Page is appointed Ministerial secretary, auditing service officers appointed

Page is appointed Ministerial secretary, auditing service officers appointed

Business Meetings | Atlanta, Georgia, United States | Edwin Manuel Garcia/ANN

Vote to delay ministerial associate appointees veers from earlier decision

In their final vote to select church leaders for the next five years, the 59th General Conference Session delegates Thursday chose a new Ministerial Association secretary and 24 individuals to serve in auditing roles.

Jerry N. Page, president of the church's Central California Conference, became Ministerial Association secretary by unanimous vote, though delegates were divided on a follow-up proposal to delay the selection of the four associates who would work with him.

The proposal, suggested by the Nominating Committee that selected Page, drew criticism from several delegates who said it contradicted an earlier vote. In the prior vote, on Sunday, delegates rejected a General Conference proposal that would have allowed departmental assistant directors and secretaries to be elected at a later date, thus bypassing the Session's Nominating Committee.

Having a later appointment process, proponents said, would allow for a director to exert greater influence, and additional time, in selecting the people to work in that department. The later election would be held in October by the General Conference Executive Committee, which has more than 300 members. Opponents, however, countered that the traditional process should be respected, saying all potential appointees must be vetted by the General Conference Nominating Committee at Session and voted on by the more than 2,000 delegates.

The issue was re-opened Thursday as delegates on both sides of the matter were eager to express their views.

"In order to have transparency, we should ask the Nominating Committee to do its work and select the associate secretaries," said delegate Lloydston Burton of North America.

"The process is as good as it can be," countered Lorna Okotto of East-Central Africa, a member of the Nominating Committee. "The director is new, he needs to understand, he needs to have a vision for his department."

To underscore the importance of the proposal, General Conference President Ted N. C. Wilson and Nominating Committee Chairman Robert Kyte took to the podium to urge passage of the measure. Wilson cited the short amount of time available to make decisions at Session and the "complexity of trying to put together an appropriate team," as major reasons for his support of the proposal.

Some delegates noted that Page was being given an opportunity to essentially select his own team, which they said was unfair, because other department heads who were elected earlier in the week were forced to accept the associate directors chosen by the Nominating Committee.

Wilson, though, insisted that he wanted Page to "carefully review the Ministerial Association as to how best to put together the components that will best lift our vision in a highly spiritual way."

The proposal passed by an overwhelming majority of votes.

The Ministerial Association provides resources, training and support for more than 16,000 credentialed pastors around the world. It also provides support for pastors' spouses under the Shepherdess International program, which will now be run by Page's wife, Janet.

Page replaces James A. Cress, who died in November.

Delegates also elected incumbent Paul H. Douglas as director of the General Conference Auditing Service, and 10 associate directors. They are:

Daniel E. Herzel, Mark S. Hyder, Christopher Garrity, Jeremy T. Smith, Gary Blood, Robyn Kajiura, Furaha Mpozembizi, Roy Cortez, Paul J. Edwards and Sandra Grice.

Delegates also elected 13 members to serve on the General Conference Auditing Services Board. They are: Vincent Zirimwabagabo, Svetlana Kara, Elvira Grosu, Hyden Gittens, Jack Krogstad, Yungsang Oh, Ailton Dorl, Phillip Ndlovu, Evelyn Will, Lotie Ragas-Blando, John Stanley, Frensly Panneflek and Phillip Maitanmi.

Delegates also appointed two Communication department associate directors. Andre Brink will serve as the associate director for media services. He has previously served as Communication director for the church's Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region. Garrett Caldwell as re-appointed to serve as the assocaite director for public relations.