Saturday, November 2, 2013

The First Woman Conference President Elected, Makes Adventist History.

update • Sandra Roberts Elected President of Southeastern California Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

• Adventist officers release statement regarding a local conference’s recent election of president.

Moving Forward Together 
A response from the General Conference to recent actions in North America 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been called by God as an urgent, end-time voice proclaiming God’s love and last day message to the world. He has commissioned us to proclaim the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12 to people worldwide desperately looking for hope. The message and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is unique and is heaven-sent. Our top priority as a church is knowing Jesus ourselves and sharing His message of redemption. Nothing is to stand in the way of this proclamation as we unite to reach every “nation, kindred, tongue and people” with the “everlasting gospel.” 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a fellowship of believers bound together by a common commitment to Christ, the truths of the Bible, a worldwide church organization and a mission to the world. Each of these elements is vitally important in preserving the unity of the church and keeping it from fracturing. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not organized as a collection of independent units. Although each Conference/Mission, Union and the General Conference (which includes the divisions) have their own constituencies, they are also united by common commitments, mutual trust and agreed upon policies. The Church, the body of Christ, is inter-related. Actions that affect one part of the body affect the whole. The Apostle Paul stated it succinctly in these words, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12

Working Policy, which is the recording of our agreements as to how we will work together to do the Lord’s work and mission, serves as one of the practical unifying agents that the Holy Spirit uses to bind the church together. Policy is not inflexible. It can be changed but it reflects the understanding of the collective group, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When personal convictions are placed ahead of the collective policy decisions of the worldwide church, troubling precedents are set. God works in an orderly way and wishes His church to exemplify this sanctified behavior through the power of the Holy Spirit. Humility and submission to God for the good of the church body as outlined in the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy are fundamental Biblical principles for the benefit of the church.

At the 2012 Annual Council in a voted action entitled, “Statement on Church Polity, Procedures, and Resolution of Disagreements in the Light of Recent Union Actions on Ministerial Ordination,” the world church strongly indicated that it does not recognize as ordained ministers individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in policy. It deeply concerns the world leadership of the church that recently a local conference constituency elected as a conference president an individual who is not recognized by the world church as an ordained minister. Ordination to the ministry is one of the criteria set forth for being a conference president. General Conference administration is working with the North American Division administration as they deal with the implications of this local conference action, which is contrary to the 2012 Annual Council action.

The world church is currently working together in a Theology of Ordination Study Committee with participation by all divisions to better understand the functions of ordination as well as the role of women in relation to ordination to the gospel ministry. A careful process is functioning and reports will be given to the 2014 Annual Council with the expectation that this subject will go to the 2015 General Conference Session for a decision under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We have every confidence in the Lord’s leading of His precious remnant church. By God’s grace and through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the church will find its way through this challenging time as we move forward with the unique message and mission entrusted to the Seventh-day Adventist movement. It is God’s plan that we proclaim His end-time, prophetic truth to every corner of the globe and especially the enormous metropolitan centers of the world through “Mission to the Cities” utilizing every form of comprehensive urban evangelism including comprehensive health ministry and many other methods. We urge all church members and leaders to pray that the Holy Spirit will unite us to fulfill Christ’s promise that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) United in Christ’s love, bound together in a common Biblical message, linked through a common church organization and committed to one another with mutual respect and trust through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are confident this church will triumph at last and proclaim Christ’s eternal message of truth to the ends of the earth in anticipation of Jesus’ soon second coming. 

—The General Conference Executive Officers│October 31, 2013 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Roberts had served since 2004 as executive secretary of SECC. Previously, she worked as a teacher, chaplain, youth director, and pastor. She received her masters degree from Andrews University in 1984, and received a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2006 from Claremont School of Theology.

In her new role, Roberts took the opportunity to recognize the new conference officers and to thank the delegates for their involvement in the constituency session. In her address, she expressed her desire and challenged the audience to follow Jesus in the work that needs to be done throughout the territory of SECC. [...] Prior to the election of Roberts, delegates had the opportunity to speak to the motion on the floor. Many delegates lined up to share their views. There were some opposing opinions, but most people expressed their support for Roberts as president.

Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, reminded delegates that the General Conference does not endorse women’s ordination, and he passed on a message from Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the world church, clarifying that the election of a woman as president would not be recognized by the General Conference.

But Graham continued by stating that because delegates to the Pacific Union Special Session voted in 2012 to authorize the ordination of women, that the recommendation of the SECC nominating committee is in harmony with conference and union bylaws and policies ... ► Read the full Southeastern California Conference News Release

• US Conference Elects Woman President

A woman has been named president of a Seventh-day Adventist church conference for the first time in the denomination’s 150-year history.

Pastor Sandra Roberts was elected 72-28 as president of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) at a constituency session held yesterday (October 27) at La Sierra University church in Riverside, CA.


Pastor Roberts’ election comes more than a year and a half after the SECC announced its intention to ordain female pastors. The Conference’s decision was made despite world church leaders repeatedly asking its regions to refrain from moving independently on women’s ordination. The Church is currently engaged in an in-depth study into the practice and parameters of ordination, with a report on the subject to be presented at the 2015 General Conference Session.

At yesterday’s constituency meeting, Pastor Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, passed on a message from Adventist world church president Ted Wilson asking the Conference not to move ahead with the election. In his comments, Pastor Wilson reiterated that the election of a woman president would not be recognised by the General Conference.

Delegates also had the opportunity to speak before the election. While there were some opposing views, most people expressed their support for Pastor Roberts as president.

“God doesn’t play favourites,” said Pastor Gerald Penick, the outgoing SECC president. Pastor Penick challenged the attendees to trust God to lead the way.

The SECC is the administrative centre for a region that contains 154 Seventh-day Adventist churches with more than 70,000 members. During the constituency session, delegates also voted through the appointments of five other key administrators. Among them was Pastor Jonathan Park, who steps into the executive secretary role left by Pastor Roberts ... Read the full article by Linden Chuang in Record

• SECC Elects Woman President

Constituents of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) voted today directly contradicting the global position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). The SDA Church does not accept Women’s Ordination or the placement of women in the conference presidency. But today, October 27, 2013, the SECC made Sandra E. Roberts its president. The vote occurred during the Quadrennial Constituency meeting held at the La Sierra University Church in Riverside, California. The SECC has been a subsection and interlocking unit of the world SDA Church.

The president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson phoned Pacific Union president Ricardo Graham Saturday evening and stated that such action, if voted, was out of policy, and that the General Conference would not recognize her as president. (SECC is part of the Pacific Union.) This information was shared with the delegates. During the meeting, several delegates spoke in opposition to the action and in support of the world church. But eventually, the majority voted to elect Roberts.

Southeastern California Conference is a part of the 18 million member Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Church has been carefully organized as an interlocking community. Local members are joined in their local church congregation; these congregations are organized together as conferences; conferences are organized together into unions; unions are organized into divisions of the General Conference. The whole in combination make up one united Seventh-day Adventist Church ... ► Read the full article in│Council of Adventist Pastors

Pastor Sandra Roberts, center, praying with other officials from the Southeastern California Conference during the meeting at La Sierra University Church of Seventh-day Adventists.Gerry Chudleigh│Courtesy Pacific Union Conference

• Corona’s Sandra Roberts makes Adventist history

Corona’s Sandra Roberts on Sunday, Oct. 27, became the first woman to lead a Seventh-day Adventist conference, a controversial move the worldwide church says it will not recognize.

Roberts, who last year became one of the first women ordained as an Adventist minister in the United States, was elected president of the five-county, Riverside-based Southeastern California Conference by a 72 to 28 percent margin. A conference is similar to a diocese.

Delegates at the meeting in Riverside’s La Sierra University Church of Seventh-day Adventists stood up and applauded loudly after the result was announced.

