Adventist Journal Online | Adventist leaders call on six new world leaders
They will occupy positions in auditing, religious freedom and chaplaincy, among others.
OOn July 22, 2021, the Executive Committee of the General Conference (GC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church met by video conference. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss and vote on six leadership positions in the global field.
After a brief worship time led by CG President Ted NC Wilson and focused on John 17, the leaders held prayer times focused on various requests from Executive Committee members.
Executives also announced that the 2021 Annual Council (October 7-13, 2021) will be a âhybrid,â with resident members of the Executive Committee meeting in person in the GC auditorium in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. All other members will connect virtually.
As chairman of the committee, Wilson expressed his deep gratitude to the divisions and unions “who responded magnificently to our special session on January 18th.” The one-day session will only include one item on the agenda: adjust the constitution to allow electronic connection for the CG session to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, from June 6 to 11, 2022.
Following the announcements, the meeting moved on to the main agenda items for staffing various senior positions. The following positions and names have been discussed and voted on and are effective immediately.
Michael B. Sikuri, Secretary, South Pacific Division (SPD)
Originally from Fiji, Michael Sikuri has been President of the South New Zealand Conference since 2016. Previously, he served as ministerial secretary and church pastor at this conference. He was part of the Trans-Pacific Union mission from 2009 to 2014, where he served as Director of Human Resources, Director of Family Ministries and Liaison Officer with Children’s Ministries. He also served in various pastoral / chaplaincy capacities for four years in the mission of Fiji. âMy goal as a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to lead people to the Lord, regardless of how well the Lord calls my family and me,â Sikuri said. “My motto [is] do everything for the glory of God and be faithful to the call entrusted to us.
J. FranÃ§ois Keet, Treasurer / Chief Financial Officer, South Pacific Division (SPD)
Francois Keet has extensive experience in executive financial management in various Seventh-day Adventist entities, as well as in the world of commercial banking. Since 2017, he has been associate treasurer of the SPD. Previously, he was Treasurer of the Australian Union Conference (2016) and the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (2006-2015). He was vice president of finance at Avondale University from 2006 to 2010 and head of audit for GCAS from 2003 to 2005. He has also held senior positions for several commercial banks. Originally from South Africa, Keet is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Internal Auditor. He is a committed Seventh-day Adventist who is actively involved in his local Adventist church.
Robyn W. Kajiura, Executive Director, General Conference Audit Service (GCAS)
Robyn Kajiura has over 30 years of professional experience in the audit industry. Prior to being elected Executive Director of GCAS, she was Associate Director of GCAS with responsibilities for North America zone operations. In this capacity, she led a team of 80 professionals and managed a budget of approximately US $ 10 million. With personal experience influenced by her time in India and Australia, Robyn appreciates the importance of cross-cultural understanding and brings to her leadership responsibilities a strong sense of respecting others and building relationships to get things done. In addition to his work in the United States, Robyn has led mission teams in Australia, Brazil, India, Russia and Switzerland.
Ivan H. Omana, Associate Director, Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries (ACM)
Since 2015, Ivan Omana has served as Deputy Director of Adventist Chaplain Ministries for the North American Division, providing support, encouragement, and denominational oversight to over 300 chaplains in all areas of chaplaincy in the Conference of the Pacific Union and the North Pacific Union Conference. . Previously, he was Senior Chaplain at Florida Hospital Kissimmee (now AdventHealth Kissimmee; 2002-2015) and Chaplain in Adventist Health Centers (2000-2002). During the 1990s, Omana was pastor at the Conference of Central West Venezuela, where he was also the official translator of all major evangelical and ecclesiastical events.
Jennifer Gray Woods, Associate Director, Public Affairs / Religious Freedom (PARL)
Jennifer Gray Woods has been Associate General Counsel in the General Conference Office of the General Counsel (OGC) since 2015, where she oversaw the areas of copyright, trademark, and privacy for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. . Previously, she was a lawyer in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, where she gained extensive experience in interagency and government affairs. She has also worked as a lawyer in Los Angeles, California where she provided complex healthcare regulatory advice, litigation assistance, transactional advice, and more. Woods is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and holds a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Harvard Law School.
Daniel Kwame Bediako, Associate Director, Biblical Research Institute (BRI)
Daniel K. Bediako has been Vice-Chancellor / President of Valley View University in Ghana since 2015. Previously, he was Academic Vice-President and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Valley View. He is associate professor of Old Testament language and exegesis with a particular interest in Biblical Hebrew text linguistics. Bediako is the author of five books and forty articles and has presented over twenty conference papers. He has also edited twelve books, including The Sabbath in the Old Testament and the Inter-Testament Period: Implications for Christians in the 21st Century (Biblical Research Institute, 2020), Prosperity Gospel: A Biblical and Theological Assessment (Advent Press, 2020), and was associate editor of the Andrews Bible Commentary: Old Testament (Andrews University Press, 2020). Bediako has been a member of the Biblical Research Institute (BRICOM) Committee since 2010.
The original version of this story appeared in the July-September 2021 issue of General Conference Executive Bulletin.