26 May

Statement on Uvalde, Texas, School Shooting by North American Division Administration

We mourn with and pray for those whose lives have been irrevocably changed when a gunman opened fire yesterday at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two adults. This marks the deadliest school shooting in the state’s history and our hearts cry out in anguish and anger against this evil act.

But as we pray, we must do more. We must find a way to end this type of heinous and senseless violence from occurring in our communities. National reports indicate that there have been 27 school shootings in 2022 thus far with injuries or deaths. No student should live in fear of gun violence. It is unacceptable to have any of these shootings normalized in any way.

The words of a voted statement the Seventh-day Adventist World Church issued more than 30 years ago, before the heated political rhetoric of the day, ring true now: “Automatic or semi-automatic military-style weapons are becoming increasingly available to civilians. In some areas of the world it is relatively easy to acquire such guns. They show up not only in the street, but in the hands of youngsters at school. Many crimes are committed through the use of these kinds of weapons. They are made to kill people. They have no legitimate recreational use.”

We must search our souls for ways we can stem the tide of violence and implore our elected officials to take action. We must search our hearts and minds in order to prioritize human life.

As the world church statement declared, “Pursuits of peace and the preservation of life are to be the goals of Christians. Evil cannot be effectively met with evil but must be overcome with good. Seventh-day Adventists, with other people of goodwill, wish to cooperate in using every legitimate means of reducing, and eliminating where possible, the root causes of crime.”

We can’t keep thinking we are helpless in this. We can do something. We can hold our leaders and ourselves accountable.

And in echoing the words of the Psalmist, may God heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds (Ps. 147:3, NIV).

— North American Division Administration

07 Feb

“Get to Know Each Other Better”

By North American Division News – Columbia, Maryland … North American Division President G. Alexander Bryant shares his reflections on Black History Month and desire for all Seventh-day Adventist members in North America to listen to those in their communities who may be different from them as they share their story — as those involved in the conversation all seek to better understand and appreciate each other.

To view the video please click here: https://vimeo.com/673350896

Video Transcript:

Greetings for each of you from the North American Division family!*

My name is G. Alexander Bryant. I serve as the president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Here we are again in February to celebrate Black History Month 2022. This month was designed to get to know more about a people group who were brought here as slaves against their will. This month was intended [for us] to learn more about their history, which is really my history — their triumphs, and their victories; their tragedies, and their successes; their joys, and their sorrows.

In a world that is growing more fractured and torn every day, Black History Month is a time to hit the pause button, and really try to get to know each other better. To get to know each other more. Black History Month gives us another opportunity to listen to each other, and to embrace a story of a people that have been resilient and determined.

My encouragement to you is to take at least one of the days in the month of February to sit down and share a meal — that doesn’t have to be a fancy meal — with a black person or someone who is not like you, and have a conversation to get to know them better. And as we learn [about] the beauty that God has given his people, black people and brown people and white people and yellow people and all people, I believe that understanding will cause us to embrace the beauty in all people and cause us to love people as God loves them. For the Bible says, “And by this love shall all men know that you are my disciples [sic, John 13:15].”

May God bless us as we get to know each other more, and get to love each other as God loves us

* For clarity, minor edits have been made to this transcript.

–North American Division News; photo supplied

This article was originally published on the NAD website

09 Sep

NAD President Commemorates 9/11, Calls Adventists in North America to Prayer of Remembrance

By North American Division News — Columbia, Maryland … As we remember how life in the United States and around the world changed 20 years ago when 3,000 lost their lives in terrorist acts on September 11, 2001 — as planes crashed through the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Virginia, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania — I urge our members in the North American Division to pray for those who were impacted by these events and lost loved ones on that day. We remember the first responders, many who gave their lives in service to their fellow human beings. We also remember the brave passengers on United Flight 93 who sacrificed their lives to save others.

I encourage us to remember the hope God gives us. He will sustain us and provide us with peace. May we also remember this promise: “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NIV).”

— G. Alexander Bryant, president, Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America

photo by iStock

This statement was originally published on the North American Division website

23 Aug

North American Division Position on Requests for Religious Exemptions to Vaccine Requirements

By North American Division – Columbia, Maryland … Voted recommendations to NAD Administration regarding requests for religious exemptions to vaccine requirements:

The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (NAD) is committed to sharing hope and wholeness through the healing ministry of Christ by promoting the Church’s historic health message. This includes caring for our own bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19,20) and ministering to the health of others within our community (Isaiah 58).

