General Conference Session Update
VP, son of former president, to serve five-year term
Ted N. C. Wilson, a vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the son of a former church president, was today elected to serve as president of the 16.3-million member global Protestant denomination.
Wilson was appointed by the church's 246-member Nominating Committee and confirmed by the General Conference Session delegation, which is an international body of 2,410 appointed members and the highest governing body in the church.
Wilson replaces Jan Paulsen, who has served as president since 1999.
The appointment took place at the church's 59th General Conference Session, being held at the Georgia Dome and adjacent World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
Wilson, 60 years old, was elected as a general vice president of the Adventist Church in 2000 during the General Conference Session in Toronto. His 36 years of denominational service include administrative and executive posts in the Mid-Atlantic United States, Africa and Russia.
Wilson began his church career as a pastor in 1974 in the church's Greater New York Conference. He served as an assistant director and then director of Metropolitan Ministries there from 1976 to 1981. He went on to serve in the church's then Africa-Indian Ocean Division, based in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, until 1990. There he served as a departmental director and later as executive secretary, the second highest officer.
Following his post in West Africa, he served at the church's world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, as an associate secretary for two years before accepting the position of president of the church's Euro-Asia Division in Moscow, Russia, from 1992 to 1996. Wilson then came back to the United States to serve as president of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland, until his election as a General Conference vice president in 2000.
An ordained minister, Wilson holds a doctorate degree in religious education from New York University, a master of divinity degree from Andrews University and a master of science degree in public health from Loma Linda University's School of Public Health.
Wilson is married to Nancy Louise Vollmer Wilson, a physical therapist. The couple has three daughters.
Wilson is the son of former General Conference president Neal C. Wilson, who served in the post from 1979 to 1990.
Wilson is expected to address a press conference this afternoon.
Of Adventist world church membership, roughly one-third resides in Africa, while another one-third lives in South America and Central America. There are about 1.1 million Adventists in the United States, where the denomination was established in 1863.
The Adventist Church operates the largest Protestant network of schools and hospitals worldwide. The church also runs disaster response and development programs through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International. It also sponsors a religious freedom forum, having established in 1893 what is now the International Religious Liberty Association.
The General Conference Session, held every five years, is an international spiritual gathering and business session to elect leaders and vote on proposed changes to the Church Manual and Constitution. Session runs through July 3.
Rohann Wellington, Associate Director of Communication GNYC