Lake Region — History was made on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, when North American Regional Conference presidents met with Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in his office at the church’s World Headquarters. Convened to address and clarify statements made by Wilson in his sermon at Annual Council in October, the meeting covered an array of other critical issues related to ministry in the African-American community in the North American Division, as well as in the broader community. The conversation was open and frank, characterized by civility and courtesy, and lasted for almost four hours. It ended with prayer for the General Conference president, who seemed genuinely concerned and engaged throughout the afternoon.
What was accomplished at the historic gathering? Wilson promised to attend the next meeting of the Black Caucus, stated that the elimination of Regional Conferences was not on his agenda, stressed that what he said about social justice and worship in his Battle Creek sermon were not intended to disparage the African-American community, and admitted that much of what he said had been “lost in translation.” He promised to examine and explore how the number of African-Americans at the General Conference may be increased, expressed appreciation for African-American mission and ministry, solicited help and partnership for outreach efforts in Indianapolis leading up to and during the General Conference Session in 2020, and promised to keep the conversation with African-American leadership going.
For a full synopsis of the meeting, please consult the website of the Office for Regional Conference Ministry.
R. Clifford Jones, president, Lake Region Conference
Photo credit: Dana Edmond
Caption: North American Regional Conference presidents met with General Conference President Ted Wilson to address and clarify statements made by Wilson in his sermon at the October 2018 Annual Council.