Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Venezuelan Children in Vacation Bible School

Below you will see a group of children attending their first ever Vacation Bible School in one of our mission congregations.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Odas de Paz UMC, Cabudare, Venezuela, a suburb of Barquisimeto

Pictured here (left) is Efrain Morales, Pastor of Ondas De Paz UMC in Cabudare, Venezuela. Brother Efrain is one of our leading pastors in Venezuela, a faithful student in the Wesley Seminary and a great leader of the UMC of Venezuela. He is also father of Lim Morales Lathem, wife of Jared Lathem and Daughter in law of Warren and Jane Lathem. He and his wife, Bethsiada have three children, Hur, Betha and Lim. All three children currently live in the United States.

Rev. Morales has a true heart for mission. Not only is he the pastor of Odas de Paz UMC, but also founded the Lugar Altissimo UMC where Pastor Yolanda serves and has also established a mission congregation in Pandido.


We are thankful for our United Methodist Congregation in Caracas. Yet our hearts cry out for the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers into this rich harvest field. Atlanta, our home city, is of comparable size to Caracas and has over 250 United Methodist Churches. Caracas has one. Please pray with us for the Lord to send laborers into this harvest field!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rev. Dan Dunn

Rev. Dan Dunn has been serving as Vice President of Wesley Seminary as well as a professor. He has been an associate pastor at Mount Pisgah UMC for over 15 years and will be leaving in June to pursue a PhD in order to be able to teach in seminaries all over Latin America. Dan is dedicated to the work of Christ in Venezuela and has a real heart for missions. Pray for him and his wife, Nancy, as they start a new phase in their life and ministry.

Hur and Lucy Morales and girls

Hur, Lucy, Keren, Helem, and Zaret Morales.

Hur and Lucy are now serving in the Marietta Hispanic Ministry at the St. Stephen and Hollydale UMC's in Marietta, GA, USA. Prior to moving here in September, 2005, the Morales' served the Lord in a church in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Hur and Lucy were students in the Wesley Seminary before coming to the United States. Keren and Helem are students at the Powers Ferry Elementary School in Marietta. They are doing extrememly well in spite of speaking only Spanish before coming to the US. Hur and Lucy are studying English and will be advancing thier education so they can return to Venezuela and assist the United Methodist Church of Venezuela. Hur is the son of Efrain and Bethsaida Morales. Efrain is our pastor in Cabudare, Odas de Paz United Methodist Church. He and Bethsiada are key leaders in the UMC in Venezuela.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Venezuela in Pictures

These are the children of 'Lugar Altissimo' (The High Place) one of our Methodist churches. They are listening to a Bible story. I love the look of rapt attention on their faces.
The Herrin family went to Venezuela this past summer as the first UM missionairies to Venezuela. They are adjusting well and making a difference in the lives of people. Pray for them.
Pastor Raul and his lovely wife, Teolinda, pastor the Methodist church in San Cristobal. San Cristobal is near the border with Colombia. He has served as translator for me on many occasions (he is bilingual) and works closely with us in the Seminary as well as being a student. This picture was taken when my wife and I were visiting San Cristobal and Raul and Teolinda took us to Cucata, Colombia to shop.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dr. Warren Lathem

UPDATE: Dr. Warren Lathem is the President of the Seminario Wesleyano de Venezuela.  He is disabled, but continues to serve as the US president of the Seminary and teach regularly in the Seminary. He also preaches regularly in the US and teaches some course here as well.

