Ron Aguilera at the 2021 Family Camp Meeting. Photo Credit: Katie Fellows
It was about nine years ago, March of 2013, that I accepted the invitation from the Illinois Conference Executive Committee to leave California and come to Illinois to serve as Conference Executive Secretary. Then, five years ago, on May 16, 2017, I began serving you as Conference President. This nine-year stay has been the second longest of my ministry.
Over the last few months, Lori and I have been feeling a stronger desire to be near our daughters (and sons-in-law). They live in Loma Linda, CA. Recently, an opportunity arose to move to that area, and after praying and discussing it, we
have concluded it is the right time to make this transition. Accordingly, last week, I accepted a pastoral position in the Southeastern California Conference. This gives us the opportunity to be close to our family. The transition is still being
worked out, so those details later, but currently my transition will likely occur in the middle of May. Lori, who serves as Superintendent of Education, is planning to be here until the end of the school year to wrap things up.
I have shared this news with Elder Ken Denslow. As president of the Lake Union, he will be the one to meet with the appropriate committees who will decide who the next Illinois Conference President will be.
When I became Conference President my goal and desire was to move forward with the mission of God to “go and make disciples,” and to leave the conference healthier and stronger than when I arrived. I am thankful God has blessed
us during these challenging times. As I depart, I want to encourage you to continue to stay on mission and to keep your eyes fixed on Him.
One of my biggest responsibilities as president is to be actively engaged and involved in finding, vetting, and calling gifted and dedicated leaders to serve in various capacities. I want you to know I couldn’t be more grateful for our team,
and I am proud of each of them. It has been my privilege to work alongside my fellow administrators, and to serve and support our Conference directors and staff, pastors, principals, teachers, and Camp Akita staff. I am grateful to them and thank them for the privilege of serving together.
To our Conference Executive Committee, please know what a joy it has been to serve with you. When I reflect on all the challenges we have faced over the years, I am thankful for your wisdom, kindness, and support. I will be praying for God to continue to direct you as you move forward together.
I also want you all to know Lori and I have enjoyed and been blessed by our time in Illinois. We are not leaving because we’re unhappy in Illinois, or that I am tired of my job or administration. This decision is solely based on our desire to
be near our children and available to support them as they begin their own families. I want to thank the many church members we have gotten to know over the last nine years. Your love, kindness, and support will be felt forever. Thank
Lastly, I love our theme for 2022, “Following Jesus Faithfully,” and our theme text, Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This is the driving force for my life, to follow Jesus faithfully, and my desire for each of you.
Please know I will be praying for you and cheering you on as God continues to lead the Illinois Conference and as He leads the committee in the selection of new leadership.
Ron Aguilera is the Illinois Conference president.