In line with this commitment, the NAD fully supports the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s statement encouraging “responsible immunization/vaccination,” and as such has “no religious or faith-based reason not to encourage [its] adherents to responsibly participate in protective and preventive immunization programs.”

While the Church’s statement recognizes it is “not the conscience of the individual church member, and recognize[s] individual choices,” the choice not to be vaccinated is not based on Seventh-day Adventist Church teachings or doctrine. For this reason, the Adventist church in North America does not provide Church-endorsed vaccine exemption request letters.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church respects convictions of conscience. While the NAD cannot endorse that vaccine refusal represents Adventist teachings, your local Union Public Affairs and Religious Liberty ministry is available to advise you in writing your own letter if you choose to pursue an individual vaccine exemption.

–North American Division News; photo by iStock

This article was originally published on the North American Division website

30 Apr

2021 Elections Bring Leadership Changes for NAD Administration, Departments, and Guam-Micronesia Mission

Mylon Medley –Columbia, Maryland .. .Three vice presidents, two directors, an associate director, Liberty magazine editor, and the president of the Guam-Micronesia Mission have been newly elected to serve the North American Division (NAD) until 2025. The election on April 29, 2021, took place during a meeting of the NAD Executive Committee; the date was chosen by the same governing body through a vote on Feb. 25, 2021, after the postponement of the 2021 General Conference Session.

A total of 42 names were presented for election or re-election from the division’s nominating committee. Executive committee members could vote for or against the names, or refer the name(s) back to the nominating committee. Most positions voted were for incumbents, however, seven new leaders accepted the call to serve.

Right before executive committee members voted, Randy Robinson, NAD treasurer, offered prayer. “Father, this is a solemn moment where we are acting … as we consider these individuals for these positions, we pray for your Spirit’s movement in our hearts. And we pray for the will of God to be done. We thank you,” Robinson prayed.

Wendy Eberhardt was elected to serve as the NAD vice president for ministries, replacing Bonita J. Shields, who announced this spring that she would not seek re-election. Eberhart is the director of Young Adult Ministries and camp ministries for the Arizona Conference. She has also served in the Upper Columbia, Kentucky-Tennessee, and Pennsylvania conferences, primarily in the roles of camping leadership and youth ministries.

“She has a strong passion for mentoring, is highly spiritual, and has tremendous people skills. She has the desire to see people be the best they can be,” said G. Alexander Bryant, NAD president, when presenting her name to the executive committee.

Calvin Watkins Sr. was elected to become the NAD vice president for evangelism and regional liason. Alvin Kibble, who retired in 2020, served in this position as liaison to the regional conferences, in leadership development, and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL). Watkins is currently the president of the Southwest Regional Conference. He’d previously served the South Atlantic Conference as ministerial director and director of the conference’s Adventist Community Services.

“Calvin has baptized more than 6,000 people in his time as an evangelist,” said Bryant. “He is passionate about doing what he can to finish the work of the Lord.”

Maurice Valentine was elected as the vice president for media liason, replacing the retiring Gordon Pifher, who was vice president of media ministries. Valentine previously served Lake Union as its executive secretary and is currently its president. Prior to the Lake Union, he’d served as president of the Central States Conference, and vice president for administration of the Mid-America Union. He has also organized a city-wide radio broadcasting network, and has served on the Breath of Life Ministries executive committee.

“He’s a facilitator and disciple-builder. He brings administrative strength to the role for collaboration,” said Bryant.

Current NAD vice presidents Arne Nielsen, vice president for education, and Tony Anobile, vice president for multilingual ministries, were both reelected.

All incumbents for secretariat and treasury positions were reelected: Elden Ramirez, undersecretary; Carolyn Forrest, associate secretary; Judy Glass, undertreasurer; C. Michael Park, associate treasurer; Sharon Mabena, associate treasurer; and Edwin Romero, associate treasurer. Romero also currently serves as Adventist Retirement administrator/CEO, a separately-appointed position.

Ministries’ Leadership Elections

Bettina Krause was elected as the newest editor of Liberty magazine, the division’s publication on religious liberty. Krause comes to the division from the General Conference as associate director of its PARL department, through which she represents the denomination on Capitol Hill. With a law degree (LLB) from Australia, Krause has significant experience in denominational work as director of Adventist News Network, and director of media relations for the General Conference. Krause also served as special assistant to the former president of the General Conference Jan Paulsen for protocol, media, and communication.

