Ted N. C. Wilson Elected
General Conference President
Veteran leader to serve five-year term
BY ANSEL OLIVER
, Adventist News Network
, and MARK A. KELLNER
, Adventist Review
ed N. C. Wilson, a general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the son of a former church president, was elected June 25 to serve as president of the 16.3-million member global Protestant denomination.
Wilson, 60, 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. He succeeds Jan Paulsen, who had 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.
“This is not just an organization, this is not just another denomination. This is God’s remnant church,” Wilson told an audience of session delegates and church members in the Georgia Dome stadium in Atlanta, where the movement’s 59th business meeting is being held.
He said his new responsibility “brings us to our knees. I do not know everything, but I shall seek wisdom from counselors and from the Bible and from the Spirit of Prophecy.”
He added, “The Spirit of Prophecy is one of the great gifts God has given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It applies to the past and to the future. And, we are going home soon.”
The church should “fall on our knees and ask for God’s guidance … and pray that the Holy Spirit would bring us revival and reformation,“ Wilson said.
Reaction in the Georgia Dome was swift and positive: Wilson and his wife, Nancy Louise Vollmer Wilson, were greeted with a standing ovation as they walked out on the platform.
Rob Vandeman, president of the Chesapeake Conference, said, “I’m pleased. This vote is an expression of the world church’s view, that they have confidence in Ted Wilson because of his extensive experience.”
Jan Paulsen (left) and newly-elected GC President Ted N. C. Wilson. PHOTO: Josef Kissinger/ANN
Wilson 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.
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.
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.