Stuttgart, Germany [APD; CD EUDNews]. Beginning July 1, Pastor Rainer Wanitschek (54) is the new president of the South German Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He is succeeding Pastor Günther Machel, who is retiring. The South German Union Conference has 220 congregations with 15,395 adult baptized members and it is based in Ostfildern, near Stuttgart.
Originally from Bensheim, the new president graduated from Marienhoehe Theological Seminary, Darmstadt, a Seventh-day Adventist Church institution. From 1982 to 1987 he was a youth pastor in Munich and Nuernberg, and in 1987 he was ordained as pastor of Nuremberg and Fürth. From 1989 to 1991 he studied at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA, and graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div). Thereafter, he was pastor in the Upper Bavarian town of Bad Aibling.
In 1997 Rainer Wanitschek was chosen as head of the Adventist Church, first for Southern Bavaria, from 2009 for the entire region.
In 2013 he was no longer available for re-election, he served instead as pastor for the Adventist churches in Bad Aibling, Rosenheim and Feldkirchen-Westerham. Wanitschek is married and has four sons.
The EUD Administration thanks Pastor Guenther Machel, the retired South German Union Conference President, for his longtime commitment to the Adventist Church and welcomes Rainer Wanitschek to his new office.
picture: 1. Rainer Wanitschek; 2. Guenther Machel (credits: APD)