He is the former District Superintendent of the Atlanta/Marietta District of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. The district consists of almost 42,000 members, over 700,000 residents and 47 churches and 6 missions to recent immigrant populations. Warren began this assignment in June, 2003.
Warren Lathem was called to preach at Holbrook Campmeeting in Cherokee County, Georgia, in 1962 when he was 10 years old. He has pastored churches since 1972; West Bend, KY, Trinity, Covington, GA, St. James/Prospect, Toccoa, Georgia, Greenville, Greenville, GA and Mount Pisgah, Alpharetta, GA. He began The Springs, a United Methodist mission in Forsyth County as well as two Hispanic congregations in North Georgia. He was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church, North, GA Conference in 1977. He has served as a delegate to both Jurisdictional and General Conferences.
Some of the United Methodist churches with whom he has consulted include St. James, Alpharetta, GA, Snellville First, Snellville, GA, Wesley, Augusta, GA, Wesley Chapel, Decatur, GA, Ben Hill, Atlanta, GA, Duluth First, W.R. Cannon, Snellville, GA, ClearBranch, Trussville, AL, County Line, Marietta, GA, Gainesville First, Gainesville, GA, Christ, Lexington, KY, Reynoldsburg First, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Albany First, Albany, GA, Villa Rica First, Villa Rica, GA, Dacula, Dacula, GA, New Beginnings, Marietta, GA, . He has also worked with a number of Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, Caribbean Methodist, Unifam Churches, Mexico, The Evangelical Churches of Latvia, The Independent Methodist Churches of Hungary, an Independent Church in Amsterdam, The Evangelical Methodist Church of Venezuela, and The Evangelical Methodist Church of Costa Rica and the United Methodist Church of Venezuela.
He has served as adjunct faculty of Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and SemBiMex Theological Seminary in Mexico City. He taught for several years in the National Institute of Church Finance and Administration, and The North Georgia Conference School of Pastoral Ministry (formerly License to Preach). He has spoken at and conducted workshops at a variety of national and international seminars.  He also founded Lay Missionary Training, a 72 hour training program of the North Georgia Conference Board of Laity.

Dr. Lathem is serving or has served on several non-profit Boards, including: Reinhardt Unversity, Venezuela Now, Inc. M.U.S.T. Ministries, Proactive Evengelism, Covecrest Retreat Center, Beacon of Hope Women's Center, Mount Pisgah Christian School, Wesley Foundation, Kennesaw State University, Holbrook Campmeeting.

He has preached revivals and campmeetings in every area of Georgia, as well as dozens of states and foreign countries. He has preached outdoor evangelistic crusades, served as song leader and soloist, sung in several college and church choirs and led many seminars on evangelism, worship, church administration, leadership, stewardship, mission and church renewal.

Warren served as senior minister of the Mount Pisgah church for 17 1/2 years. During his tenure it grew to be the 4th largest UMC in average attendance (3200 in 1999) in the U.S. More importantly, for all those years over 60% of the 5000 members (net) who joined the church joined by profession of faith. He has always been committed to reaching the unchurched with the Good News of Jesus Christ. This led him to start many innovative ministries, e.g. The Journey, Recreation Ministry, Crisis Pregnancy Center, and the first Aids ministry outside the perimeter of Atlanta. He began an After School Program, a Pre-school, an Elementary School, a Middle School and a High School, all enrolling over 900 children. He also started what has become the largest Hispanic ministry in the North Georgia Conference. And in his last year as Senior Minister led the Conference in net new members. His ministry has been marked by transformed lives.

Before being appointed to the Atlanta Marietta District, Dr. Lathem was the founding president of the Aslan Group, a church and non-profit consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon appointment as a District Superintendent, he gave up any ownership or financial interest in the Aslan Group, but still occasionally serves as one of their consultants. 

Dr. Lathem received an Associate in Arts Degree at Reinhardt University, a Bachelor in Arts degree from Asbury University, attended Asbury Theological Seminary, received his Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and this Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary.

Dr. Lathem has been married to Jane since August, 1973 and they have one surviving son, Jared. They live on Arepa Farms, a small family farm in Cherokee County, GA. Their son Jared and his lovely Venezuelan bride, Lim, built a home on the farm. Jared and Lim have two wonderful children, Zoe and Elijah.  Jared is the pastor of the Ball Ground UMC. Warren and Jane also have four "adopted grandchildren: Carlos, Danny, Warren and Elizabeth Santiago, children of pastors Tito and Yami Santiago.  Tito is a well known Latino singer/songwriter.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Jared and Lim Lathem

Jared and Lim Lathem at the site of their wedding in Venezuela, married August, 2005.

Warren and Jane Lathem

Dr. and Mrs. Warren. Married August, 1973. They now reside in Ballground, GA and are extremely grateful for all the many blessings they have received from the hand of a gracious and loving God.