“I think this is an idea that’s past its time,” said Robert Edwards, former pastor of San Bernardino’s All Nations African Church of Seventh-day Adventists, after the vote. “I’m grateful she can be the first, and she won’t be the last.”

The vote puts the Southeastern conference at odds with the worldwide Adventist Church, which does not recognize the ordination of women.

Ricardo Graham, president of the five-state Pacific Union Conference, to which the Southeastern conference belongs, said worldwide church president Ted Wilson called him Saturday night to say the election of Roberts “would put the Southeastern conference and Pacific Union Conference in direct confrontation” with the world church.

Graham told delegates that Wilson asked him to convey to them that the election of a woman “would not be recognized by the world church.”

It’s unclear what that may mean, Graham said. World church officials were not available for comment Sunday.

Last year, the Pacific Union conference and an eight-state East Coast conference became the first in the nation to authorize the ordination of women, votes the world church’s executive committee called “serious mistakes” that “weaken the fabric of Church life.”

Opponents of Roberts’ nomination warned that the vote would sow divisions in the world church ... Read the full article by David Olson in Press-Enterprisse

• Sandy Roberts Voted SECC President.

Sandy Roberts' presidential nomination to Southeastern California Conference passed, 72 percent to 28 percent. Just prior to the voting process, Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham said General Conference President Ted Wilson called him at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and asked him to pass on a statement to the delegates, which read, an election of a woman to conference president would not be recognized by the world church, and to elect a woman would be in direct confrontation with the world church.

There was an audible murmur of disapproval after Graham read the statement from GC President Wilson.

Senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church Randy Roberts later expressed his disappointment that the GC president had not attended the meeting to convey the message himself, and stated that Wilson had put Graham in an awkward position, making Graham read that statement. There had been rumors GC President Wilson would be in attendance, but he was not ... ► Read the full article by Shane Hilde in ADVindicate

• Woman Pastor is Elected Conference President in Southeastern California

... It is the first time on record that a woman has been elected to the office of conference president in the Adventist denomination, although women have served temporarily as the top officer on a number of occasions, even in the 19th century, and on many occasions as treasurer or secretary of a conference. And women who are ordained ministers serve in similar leadership roles among Adventists in China where the national church does not have the same relationship with the denomination that it does elsewhere. Denominational policy specifies that a conference president is to be an ordained minister, and Roberts is an ordained minister because a year ago the Pacific Union Conference in a constituency meeting established a policy ending gender discrimination in the ordination of clergy. She was the first of this new generation of ordained women to be nominated as a conference president ... ► Read the full article by AT News Team in Adventist Today

Compilation & research: Taato│Ojo Adventista


  1. terrible how low will the SDA church fall in disibedience?

  2. high handed rebellion.....puc , secc!

  3. Why do we go against what we know the bible to teach!! Let us stand for the truth and follow God in all his ways…if our church laws and policies allow for this to happen even though the general conference will not acknowledge it.. then clearly we have to rewrite a lot of those laws and policies to better align with what the word of GOD says

    1. You are so wrong that you do not even know what you're saying! Neither the Bible nor our church laws allow it. What we are seeing is a complete nonsense. This is open rebellion against the institutions divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit to our people. They are putting in check a vital issue which is the unity of the church on behalf of a social mere appealing. Someone will pay dearly for it. Unfortunately it will be all of us, the church tends to crack and will never be the same.

  4. The rejected Christ in 1888 and ever since went into open Rebellion against God and his Son.
    Well, they are on the way back to Egypt = Rome !!!

  5. In Kenya we have women elders/pastors you question you are branded an off shoot.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. The worst Issue is: Sandra Roberts is openly Homosexual = Gay = Lesbian. That her sexual gender being wrong, should have rejected her in the First Place of being a Conference President.
    Never should the GC SDA Church baptise Homosexuals into Adventism and never ever should such an Person hold a leading position. What kind of example is that for the SDA Member, Youth and Children.

    Such is open Rebellion against God and that proof who runs the GC SDA System. It’s not God but Satan: Rev. 3:9