“I am humbled by the confidence the Lake Union Executive Committee have placed in me with this ministry assignment,” said Elden Ramirez, upon learning of the voted decision. “I look forward to serving the beautiful constituency of the Lake Union Conference. I pray and trust in God that together we will continue to proclaim the good news of salvation to a world that is in desperate need of Jesus.”
On Sept. 14, 2021, the Lake Union Conference Executive Committee convened virtually to receive the recommended name of Elden Ramirez for executive secretary. Ramirez who was confirmed with very strong support from the committee becomes the first Hispanic executive secretary in the Lake Union.
“I am excited that Elder Ramirez has decided to accept and look forward to working with him,” says Ken Denslow, Lake Union president. “He’s a spiritual leader who’s sold out to the mission of the church. This union will be blessed not only by his administrative skills but his ability to lead through relationships.”
Denslow chaired the meeting, his first since election as Lake Union president on June 9, following the departure of Maurice Valentine to the North American Division. Steve Poenitz retired on June 6, which created the vacancy that Ramirez now fills.
“I am humbled by the confidence the Lake Union Executive Committee have placed in me with this ministry assignment,” said Ramirez, upon learning of the voted decision. “I look forward to serving the beautiful constituency of the Lake Union Conference. I pray and trust in God that together we will continue to proclaim the good news of salvation to a world that is in desperate need of Jesus.”
Ramirez comes to us from the North American Division where he was voted as Undersecretary in October 2020 and has been serving in that capacity; responsible for the Secretariat functions that include general calls; interpreting, developing and revising church policies. Previously, in 2017, he was elected president of the Montana Conference and before that position worked at the division as director of the NAD’s Office of Volunteer Ministries, from 2013 to 2017. While serving at the division, Ramirez provided direction and oversight to the Office of Volunteer Ministries in NAD Secretariat. In this role, he was responsible for guiding student missions, which serves as the resource and processing center to all NAD Adventist colleges and universities. He was instrumental in connecting volunteers throughout North America to mission opportunities across the NAD and around the world.
Prior to joining the NAD, Ramirez served as youth director and assistant to the president for the Central California Conference (2005 to 2013), providing leadership in strategic planning, finance, board management, personnel, fundraising, and program delivery. He also served the Iowa-Missouri Conference as a pastor, church planter, and departmental director. During this time (1996 to 2004), Ramirez led several ministries at the conference, including Health Temperance, National Service Organization, Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Camp Ministries (as executive director), and Family Life.
He speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and has experience in graphic design, media content creation, and radio and television production.
Ramirez is married to Jenny, a registered nurse who has been his right hand in ministry, and together they are the parents of two daughters, Elennie, a junior in college, and Jasmine, a senior in high school.
Debbie Michel, editor of the Lake Union Herald, with North American Division.