General Conference Executive Secretary & CFO Re-Elected

The Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted to re-elect Erton Köhler for a second term during the business session on Tuesday, June 7. Köhler, one of the Church’s three executive officers, has served as General Conference Secretary since April 2021, following GT Ng’s retirement. 

As Secretary, Köhler advises the Office of Adventist Mission, the Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, and the Institute of World Mission. His office is responsible for preparing agenda items for major business meetings and committees, recording meeting minutes, and coordinating the development and review of Church working policy and manual. 

Köhler and his team also “provide support, promotion, and strategic input for the mission program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, including selection and appointment of international service employees and volunteer personnel for all calls between divisions.”[i]

Köhler is a native of southern Brazil. Following in his father’s footsteps, he chose a pastoral path, graduating from the Adventist Teaching Institute (now Brazilian Adventist University) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology. He also completed a Doctoral Degree from the Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

Prior to his Secretariat election, Köhler served the South American Division as local church pastor, conference youth ministries director, conference executive secretary, division youth ministries director and division president over his 32 years in ministry.

Köhler has been a firm voice for unity amidst diversity, emphasizing a commitment to the mission of the Church. While concluding his Secretary’s Report at the 2021 Annual Council, he said, “our eyes shouldn’t focus on the crisis (referring to the Covid-19 pandemic), but on the One that is bigger than the crisis, always believing that our greatest challenges precede His greatest miracles. It’s time to move forward, fully depending on prayer and on our biblical identity, accepting the commitment to be a positive influence in this world, and renewing our focus on virtual and in-person mission through Christ’s method.”

Please continue to uplift Köhler and his family in prayer as he continues serving the World Church in this ministry capacity.

Paul Douglas has been re-elected as the Treasurer of the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (GC). Douglas was first elected to the position during the 2021 Spring Meetings, in Silver Spring, Maryland, after Juan Prestol-Puesán retired.

Before becoming Treasurer of the GC, Douglas served as director for the General Conference Auditing Service where he cultivated an extensive pedigree in financial administration and denominational service. He became an assistant auditor for the GC in 1986, then stepped up to a full-fledged role two years later. He continued climbing the ranks, ultimately becoming GCAS Director in 2006.

Douglas realized and embraced his niche for accounting as a youth in Jamaica. He focused his studies and interest on science, with the intent to go into medical school, yet hit a period of indecision upon graduating and transitioning to college. An educator-mentor recommended Douglas give bookkeeping a try, and the immediate success he experienced swung the door wide open to what has become an impressive career, with no turning back.

Douglas places confidence in God’s guidance and wisdom to lead the Adventist Church in anything we face as we move into the future. In his 2022 Treasurer’s Report to the Executive Committee during the Spring Meeting, Douglas continued to highlight the importance of looking to God’s continual leadership by quoting Seventh-day Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White saying, “we have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”

He encouraged all members, saying, “I want to submit to us, as a body of believers known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church, that the greatest of all dangers for us in turbulent times is to forget that the Master of the Sea is in the boat. We must not forget that this is His mission to which we have been commissioned.”

Articles By:  Beth Thomas-ANN

Photography: Noel Sibanda

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