Nine appointed vice presidents; associate secretaries, treasurers also elected.
Some of the newly elected general vice presidents of the Adventist Church are introduced at the Adventist World Session. From left: Ella Simmons, re-elected vice president; Delbert Baker, president of Oakwood University; and Geoffrey Mbwana, president of the church's East-Central Africa region. [photo: Gerry Chudleigh]
The General Conference Nominating Committee selected 21 leaders for the Secretariat and Treasury departments on Sunday, all of which were approved unanimously by delegates meeting in the Georgia Dome at the Seventh-day Adventist denomination's 59th world conference.
The selection includes nine general vice presidents -- four of which are new to the position: Delbert Baker, Oakwood University president; Geoffrey G. Mbwana, East Africa Division president; Benjamin D. Schoun, general field secretary; and Artur A. Stele, president of the Moscow-based Euro-Asia Division.
Baker has been president of Oakwood University since 1996. Mbwana was a conference secretary, conference president and university president before becoming president in 2002 of the Nairobi-based division. Schoun was formerly president of Adventist World Radio and associate dean of the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, and who has traveled to more than 80 countries. Stele has been president since 2000.
The new members replace three vice presidents who are retiring -- Mark A. Finley, Eugene Hsu and Gerry D. Karst. A fourth position was made vacant by Ted N. C. Wilson's election to president of the world church.
Five other vice presidents were re-elected to a five-year term: Lowell C. Cooper, Armando Miranda, Pardon K. Mwansa, Michael L. Ryan and Ella S. Simmons.
Associate Secretary Homer W. Trecartin was promoted to undersecretary. Trecartin, a former student missionary in Brazil, has been secretary-treasurer of the Middle East Union, and planning director of the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission, among other positions.
Five associate secretaries were approved, three of whom are new to the position: Robert S. Folkenberg Jr., president of the Upper Columbia Conference in Washington State; Harald Wollan, secretary of the Trans-European Division; and John Thomas, coordinator of the International Rescue and Relief program at Union College in Nebraska.
Folkenberg, son of a former General Conference president, has been a conference president for 18 months. He began his ministry as a church pastor in Port Charlotte, Florida, and later moved to China. He also served as associate director for ShareHim.
Wollan, has been secretary of the England-based division since 2001. He previously was union president in Bangladesh and served in Sierra Leone for a number of years. He began his career as a pastor in Norway, where he also was a conference president.
Thomas, a former history teacher, spent 22 years as an academy principal and participated in dozens of mission trips before becoming director of the rescue and relief training program. The novel program provides specialized degrees to students who are certified emergency medical technicians and travel to different parts of the world, including Haiti, to assist in disaster relief.
The two other associate secretaries are Rosa T. Banks and Augustin Galicia, who were re-elected.
Three vacancies for associate secretary were created by the retirement of Claude Sabot; the promotions of G. T. Ng to secretary; and Trecartin's elevation to undersecretary.
In the Treasury department, Juan R. Prestol was re-elected to undertreasurer, and the three associate treasurers remain in their positions. They are: George O. Edwakhe, Daisy Orion and Roy E. Ryan.