In 2002, under the administration of Presiding Bishop Norman L. Wagner, the ISPA experienced a significant change in focus and direction. Bishop Wagner emphasized and encouraged all auxiliaries to offer more substantive programming. During this time the ISPA was given a budget for its convention programming with an incentive of match the allotted budget. This was considered a turning point for the ISPA. Bishop Noel Jones was invited to be the keynote speaker and from that day forward the ISPA has received much needed recognition in the general convention program and within the parent body.
In August 2005, at the Summer Convention in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Nathan Lofton was elected as the ISPA’s second president. He swept into office with much energy and a clear vision. He gathered the current leaders and presented them with the vision to Empower Singles to Build God’s Kingdom. The vision would include working with state councils to implement single’s ministries on the state levels, increasing communication on the international level including 21st century technologies such as e-blast, websites, and newsletters too mention a few. The first newsletter was produced under the name Single Perspective, and was introduced at the summer convention in Anaheim, California. While at the Anaheim Convention, the ISPA celebrated its 21st anniversary as an auxiliary which was also our first formal event which recognized the founding president, Sister Fannie Meriwhether.
Under this administration, there were many first happenings in the ISPA. The International Single People’s Alliance sponsored our first conference in Birmingham, AL. This was a grass-roots effort to unite singles from across the nation to become empowered through powerful worship services, informative and creative workshops, seminar sessions and leadership training. There was much opposition in organizing the conference, and many said it would not happen. However, we serve a mighty God and on March 1, 2006, we gathered in Birmingham and the Power of the Almighty God arrested upon us. For three days we were held at rapt attention and received pure impartation from each keynote speaker and seminar presenter. Many delegates expressed how their lives were empowered and would never be the same.
The ISPA continued to grow at a healthy pace as state councils became more involved. After our 500 plus membership campaign was launched in 2008, there were several issues that surfaced and many requests were made for seminars in divorce recovery, online dating, relationships, and single-father parenting skills to name a few. Our Auxiliary Director, Bishop Ronald E. Hairston, pastor and clinical Psychologist, masterfully taught a series of workshops on productive, healthy relationships, and the process to divorce recovery. Bishop Hairston’s session were always presented with handouts and included factual information and techniques that the delegates was able to comprehend and take home with them for future reference.
With the president of the ISPA being a male, more men began to see the relevance of the single’s ministry and began attending the events of the ISPA. The need for programming sessions was increased and even closed door sessions were planned. Despite the sometimes negative stigma associated with young men participating in the ISPA, the needs of younger single men, divorced and/or single fathers were met and ministered to through quality programming that spoke to their specific needs. Subsequently, many men have realized it’s not only women who need to deal with real life issues. With the divorce rate rapidly increasing in the church, our men have stepped up to the plate and have begun giving back by mentoring and encouraging other single men on how to be successful in their marriage. Presently, we have more men serving in singles ministry leadership than ever before.
The International Single People’s Alliance is alive and is a vital auxiliary to our parent body and maintains excellent programming, quality speakers, innovative seminar sessions and positive social venues for the betterment of our membership base. As we reflect the history of the ISPA, we give God great praise for bringing us to this day. We celebrate 25 years of commitment, dedication, and faithfulness to God, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and the International Single People’s Alliance