“She has a strong love of religious liberty and is very qualified to serve in this role,” said Bryant.

DeeAnn Bragaw * was elected to become the women’s ministries director of the NAD, replacing Carla Baker, who retired in 2019. Bragaw works for the Rocky Mountain Conference where she serves as its women’s ministries director and prayer ministries coordinator. She has a master’s degree in pastoral ministries and received a bachelor’s degree in education.

“DeeAnn comes highly recommended from many women’s ministries directors,” said Bryant. “She has coordinated many special events and retreats, and collaborates with the youth department to engage and empower teenagers.”

The newest director of NAD Adventist Community Services is W. Derrick Lea. Lea was previously its associate director serving as disaster response director, occupying that role since 2015. He was a fire chief before coming to the division.

“He has a rich history in disaster work, and a passion for serving the community,” said Bryant.

Rudy Salazar will be the new Stewardship Ministries associate director. Salazar comes from the Central California Conference as its director of Gift Planning Ministries and Stewardship.

“Rudy also has many years of experience in stewardship and trust work from times in Texas, Oregon, and California. He’s conducted camp meeting services in English and Spanish,” said Bryant.

Incumbents for the following ministries were re-elected: Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries, Paul Anderson, director; Children’s Ministries, Sherri Uhrig, director, and Gerry Lopez, associate director; Communication, Dan Weber, director, Kimberly Luste Maran, associate director, and Julio C. Muñoz, associate director; Office of Volunteer Ministries, Ernest Hernandez, director; Education, Leisa Morton-Standish, associate director, Stephen Bralley, associate director, Evelyn Sullivan, associate director, and Martha Ban, associate director; Family Ministries, Claudio Consuegra, director, and Pamela Consuegra, associate director; Literature Ministries, Carl McRoy, director; Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Melissa Reid, associate director; Ministerial Association, Ivan Williams, director, Dave Gemmell, associate director, Jose Cortes Jr., associate director, and Esther Knott, associate director; Stewardship Ministries, Michael Harpe, director; and Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Tracy Wood, director, Vandeon Griffin, associate director, and Armando Miranda Jr., associate director.

Three positions have been referred to the NAD Administrative Committee (NADCOM), which meets throughout the year. These include the position of vice president of strategy and assessment, recently vacated by the retiring Paul Brantley; director for Sabbath School and Personal Ministries; and NAD ACS associate director.

Ministry Moves

The final position filled on April 29 was president of the Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM). Its previous president, Ken Norton, recently became the president of the Montana Conference. The NAD executive committee elected Matthew Kirk, the current secretary/treasurer of the Montana Conference, to become the mission’s newest president. Remenster Jano, GMM secretary, and Donald Lloyd, treasurer, were both re-elected.

The executive committee also voted two additional actions to give special recognition to leaders who have retired and/or have accepted different roles.

— Mylon Medley is an assistant director of communication for the NAD; Kimberly Luste Maran contributed to this report.

*Editor’s Note: DeeAnn Bragaw will be prayerfully considering this invitation and will make the final decision in the next few days.

07 Jan

North American Division Leadership Responds to Events at the U.S. Capitol

North American Division News – Columbia, Maryland … The events in Washington, D.C., during the past few days have been traumatic for most Americans, and shocking for those around the world. Many of our members are deeply concerned regarding the actions that took place at the United States Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. The leadership of the North American Division affirms the rights of people to respectfully protest, but strongly condemns the reprehensible actions of rioters that show a clear disrespect for the safety of others, the institution of democracy, and the diplomatic and orderly process of the transition of government.

NAD leadership calls for our members to prayerfully reflect on Philippians 4:7, which states, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (NKJV), as we all seek to understand events taking place in the U.S. In times like these we need to pray with the words, “In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God” (Psalms 62:7).

We recognize that our U.S. members represent a full spectrum of viewpoints and positions on many issues. Moving forward, may the love of God draw us together as we reach out to each other and the communities where we live and work. May God grant us all peace, strength, and wisdom as we serve as citizens in this country. As followers of Christ, let us unite in prayer for our communities; our leaders; and that God’s Spirit will prevail.

