Adventist Named Papua New Guinea Prime Minister

Seventh-day Adventist James Marape was today (May 30) elected Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The appointment comes after weeks of turmoil that rocked the PNG government and eventually led to the resignation of former PM Peter O’Neill.

Mr. Marape, the country’s former finance minister, is the Member for the Tari Pori electorate in the Southern Highlands. He is an elder of Korobosea Seventh-day Adventist Church and attended Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School in the Eastern Highlands Province.

“The South Pacific Division congratulates the Honorable James Marape on becoming the eighth Papua New Guinean Prime Minister,” said Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific.

“We pray that James will continue to receive guidance from God as he leads this significant country. His Seventh-day Adventist values and heritage will hold him in good standing.”

This article was written by Jarrod Stackelroth and originally appeared on the Adventist Record website.

Image courtesy of Adventist Record.

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Congratulations to the Honourable James Marape, the new prime minister of Papua New Guinea. Public service is certainly a noble profession. I understand that he was voted into this office, 101 for and 8 against. The said gentleman is the son of an Adventist pastor.

Of course, he is not the first Adventist to serve in high office in PNG. A previous Governor-General of PNG was also an Adventist. Like the present GG of Jamaica he was the representative of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The present Chief Justice of PNG and the Speaker of the House of Parliament are both Adventists too. A former deputy prime minister was an Adventist.

All of this is a tribute to the pioneering work of Adventist missionaries and the work of Adventist education in PNG. My late father was one such missionary. He served in PNG in the 1930’s. My sister died of dysentery in May, 1938. She was just shy of 3 years old. Before she died, her mother reported that she had a remarkable glimpse into the face of Jesus as she was being carried on our father’s shoulder, to get help from a neighbour with a car, in the tropical night. Ruthie was the first Adventist missionary’s child to die in the South Pacific island nations. For many years she was buried in a lonely grave. Recently, the South Pacific Division have arranged for a grave marker to be placed near the burial site.

Adventist church leaders in PNG are often summoned to talk with government in PNG as one of the three biggest religious grouping in the PNG. The Anglican and Roman Catholic archbishop together with the PNG Union Mission President often met government officials for discussions.


What a wonderful and hearting event. The natives I saw in Buna had a bone in their nose and ears. they loved to trade for hydrogen peroxide. it would bleach their hair a sickly orange, but they seemed to love it.they would trade with coconut, parrots, and voodoo dolls. Christianity and education are wonderful transformers.

Loved hearing about the Marks missionary family experience in PNG. Here’s an expansion on missionary children’s death in South Pacific nations. I had two missionary uncles. They were twins, Pastors Walter and David Ferris. Walter lost two children in childbirth in Fiji, the last in 1933, and David lost a three year old daughter in the Solomon Islands in the early 1930s. The gospel was carried at enormous personal cost.

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