured more than 7,000 jobs, hosting an annual health fair, and hosting home foreclosure prevention and mortgage assistance events, helping more than 4,000 people ﬁnd help to keep their homes.
He sits on the board of the Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy at the University of GA, is a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and the Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He received a “Trumpet Award” in 2008, the Urban League’s “Congressional Leadership Award” in 2010, has been recognized by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the “100 Most Inﬂuential Georgians,” and was named to the “Most Inﬂuential” list of Georgians by JAMES magazine.
Congressman David Scott is married to Alfredia Aaron Scott, sister of baseball great, Hank Aaron; they have two children and two grandchildren. The son of a minister, he speaks at churches regularly.
Because of Congressman Scott’s commitment to serving and improving the lives of his constituents, Berean SDA Church has named him a Black History Month honoree.
Ollie Byron Clemons, Jr., is a gifted leader, speaker, and a strong advocate for hard work and community organization. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, he moved to Atlanta in 1997 to attend Georgia State University.
He joined the Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church that year and embarked on his journey of activity in church ministry and leadership, which over the years has included the men’s usher board, the deacon board, and the elder board. He believes his serving as Head Elder was the beginning of his calling to lead. In addition to serving as Heald Elder, he also currently serves as president of the 501(c)3 non-proﬁt board for the Berean Outreach Ministry Center, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Berean Village, and chairman of the Lay Advisory Council for the South Atlantic Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
In 2005, Elder Clemons and his family moved to Austell, Georgia. His desire to stay informed about his subdivision and the wellbeing of the surrounding community led him to serve as president of his Home Owner’s Association and to begin regularly attending the Austell City Council meetings. The former Mayor encouraged him to run for City Council after observing his interest in the city at large. After much prayer and discussion with his wife, Elder Clemons ran for Austell City Council in 2013, a race in which he received 70% of the vote.
While serving on the City Council, Elder Clemons was asked to serve as mayor pro tem while concurrently working full time for the United States Postal Service, a profession from which he eventually retired in 2015 as a senior sales executive after 33 years of service. In 2017, he campaigned and won a second term on the Austell City Council. During his second term, he was involved in many community organizations, including the Georgia Municipal Association, Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Austell Community Collaborative, CTI Advisory board with Atlanta Public Schools, and the South Cobb Rotary.
In 2018, the mayor of Austell went into early retire-ment and Elder Clemons became the interim mayor. He decided to campaign in the mayoral race against three other candidates and demonstrated persistence and determination throughout the race. To God be the glory that he was victorious and won with over 54% of the vote. This election was an historic event for the city of Austell in that not only was he the ﬁrst mayor elected in 30 years, but he also was the ﬁrst African American to serve in the mayoral seat in the city of Austell.
Elder Clemons and his wife, Valerie, who serves as the assistant church clerk, have ﬁve children and ﬁve grandchildren. And because of his role in church and civic leadership, Elder Ollie Clemons, Jr., has been named a Berean SDA Church Black History Month honoree.
The Rev. Bettye Holland Williams is a trailblazer in the realm of church leadership and inspiration.
Earlier this year, the Rev. Williams was elected as the ﬁrst female president of the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.
A gifted Bible teacher who preaches with power and conviction, she is founder of the B.J. Holland Institute of Ministry, where more than 1,700 men and women have attended to gain more Biblical knowledge and become equipped for ministry.
A graduate of Oral Roberts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, the Rev. Williams makes it known that she got her “burning” before she got her “learning.”
She was licensed to preach the gospel in 1995 at Omega Holiness Church in Atlanta, GA, and was ordained the following year by her pastor, the Rev. Gregory Sutton, at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church.
Her favorite scripture is Matthew 6:33, which reads, “Seek ye ﬁrst the kingdom of God and His righteous-ness and all these things will be added unto you.”
She is a member of Hunter Hill First Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, where the Rev. Christo-pher Wimberly is pastor. At Hunter Hill, she serves as coordinator of the Ministerial Team, preaching and teaching as her pastor assigns. She was voted the “Woman Who Rocks in Ministry” by her church and the Red Hatter of the Year by the 3-L Chapter of Red Hatters International.
Her husband, Deacon Oree Williams, serves with her at Hunter Hill First Missionary Baptist Church.
Because of the Rev. Bettye Holland Williams’ innovation at the helm of Atlanta’s ecumenical leadership community, Berean SDA Church has named her a Black History Month honoree.