Alexander Bryant, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America

Randy Robinson, Treasurer

Kyoshin Ahn, Secretary

–This article was originally published on the NAD website; photo by Reuters

24 Dec

North American Division President Offers Encouraging Remarks as 2020 Draws to a Close

–To view this video message please click here

Dear NAD Family,

I want to extend to you, on behalf of my fellow officers and the entire NAD office family, our warmest holiday greetings as this year 2020 comes to an end. And what a year it has been! Who could have guessed when we started 2020 we would end it in this manner?

We want to thank our pastors and educators for the tremendous work that they have done in transitioning to virtual environments. And what a feat that was: to turn on almost a dime, and go from in-person services to online services! We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our media teams who have worked untiringly. Without their efforts, this transition would not have been possible. We also want to thank our members who have been involved in over 1,500 food pantries providing food for those in need, and the many outreach activities that have happened in the virtual space.

The coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn, racial unrest, and now political turmoil have converged to create a very unstable and stress-filled world. Any one of them alone could be catastrophic, and destabilizing. But when you put the four together, that can make quite an impact. This is what we have been through this year. However, these events in 2020 makes this time of the year even more special. As we reflect on the Gift of God, of His Son the Christ Child, it is even more meaningful.

As we think about the world He came into — it was not unlike our world today. Humankind had been ravaged with a virus of sin with no vaccine and no cure. The political climate with the Roman government was at an all-time low. Racial tensions between the Jews and Samaritans were at an all-time high. The economic gap between the haves and the have nots had reached its breaking point. The spiritual heart of man was at a low. It was into this environment that God sent His Son as a Babe into a hostile world. God is not unfamiliar with what we’re going through. He has been here before, and He does His best work in these kinds of environments. God gives His best to us—in the worst of times.

This season, Christmas reminds me of a God that gives us His best when we are facing our worst crisis. Jesus was the best, the most expensive, the most valuable, the most treasured Gift that God had in the entire universe. So God said, Let me give my Son to demonstrate my love for you. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” [John 3:16]. He actually gave Him to the human race, not just to come and die, but He gave them to us forever! Christ is to forever retain His humanity. He gave this Gift when we were at our worst. Even if we were at our best, the cost is inestimable, but we were at our worst!

The good news in 2020, amidst the pandemic, the economic challenges, the racial unrest, the political strife, is that the Gift is still ours. So I invite us for this moment, for this season, to take our minds off of all the turmoil of life in this world and take some time to meditate on this glorious Gift and to reflect on this precious Gift that we have in God’s only begotten Son. So come, let us adore Him. O, come, let us adore Him. Come, let us adore Him, Jesus Christ our Lord! This is not only the “Reason for the Season,” but it is the good news of 2020. God bless you!

— This is a transcript of the 2020 year-end holiday greeting from G. Alexander Bryant, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America

–Originally published on the NAD website

21 Dec

COVID-19 Vaccines: Addressing Concerns, Offering Counsel

By General Conference Department of Health Ministries, General Conference Biblical Research Institute, and Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy and School of Public HealthSilver Spring, Maryland, Loma Linda, California …Seventh-day Adventists look to the coming of Christ as the great culmination of history and an end of all disease, suffering, and death. At the same time, we have been entrusted with the Adventist health message embodied in and expanded upon by the writings of Ellen White, summarizing healthful living through practical and wholistic healthy lifestyle behaviors.

We advocate all of these practices to maintain a healthy immune system, and in the pandemic, even more is needed. Ellen White was not only an inspired conduit of health information much ahead of her time, but she modeled practical prevention in the face of the lethal disease in her era, smallpox, and took the immunization herself, as did those close to her.1 Today, smallpox has been globally eradicated.

We hope that this article will answer questions, allay fears, and resolve some of the prevalent myths and rumors, thereby bringing peace to the hearts of our members as they make health decisions guided by their health-care providers.

There are rumors and conspiracy theories that use the COVID-19 vaccine as an interpretation and/or fulfillment of prophecy. We asked the General Conference Biblical Research Institute for comments in this regard, and the response is as follows:

“The global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has generated considerable speculations related to end-time events and misinterpretations of the Bible. One recent view, propagated through social media and some internet websites, has put forward the theory that the upcoming vaccines produced to combat COVID-19 belong to a process of control that will lead to the application of the mark of the beast.

It should be noted, however, that Adventists hold to the conviction that the end-time controversy will center on the law of God, and particularly on the fourth commandment (Rev. 14:12). Moreover, the third angel’s message will warn against the reception of the mark (Rev. 14:9–11) and will enlighten humankind as to the issues involved.

