God never changes — “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” Hebrews 13:8.
In our world we experience changes. This is also true in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. On June 19, 2016, at the Atlantic Union Conference Quinquennial Session in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, we experienced major changes in the elected leadership of our union.
The constituents of the Atlantic Union are extremely appreciative of the leadership given by Donald G. King, former president, Carlyle C. Simmons, former executive secretary, and Leon D. Thomassian, former treasurer. We are also very grateful for the dedicated and enthusiastic service given by Astrid Thomassian, former education director, and Ryan Simpson, former youth ministries director.
As the new administrative officers, G. Earl Knight, president; Pierre O. Omeler, executive secretary; and Elias Zabala, Sr., treasurer, we are indebted to these dedicated men and this woman for their service of love and commitment to the cause of God. We will forever be grateful for the contributions they have made.
Along with the changes we experienced among the officers, Dionisio Olivo was reelected as Hispanic and Portuguese ministries vice president, Jose Joseph was elected as Haitian and African ministries vice president, Trevor Forbes was reelected as the undertreasurer, Jerrell Gilkeson was elected as the education director, Marlene Alvarez was elected as the education associate director, and Andres Peralta was elected as the youth ministries director.
The Atlantic Union Conference has experienced a radical change in its leadership. Along with these changes come fears, concerns, and even disappointments. However, in the cause of God we must remember that He has the church in His hand and whenever we submit our lives to Him, He will always direct our paths. God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, never makes
a mistake. He loves this church as His bride and will see us through to the end when the faithful will reap their reward.
As we move forward into the future, we face many uncertainties, but we serve a God who has led us in the past, is here with us in the present, and will continue to lead us into the future. As long as He is in the vessel, we can smile at the storms of life.
It is my prayer that we remain united, as the word “union” suggests, and focus on the mission to which God has called us. There is much to be done, and, as a team, we are ready to get to work and continue to fulfill the call of God to this church.
United we stand! The Pentecostal experience of Acts was the result of the unity of the disciples and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Let us be united with a common goal so that Pentecost will be repeated once again in our lifetime.
May God continue to bless us as we work together for His cause!
G. Earl Knight is president of the Atlantic Union Conference and chairman of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees