Ricardo Graham Elected
as Pacific Union President
icardo Graham, executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists since February 2006, was elected today as president of the Pacific Union. Graham will coordinate the many-faceted mission of the church in the Pacific Southwest area of the United States, which covers Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah, and will represent those areas on decision-making bodies of the North American and world church. He is the first African-American to hold the office.
“I recognize the awesomeness of this responsibility,” said Graham, in accepting the position. “It is my desire to help all our churches, schools, hospitals, and members to lift up Jesus so He can come soon.”
Graham succeeds Thomas J. Mostert Jr., who retires after serving as president of the North American Division's second largest union for 21 years. Mostert's tenure is more than twice as long as any other president in the union's 106-year history.
Before coming to the Pacific Union office, Graham had served as president of the Northern California Conference since February 2001 and as executive secretary of that conference since 1995. Before assuming administrative responsibilities, Graham was senior pastor of the Capitol City Church in Sacramento and the Market and E Street Church in Stockton, California. Before coming to the Northern California Conference, Graham pastored several churches in the Lake Region Conference.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Graham received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama, a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Graham enjoys photography, reading, collecting musical recordings, racquetball, and writing. He has been published in Ministry, Message, Signs of the Times, and the Adventist Review. He also authored a chapter in the book Perspective: Black Seventh-day Adventists Face the Twenty-first Century, edited by Calvin Rock.
Ricardo's wife, Audrey Weir Graham, an educator, is an alumna of Golden Gate Academy, Pacific Union College, and Andrews University. The Grahams have two adult children, Jessica and Jonathan.
--Pacific Union Conference Communication Department
Tanzania: Two Adventist Leaders Die in Traffic Collision
Two Adventist leaders in East Africa were killed in a traffic accident on November 10, church officials said.
William Mutani, Southwest Tanzania Field president, died in the accident along with Godleen Mangilima, executive secretary for the field. The two had boarded the same bus after preaching at different churches that day. The bus was struck by an oncoming truck, killing several passengers. Mutani was regarded as a popular leader and was effective in mobilizing churches for evangelism in the region, church leaders said. He presented the family life series during the recent "Safari Africa" evangelism campaign.
Mutani's wife serves as Women's Ministries director for the field. The death of the two key leaders in Tanzania is a tragic loss for the church of Eastern Africa, said Steven M. Bina, Communication director for the church in East-Central Africa. Five church workers from Tanzania were killed in a traffic accident two years ago.