For this reason, it should be made clear that Seventh-day Adventists understand the “mark of the beast” to be not a literal mark but a sign of allegiance that identifies the bearer as loyal to the power represented by the beast.

From a distinct perspective, another speculative view argues that vaccines make those who take them unclean because, supposedly, unclean substances are used to produce them. In this regard, it should be clarified that the abiding biblical instructions forbidding the consumption of unclean food and blood (Lev. 11:1–20; 17:11–12; Acts 15:20) do not apply to vaccines for the obvious reason that vaccines are produced as medication to save lives, not to serve as food.

Speculations such as these bring the Word of God into disrepute and cause confusion among sincere but less-informed believers. Using the introduction of a vaccine to stir up an eschatological scenario of spiritual and cosmic proportions, or to oppose it on the basis of a faulty interpretation of Scripture, only distracts sincere believers from the real prophetic issues and the Adventist Church’s commitment to proclaim the gospel.

Hopefully an effective vaccine will help to bring the current pandemic to a halt. This will protect the lives of those who still need to know about the gospel, as well as those who have already accepted the gospel and are thus charged with the proclamation of God’s infinite love to a suffering world (John 3:16).”2

Adventist Health Ministries is firmly based on the Bible, the instruction of the Spirit of Prophecy through Ellen White, and is consonant with peer-reviewed, evidence-based health science. We rely on these foundations in formulating health approaches and advice. With millions infected, and many dead, and global infections on the increase, a number of vaccines have been developed in record time. There are numerous questions people are asking regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

As a church, while we support evidence-based public health recommendations, we are also careful not to make pronouncements that may be construed as replacing national and international public health guidelines. For this reason, it is important for our comments to be understood within the framework of our official church position on immunization:

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church places strong emphasis on health and well-being. The Adventist health emphasis is based on biblical revelation, the inspired writing of Ellen G. White (co-founder of the Church), and on peer-reviewed scientific literature. As such, we encourage responsible immunization/vaccination, and have no religious or faith-based reason not to encourage our adherents to responsibly participate in protective and preventive immunization programs. We value the health and safety of the population, which includes the maintenance of ‘herd immunity.’

“We are not the conscience of the individual church member, and recognize individual choices. These are exercised by the individual. The choice not to be immunized is not and should not be seen as the dogma nor the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

There have been efforts to establish a reliable evidence-based approach to treatment of COVID-19. Additionally, and within record time, vaccines have been produced which are now being used to help bring the pandemic under control. However, people do have concerns and questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

Emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was granted on December 2, 2020, in the United Kingdom, and on December 9 in Canada. In the U.S., the Pfizer vaccine was reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provisionally authorized on December 11. The Moderna vaccine will follow.

In conversation with the Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH), Michael Hogue, dean of the Loma Linda School of Pharmacy, who serves on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Workgroup on COVID-19 Vaccines and on the San Bernardino County COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce in California, shared the following insights regarding frequently asked questions on the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines. His insights and explanations of common questions appear below.

Questions and Facts About the Vaccine

Question: Does the mRNA (messenger Ribonucleic Acid) vaccine change your DNA?

FACT: Both referenced vaccines are based on mRNA, which is a first for vaccines, but the technology has been used in medical treatments for the past 15 years. The vaccine enters into a cell’s cytoplasm (the fluid within the cell), where it stimulates the production of antibodies to fight the SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein. Since it does not enter the nucleus of the host cell, it does not change the DNA or genetic structure/function.

Question: Can it be safe and effective, as it was developed so quickly?

FACT: Due to current technology, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was sequenced within days of its being identified, and work on a vaccine was started right away. The sample size for the large study is 40,000 people (the average FDA vaccine study sample size is usually only 27,000). We are two months into a two-year study. Data is being carefully monitored.

The first dose showed a 50-percent immune response protection. The second dose reached 95 percent protection! (Only Hepatitis A vaccine is higher, at just about 100 percent protection.) The study was well designed and represented U.S. demographics very closely, with the exception of Native Americans (and the ongoing study is working to rectify that). Efficacy and side effects were similar in all ethnic groups.

Question: Are the ingredients and preservatives in the vaccine dangerous?

FACT: There are no preservatives in these two COVID-19 vaccines, which is why they require deep freeze/freezer facilities for storage and transport. The vaccine is carefully purified.

Question: What are the side effects?

