GCSDA Corruption #82

World Church: First Woman Vice President, Regional Presidents Voted In
St. Louis, Missouri, United States .... [Victor Hulbert/Braden
In a historic vote, delegates to the 58th General Conference Session of
the Seventh-day Adventist Church elected veteran educator Dr. Ella
Simmons as a general vice president of the church. This is the first
time a woman has been elected to this position and is an attempt by the
world church to make the leadership more inclusive.

Until recently, Dr. Simmons was provost and vice president for Academic
Administration at La Sierra University in Riverside, California, United
States. As part of the 10-member leadership team -- world church
President Jan Paulsen and nine vice presidents -- it is expected
Simmons will bring her skills in education and as an administrator to
the job.
Delegates responded very positively to the election of Simmons. Zeljko
Porobija of Croatia stated, "I think it is a very, very good thing. As
a matter of principle we should see more women in office."

Owen Lloyd Bryar Gayle, a delegate from Inter-America, agreed. "It is
wonderful to give females a part in church leadership."

Anton Van Wyke from the church's South Pacific region believes "It is a
breakthrough for our church in its standings with world organizations,
and it will lead us from strength to strength in our mission."

It took a long day in session before the nominating committee presented
its third report at 4:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon, recommending names for
the nine vice presidents as well as the presidents of the 13 divisions
around the world.

While six current vice presidents were returned to office, the three
new officers demonstrate the emphasis on the church for both diversity
and evangelism.

Also newly elected is Pardon Kandanga Mwansa, currently president of
the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean church region, who brings a wealth of
experience to the world church leadership, having served in the
Euro-Africa church region prior to his current position.

The third new vice president is popular Adventist evangelist Mark
Finley, currently director of Global Evangelism at the world church
headquarters and speaker/director emeritus of the It Is Written
television program. Emphasizing the need to raise the profile of
evangelism both in head office and worldwide, Paulsen took time to
emphasize that Finley "is so saturated in evangelism that it is the
center of his life." Finley's new position is not a change of job so
much as recognition of the importance of evangelism to the church, he

Six incumbents were returned to other general vice presidential
offices: Lowell C. Cooper, King-Yi Eugene Hsu, Gerry D. Karst, Armando
Miranda, Michael L. Ryan and Ted N. C. Wilson.

Paulsen also paid tribute to outgoing vice president Harold Baptiste.
Having faithfully served the church for many years, he indicated his
desire to retire at this business session.

In the same report the presidents of 13 world church regions were
elected. There were no surprises, with the only change being in the
Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division where, due to the election of
Mwansa as a world church vice president, Pastor Paul S. Ratsara,
current secretary of the region, was unanimously elected as president.

The returned regional Adventist church presidents are: Geoffrey G.
Mbwana, East-Central Africa; Ulrich W. Frikart, Euro-Africa; Artur A.
Stele, Euro-Asia; Israel Leito, Inter-America; Don C. Schneider, North
America; Jairyong Lee, Northern Asia-Pacific; Ruy H. Nagel, South
America; Laurie J. Evans, South Pacific; D. Ronald Watts, Southern
Asia; Alberto C. Gulfan Jr., Southern Asia-Pacific; Bertil A.
Wiklander, Trans-European Division,  and  Luka T. Daniel, West-Central
-Copyright 2005, Adventist News Network

(For a complete list of elected church officials please see