Submitted March 2019 by Sharon Clark
Joe Clark moved to Arkansas in 1975 and brought with him his Seventh-day Adventist heritage, but his Adventist roots stretch north all the way to Cadillac, Michigan. Joe’s not sure just how far back the Adventist influence reaches for his mother’s family. But he does know that his mother’s parents and grandparents were active members of their local Adventist church everywhere they lived. On his father’s side, his grandfather was not an Adventist and he isn’t sure just exactly when his father joined the church. Joe’s mother raised him and his six siblings in the Adventist faith. Since moving to Arkansas, Joe belonged first to the Hot Springs, and then the Bonnerdale SDA churches.
Joe’s wife, Sharon, on the other hand, never even heard of Adventists until a Kenneth Cox Panorama event took place in Montgomery, Alabama, in early 1975. At that time, Sharon, her first husband, and her mother all joined the Montgomery SDA Church. In 1991, Sharon was called to teach in the Hot Springs Adventist School in Arkansas. She came with her two daughters who were still at home, and her Adventist beliefs. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides of the Adventist coin—raised-in-the-church or converted—Adventism is more than just a denomination to Sharon and Joe. It’s a guideline for their daily walk and a bright star of truth illuminating their future hope.