FACT: So far, 10 percent of subjects have reported fever by the second day, and in 24 hours, 50-60 percent reported feeling “achy.” There have so far been very few serious side effects with the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, including three cases of significant allergic reactions (unusually low; probably due to the non-use of preservatives).

Dr. Hogue further commented that if a person has already tested COVID-19 positive in the past, that person can still get the vaccine; it will simply increase the person’s antibody levels. He also pointed out that taking the vaccine in the USA is voluntary, not mandatory.

The efficacy of the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines is similar, but they are not interchangeable (if a person starts with one, the second dose has to be from the same brand). For the Pfizer vaccine, there is 21-day interval between the two doses; it is reported that for the Moderna vaccine, the interval will be 28 days between doses. The vaccine is not authorized for use during pregnancy or in those under 16 years of age.


Immunization, along with sanitation and clean water, has been foundational to the improved longevity seen around the world where these interventions have been applied. Vaccines have long been used by Adventist church members throughout the world. Along with good health practices, they have provided protection against many infections and prevented illness and death.

As we witness the global magnitude of the pandemic, the deaths, disability, and long-term COVID-19 effects that are emerging in all age groups, we are encouraging our members to consider responsible immunization and the promotion and facilitation of the development of what is commonly termed herd immunity (pre-existing community immunity of approximately 80 percent of individuals as a result of previous infection and/or vaccination).



1. Concerning vaccination against smallpox, D. E. Robinson, one of Ellen White’s secretaries, under the date of June 12, 1931, wrote as follows concerning Mrs. White’s attitude toward vaccination:

“You ask for definite and concise information regarding what Sister White wrote about vaccination and serum.

“This question can be answered very briefly for so far as we have any record, she did not refer to them in any of her writings.

“You will be interested to know, however, that at a time when there was an epidemic of smallpox in the vicinity, she herself was vaccinated and urged her helpers, those connected with her, to be vaccinated. In taking this step, Sister White recognized the fact that it has been proven that vaccination either renders one immune from smallpox or greatly lightens its effects if one does come down with it. She also recognized the danger of their exposing others if they failed to take this precaution. [Signed] D. E. Robinson” (Selected Messages, bk. 2, p. 303).

2. Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, December 2020.

Photo by iStock

This article was originally published on the NAD website

17 Sep

Adventist Church Leaders Vote ‘One Humanity’ Statement

Silver Spring, Maryland … The following statement was voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, on September 15, 2020, and made available on the Adventist Church official website. —Adventist Review Editors



The moral duty of declaring biblical principles in the treatment of fellow human beings has become paramount as the world increasingly recognizes the lingering scourge of racial injustice, tribal conflicts, and caste system bigotry suffered by millions of persons in every society and world region. God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26) and Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:39). The Seventh-day Adventist Church acknowledges the important responsibility of making its commitments and compassion clear to a world expecting both words and deeds in harmony with the teachings of Jesus. Our commitment flows from our mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6) in our troubled world as we recognize only Christ can change the human heart.

Seventh-day Adventists are committed to the unchanging biblical truths which reveal that human beings are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Based on the creation account in the book of Genesis, we believe in the God-given and immutable equality of all persons in all times, all places, and all circumstances. We are all descended from Adam and Eve, our original ancestors, who make all humanity one family (Gen. 3:20). Even the tragic results of human choice to rebel against God have not erased the enduring relationships between all human beings. Distinctions of race, ethnicity, caste, and tribe are used to sinfully segment and divide the fundamental unity God intended all human beings to experience with Himself and each other.

We maintain our allegiance to the biblical principles of equality and dignity of all human beings in the face of historic and continuing attempts to use skin color, place of origin, caste, or perceived lineage as a pretext for oppressive and dominating behavior. These attempts are a denial of our shared humanity and we deplore all such aggression and prejudice as an offense to God. Still, we acknowledge that many members of our worldwide Church fail to uphold this biblical truth about the equality of all persons. Contrary to the teachings and example of Jesus, many believers and church organizations have absorbed sinful, dehumanizing ideas about racial, tribal, caste, and ethnic valuing that have led to practices injuring and wounding the human family. These ways of thinking, and the practices resulting from them, undermine the very truths we have pledged ourselves to live and teach. We apologize where in the past we may not have spoken or acted boldly enough on these matters.

