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Wellsville Regional News FLASHBACK: Three “exhorters” licensed in Scio for “exceptional zeal”


Read about the early beginnings of “Allegany Hope”

Saturday, August 24, 2019

NEWS: Scio Church Licenses Three Lay Exhorters

Rev. Carl Kemp, right, pastor of Knights Creek Church at Scio, presents Venezuelan music missionary David Peralta with a lay exhorter license from the international Evangelical Methodist Church, as Casey and Anita Baird Jones of Belmont look on.  The three church members each received the designations as “evidence of exceptional zeal and sincerity to serve Christ and the church.”

SCIO – Three members of a local church congregation serving in local, regional and international Christian missions, have been licensed under auspices of its international denomination as lay exhorters.

David Peralta, a Venezuelan music missionary, and Casey and Anita Baird Jones, all members of Knights Creek Church at Scio, received designations by the Evangelical Methodist Church recently during recognition at morning worship services of “evidence of exceptional zeal and sincerity to serve Christ and the church.”

Peralta, a viola player with the Simon Bolivar Venezuelan National Symphony Orchestra came to the United States last year as a music missionary to assist the church in establishing a children and youth choir and orchestra.

In addition to providing free music lessons for children and youth, he leads the music ministry at the church and exposes community residents to string and other instruments.

Peralta has played at various gatherings of the Mission Genesee Valley coalition of churches and other Christian organizations seeking community transformation and revival throughout Allegany County, at local events including the Wellsville Main Street Festival, Scio Library outdoor concerts, Scio Lions Club breakfasts, and other venues.  He also has played with the Houghton and Alfred University orchestras and taught at an Allegany County children’s music camp hosted by Knights Creek and Wellsville Bible Church.

Peralta and the Venezuelan orchestra have played before the Queen of England and Prince, now King, Felipe VI of Spain, at the international Salzburg and Lucerne music festivals, the Latin Grammys, at Carnegie Hall, and in major cities in the United States and two dozen foreign countries.

The Joneses, residents of Belmont, are heavily involved in church and community ministries in aid of individuals who are struggling with various life issues, and assist churches in planning processes for identifying community needs and establishing ministries to address them.

They facilitate Celebrate Recovery | Celebrate Victory which they started at the Knights Creek Church and are part of the Celebrate Recovery Inside team of facilitators for inmates at Allegany County Jail.  They also have provided seminars at the church and in other parts of the county for both GriefShare and DivorceCare Surviving the Holidays during the Thanksgiving to Christmas period when individuals are struggling with associated losses, and have conducted Help Grieving Children seminars for adults.

Casey Jones, a former municipal official and local government and organization management adviser in more than a dozen Central and Eastern New York and Southeastern Pennsylvania communities, is chair of the Planning Group for the recently opened Hope Center, a Mission Genesee Valley community outreach initiative in Wellsville.

The Center serves county residents as a drop-in, information and referral, and reading assistance center, along with providing educational seminars for individuals and churches on a host of issues of importance to county residents, particularly those related to mental health and early childhood and other trauma.

His work over the years, particularly as it pertains to children and families, initiation of new and improved human services and governmental systems, and comprehensive community and economic development projects, has resulted in numerous state, regional and national awards for innovative public/private partnerships and community systems development.

Anita Baird Jones is a retired City of Rochester inner-city elementary school principal who started as a missionary teacher to Spanish-speaking chlldren in Puerto Rico.  The city school received national recognition for innovative educational practices during her tenure.  She currently serves as a Spanish translator and interpreter in a five-county, two-state area, along with extended services throughout the country and internationally.

The couple has been involved in speaking and encouraging development of Celebrate Recovery and other ministries in New York and Pennsylvania and in Spanish-speaking countries and environments to aid persons who are struggling with life issues, along with business as mission opportunities internationally in aid of individuals and families in poverty.

Further information on Knights Creek Church and its ministries is available at, Celebrate Recovery at, the Hope Center at, and the Mission Genesee Valley Journey to Transformation movement at

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