We thank the Rev. Daniel Sylverston for bringing this vision to Cleveland and Bradley County, and for all he has done in support of churches, organizations and individuals who are sharing a common goal, one of strengthening this community through networking and sharing common interests.
Nine years ago Daniel saw a need. One might even call it a mission ... to bring church leaders, pastors and other representatives under the same roof for something as simple as a monthly luncheon. It was far more than a meal; rather, it was a chance to learn from one another, to share information, to brainstorm and to lend support for one another’s causes.
It still exists today and operates as the Cleveland Bradley Ministerial Association. Its membership is comprised of virtually every major denomination represented in the Cleveland area community.
Daniel Sylverston was elected its first president, a position he has proudly — yet humbly — held ever since. But now, the gavel is changing hands. In an interim role, Vice President The Rev. Jamie Work will hold down the duties until January when new officers are elected.
This administrative change has become necessary because Daniel Sylverston, a Church of God bishop, is answering the call for an even higher task. He and his wife, Millie, are traveling to Ireland to lead mission work in that European country. They will be tremendous assets to the church’s work there, but their loss to Cleveland will be substantial.
This is not to say their powerful influence will not continue to be felt. Indeed, it will.
The foundation of community support Daniel has laid over the years will assuredly continue. The invaluable Ministerial Association will continue its heartfelt networking and another organization — Ocoee Region Multicultural Services co-founded with Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland — will still spread its wings of love, appreciation and understanding over a regional population whose diversity has multiplied in recent years.
We are all people.
Yet, we are people of different interests, sometimes conflicting beliefs and varying cultures; hence, the importance in bringing this diversity under the same roof — not to assimilate, but to appreciate, and to work in harmony for the good of the community, the people and most importantly our future.
Daniel Sylverston saw this need years ago upon recognizing the strength in working together instead of apart. In his eye, it doesn’t matter if you are Baptist, Methodist, Church of God, Lutheran, Episcopalian or any other denomination. He doesn’t care if your skin is black, white, red or yellow. You are a human being who shares this planet with other human beings whose basic needs aren’t so very different from your own.
Some might call Daniel a crusader.
Some might believe him to be an idealist.
Some might feel his outreach is too complicated.
We feel none of those things. We feel only love, respect and an endearing appreciation for anyone willing to go the extra mile in accenting the similarities among those who take refuge in their differences.
To borrow on a time-tested adage, this world needs more Daniel Sylverstons.
His is a doctrine that can bridge any gap.
His is a wisdom born of the heart and the spirit.
His is a vision focused on a potential that far exceeds what the eye can see.
His is an unconditional love shown to all who share this basic belief — that our differences are our strengths, that diversity is to be valued and should never be shunned.
Thank you Daniel for your vision, your support and your love.
God speed in your mission to Ireland.
We wish you and Millie well in your newest journey.