Since the last Seventh-day Adventist General Conference (GC) Session, the World Church has experienced positive growth within its organization. Despite the challenges we have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, several countries like Zimbabwe, Belize, and Ghana have undergone an increase in church members, thus requiring the reorganization of unions leading the diverse regions. As a result, GC session delegates and attendees celebrated and welcomed 10 new unions into the Sisterhood of Unions.
Prior to the reorganization of the union, Zimbabwe had one Union known as the Zimbabwe Union Conference making it the second largest union in the world. However, due to an increase in membership, stewardship, and leadership, Undersecretary of the GC Hensley Moorooven said the GC saw it wise to reorganize the union. “When we look back we can acknowledge how God has led,” Mooroven said. Zimbabwe is now home to the three following unions: Zimbabwe Central Union Conference, Zimbabwe East Union, and Zimbabwe West Union Conference.
In 2008, the Belize Union of Churches was organized with 31,000 members. Today, it is home to 49,000 Adventist members and to the Belize Union Mission. In 2019, the Belize Union of Churches status changed to become the Belize Union Mission.
Over 100 years ago, the Adventist message first arrived in Ghana. Today, Ghana rejoices with a church membership of over 200,000 individuals, resulting in the organization of the Northern Ghana Union Conference in 2015.
In 2016, a survey commission visited the Netherlands Union Conference and commended them for their many church planting initiatives and above average growth rates in a highly secular context. Home to a membership of over 6,000 Adventists, the “GC granted union of churches with conference status to the Netherlands Union Conference in 2017, replacing the current Netherlands Union Conference and its constituents,” said Claude Richli, associate secretary of GC.
Home to 222 million people, the Southern Asia Pacific Division faced the challenge of reaching its religious, linguistic, and culturally diverse population. Sharing the gospel was confronted by a strong presence of Secularism, Buddhism, and Islam in the region. As a result, church leaders began to consider the need for a reorganization of unions in this region. Therefore, in 2021, the Southeast Asia Union Mission was dissolved and replaced with the Southeastern Union Mission and the Malaysia Union Mission.
Effective 2019, the Ethiopian Union reorganized into the Eastern Ethiopia Union Mission, containing over 114,000 members, and Western Ethiopia Union Mission, containing over 112,000 members. Due to cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity, lack of infrastructure in several regions, and many unreached people groups, the reorganization of this union will promote the efficiency of evangelism in this region.
May God continue to bless the work of our global church!
You can view the welcome to the Sisterhood of Unions here.