Lae, Papua New Guinea | Kent Kingston and Glenn Townend, Record Magazine / ANN Staff

Geoffrey Pomaleu, president of the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church passed away Monday, July 4, at Angau Hospital in Lae, Papua New Guinea at the age of 54, after dealing with a number of serious health issues throughout the past year, including a recent trip to the emergency room due to severe chest pains.

Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church offered his condolences to the Pomaleu family and the Adventist church family in the nation. 

“How sad to receive news today from Pastor Glenn Townend, president of South Pacific Division, telling me of the tragic passing of Pastor Geoffrey Pomaleu, president of the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM),” said Wilson on his Facebook page. “On behalf of the world Seventh-day Adventist Church family, we offer our deep condolences and Christian sympathy to his widow, Mrs. Jochabed Pomaleu, who is the PNGUM Children’s Ministries director and to his children and extended family.”

Wilson’s statement went on to say, “Pastor Pomaleu was a much loved church leader in Papua New Guinea.  What a hope we have in the “Blessed Hope” of Christ’s soon return!  I have prayed for Mrs. Pomaleu, for the family and for the entire church family of thousands of members in the PNGUM and I ask you to pray for the Pomaleu family and our brothers and sisters in PNGUM. This world is not our home, we are just passing through and soon we will see our Lord return to take us to our final home!" 

Before Pomaleu was elected as PNGUM’s president last September, he had previously served the Church’s territory as youth director, executive secretary and president of the Morobe Mission.

“I have known Geoffrey for eight years,” said Glenn Townened, president of the church in the South Pacific region. “He was a great family man who, when away from home, would often comment he was thinking of his wife, sons or daughters. In his work Geoffrey was a man who listened to people and God before he made a decision. He had the ability to understand the different cultures and angles involved in a situation, but was able to build a team focusing on a clear vision and mission. Geoffrey will be missed.”

Pomaleu is survived by his wife, Jochabed, who serves as children’s ministries director for the Papua New Guinea Union Mission, and their three adult children, as well as thousands of believers in Jesus, mourning but awaiting the blessed hope of Jesus’ return.