By Kimberly Maran — St. Louis, Missouri … On Wednesday afternoon, June 8, 2022, the General Conference (GC) in session voted to accept the nomination of G. Alexander Bryant as president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. Bryant is the incumbent; he began serving on July 9, 2020, when elected during a special NAD executive committee session, replacing the Daniel R. Jackson, who retired on July 1, 2020.
Soon after his election, Bryant briefly shared his thoughts. Said Bryant, “I am humbled by the election, and also privileged to serve and to lead the North American Division with such a tremendous team that we have in our office and across the territory. We’re excited about what God has planned and what He will do in our territory over the next three years; and we ask for your prayers.”
In addition to Bryant, the following presidents were voted for the term 2022-2025: Blasious Ruguri (East-Central Africa Division), Elie Henry (Inter-American Division), Mario Brito (Inter-European Division), Yo Han Kim (Northern-Asia Pacific Division), Stanley Edilson Arco (South American Division), Glenn Townend (South Pacific Division), Harrington Akombwa (Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division), Ezras Lakra (Southern Asia Division), Roger Caderma (Southern Asia-Pacific Division), Daniel Duda (Trans-European Division), and Robert Osei-Bonsu (West-Central Africa Division).
Before the vote, Lowell Cooper, chair of the nominating committee, explained the process of voting for the election of division presidents. “Every division has selected a group of its delegates to serve on the nominating committee. We have asked those groups of delegates to meet individually in a forum we call the division caucus. That group met under the facilitating work of a General Conference vice president or administrator to process the thoughts of the division nominating committee caucus concerning a leadership position of the president,” said Cooper. He shared that all 13 caucuses had come back to the nominating committee with recommendations, and the nominating committee approved them so they could brought to and voted on by the delegates.
The Euro-Asian Division caucus, and hence the GC Session nominating committee, did not bring a name to the GC Session to vote, but rather recommended to extend the term of office for the three current officers until 2022 GC Annual Council due to the unusual circumstances prevailing in the division, which is comprised of Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The delegates voted this recommendation through the block voting process, and therefore, the current president, Mikhail F. Kaminskiy, will extend his term of service to the GC Annual Council this fall.
“Privileged to Serve”
Before his 2020 election, G. Alexander (“Alex”) Bryant most recently served as executive secretary of the NAD and associate secretary of the GC, positions he’s held since October 2008 when elected at the GC Annual Council in Manila, Philippines. Bryant was reelected at the 2010 GC Session.*
Before coming to the division, Bryant served as the president of the Central States Conference in Kansas City, Kansas.
Bryant graduated with a double major in Theology and Business Administration from Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in 1981.
He began his ministry that same year in Springfield, Missouri, and Coffeyville and Independence, Kansas. In 1986, Bryant was ordained, and he continued his education by earning a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in 1988. The Central States Conference voted Bryant to serve as Youth/Pathfinders/National Service Organization director, Temperance director, and superintendent of Education in 1990. He became president in 1997.
Bryant is the second African American elected to serve as NAD president. Charles E. Bradford, the division’s first president, was also African American. Previous division presidents include Alfred C. McClure, Don C. Schneider, and Daniel R. Jackson.
He is married to the former Desiree Wimbish, who currently serves as an associate director and ministerial spouses coordinator for the Ministerial Association in the NAD. The Bryants have three adult children and three grandchildren.
In his comments, Bryant asked for prayer as he works with the divison to seek God. He said, “And as we seek to lead this division to places God will have us go, [we want] to be able to reach the people God wants us to reach.”
“I am privileged to serve, privileged to have been elected, and also excited at this tremendous opportunity to serve the Lord,” he concluded.
*At the 2022 GC Session it was voted that the NAD secretary and treasurer will no longer serve as associate officers of the General Conference.
–Kimberly Maran is NAD associate director of communication; photo supplied
This article was originally published on NAD’s website