Dynamic, highly respected, public servant and community leader all only begin to describe Virginia W. Harris. Mrs. Harris was elected president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., at the 18th Biennial Conference, September 23, 2017, in Baltimore, MD. Having served as a member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter for 27 years, President Harris has consistently demonstrated her leadership abilities through successfully serving at both the national and local levels. For the past 15 years, she has served as ﬁrst vice president of programs, vice president of Finance and Fund Development, national treasurer, and chair of several national committees. At the chapter level, she has held the ofﬁces of president, vice president of programs, treasurer, and assistant treasurer. She also has chaired the Public Policy, Nominations, and Scholarship committees in addition to having sat on her chapter’s Presidents Advisory Board, an advisory group consisting of past chapter presidents that provides ongoing guidance to the chapter.
Her leadership capacities were further exempliﬁed over the years when she served in the following organizational capacities: president, Albany State University Foundation Board of Trustees; Chair, Georgia DOL-Statewide Youth Motivation Task Force Program; vice president, Gwin-nett-Rockdale-Newton Community Service Board; National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA); Gwinnett Chapter, American Red Cross Advisory Board; Southern Education Foundation Board; Women Ministry Council; and president, the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church Ladies’ Usher Board.
She retired from the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in July 2006 as county auditor after 20 years of service. Other positions along her career path include accounting director and ﬁnancial management analyst, Gwinnett County; audit manager, State of Georgia; comptroller, Governor’s Ofﬁce – Women’s Services, State of Louisiana; accountant, Sears Roebuck and Company and South Eastern Regional Ofﬁce; and accountant, Arthur Young and Company.
Virginia Harris is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; The Links Inc.; and the Continental Societies, Inc. She regularly participates in the National Urban League’s BEEP-Program, lecturing at historically Black colleges and universities. Her stellar work and staunch commitment have earned her numerous national, regional, state and local awards.
Educationally, she holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and is a certiﬁed internal auditor and government ﬁnancial manager. She is a graduate of Georgia’s Regional Leadership Institute, Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Gwinnett, and the Harvard Non-Proﬁt Leadership Program.
A resident of Stone Mountain, GA, Virginia Harris is the widow of the late Keith Harris, a native Atlantan. She enjoys the love of her two adult children, Mark and Veketa; three grandsons, Joshua, Andrew and Ethan; and two granddaughters, Hannah and Ava. She is a member of the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church and enjoys traveling, reading, tennis, and learning to play golf.
Virginia W. Harris’s commitment to professional and civic leadership is why Berean SDA Church has named her a Black History Month honoree.
Hank Stewart is a published writer who has been called a catalyst for action and a messenger of hope. He considers spirituality, history and love to be his major inﬂuences for delving into the world of literature.
His ﬁrst three books, “The Answer,” “Second Chance,” and “Be Still and Know,” include topics of love, unity, religion, revealing the Savior to lost souls, and focusing on the power of prayer and the importance of spiritual guidance. A devoted Christian, Mr. Stewart believes that ﬁrm, spiritual guidance can help an individual remain true to the mission of life and success. He incorporates this belief in his poetry by encouraging people to move to new emotional heights and spiritual levels.
Hank Stewart’s poetry has awarded him many opportunities, including a local radio platform on V-103’s “Quiet Storm;” working on programs with prominent ofﬁcials
such as former Vice President Al Gore; and reciting his works for Jesse Jackson, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, Andrew Young, Xernona Clayton, Harry Belafonte, and the late Hosea Williams, Ruby Dee, Johnny Cochran, and Harry Belafonte.
Mr. Stewart has performed at the Trumpet Awards and Essence Music Festival. He has written and performed commercials for the McDonald Corporation series entitled, “365 BLACK.” He also has written and performed African-American poetic-renditioned commercials for Fox 5 Atlanta, which resulted in the winning of the 2007 Emmy, Promax and Gabby awards. He received the Man of Distinction Award, Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, and the Distinctive Men Award. Mr. Stewart’s community service dedication also has afforded him many prestigious accolades such as the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Award.
His love for the community led him to co-found with Gwendolyn Mason a youth leadership development foundation focused on strengthening our children – mind, body and soul. The foundation has impacted more than 10,000 youth since its founding and has signiﬁcantly changed their health, ﬁnancial wellness, education, and social and community involvement.
Always looking to advance his career to the next level, Mr. Stewart considers his plight as an author to inspire people to achieve maximum success and to touch as many lives as possible with a message of spirituality, love and history. “I want to leave a positive legacy, be it spiritual, love or history… I want people to think, ‘Whatever Hank Stewart wrote about touched me.’ ”
Because of his gift for the written and spoken word, Hank Stewart has been named a Berean SDA Church Black History Month honoree.
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