A specific character is necessary when taking on any leadership role in the church. It requires intentionality, a passion for God, and a mission mindedness that allows for one to be effective in their position. Hensley Moorooven, the General Conference Undersecretary, embodies all of these characteristics.
Originally from Mauritius, Moorooven was raised in an Adventist home “I was baptized at 11, but I met God at 18.” He is very intentional when making this distinction. It was a personal introduction that went beyond the expected path of any young person raised within the church. His transformation was the result of a fervent prayer that occurred during his freshman year at an Adventist university in Rwanda where he was studying for a Bachelors in Theology. This prayer altered his perspective in a way that would have amazing repercussions in the course of his life, connecting his faith and vocation.
However, on April 6, 1994 Moorooven found himself in the center of violent turmoil that would upend his course of study. The Rwandan genocide in 1994 was a terrifying event where hundreds of lives were changed and lost. A young Moorooven and the other students of the university would be transferred to a college in Ghana. However, this transfer provided more challenges. The school in Rwanda which had closed during the unheval was the only french speaking school in Africa, meaning that french native speakers were unable to be educated in their language while on the continent. As a solution, Moorooven and some other students decided to start a University in Cameroon. It was a labor of love and immense faith which would allow him and his colleagues to rely on God in new ways. During these developmental years, Moorooven would work during the day, take classes at night, and at one point found himself teaching. It was a precarious balance that required a new dependance on God and sparked a heart for mission. His work in building a university in Cameroon would be one of many roles of active mission that would lead to many years of pastoral and division work. In 2015, Moorooveen was offered the position of associate secretary by the General Conference, and three years later would be called to become Undersecretary.
Moorooven has approached his role as Undersecretary like he has every other step in his personal and professional career: “through the lens of mission.” This has allowed him to view the development of policy as the other side of mission. For the next three years, it is his hope to develop new policies, ensure that the strategic plan is being applied worldwide and at the end of his term, leave the office better than when he found it. Moorooven is a leader who sees the value of outreach and approaches the administrative aspects of his role with the same passionate care as ministry. “They are different sides of the same coin,” he says. The joy he shows when discussing mission is evident, revealing a heart that is eager to transform the church and further the kingdom of God.