Seventh-day Adventists are members of a diverse, global Church and are committed to being agents of peace and reconciliation in society by modeling and advocating for the biblical truth about our shared ancestry. “For the love of Christ compels us” to regard people from His point of view and to be His “ambassadors” in this divided world with the “word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:141920). We will support and nurture those marginalized and mistreated because of their color, caste, tribe, or ethnicity (Matt. 25:40). We believe those who abuse and mistreat others should, in accordance with biblical principles, be appropriately brought to justice and will ultimately face divine judgment (Eccl. 12:14Heb. 9:27). We will teach and urge that God’s truth about human origins and equality as taught in the Bible is the wisest foundation for all human relationships.

God places a special responsibility upon those who have responded to His gracious salvation for all (Gal. 3:28) to demonstrate our commitment to equality, fairness, and accountability in all human relations. God created each person unique, and His powerful influence in our lives results in a celebration of differences that respectfully values each person’s human heritage and culture. We recognize the ultimate solution to the sins of racism, casteism, tribalism, and ethnocentrism is the transformation of individual lives and relationships through Christ and His saving power. We accept and embrace our Christian commitment to live, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as a Church that is just, caring, and loving, grounded on biblical principles.

God invites everyone, everywhere to join the remnant Church described in Bible prophecy (Rev. 12:17) in proclaiming the everlasting gospel which focuses on the righteousness of Jesus Christ encapsulated in the three angels’ messages (Rev. 14:6-12). These messages are to be given to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” culminating with Christ’s soon return (Rev. 14:614). We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth when “there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

***Article courtesy of the Adventist Review published on September 16, 2020

10 Sep

Church Business during Pandemic

By North American Division News – Columbia, Maryland … Recognizing practical changes to the way churches conduct their internal business. The North American Division voted “Recommendations for church business during the COVID-19 pandemic.” In consultation with the union NAD voted on August 20 the following recommendations.



 The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an array of unprecedented challenges to the life of the church in North America, disrupting regular worship services. Yet our members are ever more committed to loving God and their neighbors during this time. We praise God for such a display of their love.

Upon receiving many requests from the field, the North American Division, in consultation with the union secretaries, has developed temporary recommendations for the local church during this time.

The following recommendations are provided to help the local church handle the issue of church business during this pandemic.


Our local church desires to function as regularly as possible during this pandemic to fulfill its mission, including the processing of membership transfer requests. Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual allows alternative method for membership transfer within the division (p. 52). While the local church may choose to hold the membership transfers until meeting in church resumes, some churches may want to select one of the following approaches to proceed with membership transfer requests during this period.

  • Membership transfer can be done in a virtual environment (Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.) either during regular online church services or at a designated time announced in advance. During the online meeting, the membership transfer requests can be read or shown on screen.
  • It is imperative to register a vote of the membership transfer. As described in the Church Manual, we are thus requiring the church go through the regular reading process once the church board has voted to recommend membership transfer, favorably or otherwise, to the church.
  • One of the following methods can be used to register a vote: (1) Poll the congregation by an online survey method such as Survey Monkey; (2) By phone/teleconference; (3) Polling on Zoom; and (4) Email each member.
  • Provide board contact information should a person have a question about a membership transfer.


The Nominating Committee process can be done in a virtual environment, as described above for the membership transfer process. A person attending a meeting on Zoom or another virtual or electronic platform is considered present for discussion and voting.


Our church never stops spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, even in the middle of this unprecedented pandemic. As a result, a number of people have expressed their desire to be members of the Adventist Church by baptism during this pandemic.

While the local church can undoubtedly hold off baptisms until the pandemic is over, the following methods are suggested in case a baptismal service needs to be held.

  1. Baptism can be held traditionally, as stated in the Church Manual, using proper precautions for the COVID-19, such as wearing a mask and gloves.
  2. An alternative way of baptizing people can be chosen in lieu of the traditional manner, in which the presiding pastor pronounces the baptism at a distance, while a family member lowers the baptismal candidate, or the baptismal candidate could dip under the water by themselves.
  3. Should the level of discomfort rise to the degree of not being able to conduct a traditional style baptismal service, baptismal candidates can be accepted on profession of faith, which is an established practice granted for medical reasons. This approach allows people to join the church on profession of faith, as stated in the Church Manual (see “Profession of Faith” on p. 50-51; also “Receiving Members under Difficult conditions”, p. 53), subject to a future baptism by water after this pandemic is over. This future baptism by water should not be counted toward baptismal statistics.

This document was voted by the NAD Administrative Committee on August 20, 2020

–NAD News Release