Pastor Stanley Arco was elected president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for eight South American countries. The vote took place on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 8, during the organization's world assembly in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Arco and the presidents of 12 other regions of the world (known as divisions) were elected by the delegates with 97.1% of the votes.
Arco was appointed as president in April 2021, after the departure of Pastor Erton Köhler, who was appointed executive secretary of the Adventist Church worldwide. Pastor Arco was born in Laranjeiras do Sul, Paraná, on June 17, 1963. He graduated with a degree in theology from the Adventist Institute of Education (IAE) (now the Adventist University Center of São Paulo [Unasp]) in 1987. He is married to Regiane dos Reis Arco and the father of three daughters: Dilsiane, Monise, and Thaís.
Pastor Arco worked for 17 years as director of the Youth Ministries in different regions. He was also executive secretary at two administrative headquarters of the Adventist Church in southern Brazil and an assistant to the president in the denomination's South American office. From 2011 to 2014, he was president of the church in Bolivia; from 2015 to 2018, he presided over the church in Chile. At the end of 2018, Arco took the lead for the states of Bahia and Sergipe. In August 2020, he was appointed as one of the vice presidents of the Adventist South American headquarters in Brasilia.
Faced with the election, Pastor Arco comments, "I still see myself small for this great challenge, but at the same time, I remain in the hands of the Lord, trusting in his love, power, and promises. I thank God and the church for their support and trust." Arco also highlights, "I renew my dedication and commitment to the search for the Holy Spirit, the unity of the church, and the coming of the Lord".
For the South American Adventist leader, "the needs and challenges are great, but the promises are greater. I wholeheartedly appeal to everyone to get involved with all their strength, praying, living, and sharing the Word because Jesus is coming back."