Don Livesay to Head Lake Union Conference
Pledges to help church units “fulfill their mission”
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
on Livesay, a veteran Seventh-day Adventist Church administrator, will leave his seven-year presidency of the Oregon Conference to become president of the Lake Union Conference in January 2009, it was announced December 3.
Livesay was elected to the post by the Lake Union executive committee and succeeds Walter L. Wright, who retired in June 2008.
The Lake Union Conference, organized in 1901, is the administrative hub for a four-state area with more than 80,000 members in nearly 550 churches and companies in five local conferences. Its territory covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
“There’s a certain level of leadership that comes with a union, but [also] a profound need for the union to hear the needs of the conference and do whatever is possible to facilitate the local conference for mission,” Livesay told Adventist Review in a telephone interview. He said his goal is “building community and doing everything that we can do to help the [local] conference do their mission in the best manner.”
Livesay, who spent a total of 12 and one-half years in the Oregon Conference, said he views the local church as ground zero for the mission of the Adventist Church and local conferences are the primary administrative level for the support of local church ministry function,” he said.
Livesay joined the Oregon Conference in 1996 as assistant to the President for Communication, and then served as vice president for Administration, before his election as president in 2001. He also serves on the board of trustees of Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington and Adventist Health System.
He has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a pastor, in youth ministries, communication, and conference administration for conferences in the Southern, Pacific, and North Pacific Union Conferences. Livesay earned a Bachelor's of Art in Theology from Loma Linda University in 1973, and a Masters of Divinity in 1976 from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
Livesay’s wife, Barbara Cook Livesay, is an educator and currently serves as director of Risk Management/Church Safety, and as shepherdess leader for the Oregon Conference. The couple has two married daughters. Although he had not previously worked in the Lake Union, Livesay notes he was “born in Benton Harbor[, Michigan], went to the Seminary and our first daughter was born in St. Joe,” Michigan.
“I am looking forward to a very special spiritual and functional relationship with the leadership of the conferences, the institutions of the Lake Union, and Adventist Health System to do whatever I can to support each in fostering the mission in their areas of responsibilities,” Livesay said.