Adventist Church abuzz with news of world president’s 11-day visit

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Jamaican Adventists are feverishly fine-tuning plans to welcome their world president, Pastor Ted C Wilson, who begins only his second visit to Jamaica on February 1, 2019, at the head of a 200-member delegation representing four continents.

Pastor Wilson’s delegation comprising Adventist church leaders from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America, will be mainly here to participate in the 12th Global Leadership Summit which unfolds at the Iberostar Hotel in Montego Bay from February 4-8.

The focus of this summit will be on healthy lifestyle and while in Jamaica, the leaders will immerse themselves in local communities in western Jamaica to promote healthful living as a lifestyle.

Unable to mask his pride at hosting the leader of one of the fastest-growing country denominations, head of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, Pastor Everett Brown said his flock was “excited and indeed honoured to have our world church president with us on this historic visit to Jamaica”.

“We hope that their presence in Jamaica will motivate and encourage our members to be more involved in advancing the mission of Jesus and the wholistic development of the communities in which the church serves,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Pastor Wilson’s team will miss a session or two of the seminar to throw its weight behind the local church’s “Mission Project 2019”, which was launched on January 8 in partnership with the Ministry of Health and its Jamaica Moves initiative under the theme “Wholistic Health for Personal and National Transformation”.

The Adventist president will also participate in other civic and non-civic health-related activities and interviews starting with a press conference at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

Dr Wilson’s current visit comes exactly seven years after his first visit to Jamaica in February 2012, when he attended the launch of the third phase of the “Revival and Reformation Initiative” in the Inter-American Division, dubbed “That the World May Know”.

“We hope that their 11-day visit to Jamaica will be a most enjoyable and successful one and that many will return to Jamaica with their extended families and friends to visit because of the rich experience gained,” said Pastor Brown.

Pastor Wilson, born on May 10, 1950, was elected president of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church in July 2010, following in the footsteps of his father, Pastor Neal C Wilson. He spent part of his childhood in Egypt.

Dr Wilson began his church career as a pastor in 1974 in the Greater New York Conference. He served as an assistant director and then director of Metropolitan Ministries in New York from 1976 to 1981.

He went on to serve as a departmental director and later as executive secretary in the Church’s then Africa-Indian Ocean Division, based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, until 1990. Following his post in West Africa, he served for two years at the Adventist World Church’s World Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, as an associate secretary.

He held the position of president of the Church’s Euro Asia-Division in Moscow, Russia from 1992 to 1996. And then returned to the United States to serve as president of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland, until his election as an Adventist World Church vice-president in 2000.

An ordained minister, Pastor Wilson holds a doctor of philosophy 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 the Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

He married Nancy Louise Vollmer Wilson, a physical therapist, in 1975. In addition to English, he speaks French and some Russian.

— Desmond Allen and Nigel Coke

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