Dr. Sandra Roberts is Spectrum Magazine's 2016 Adventist Person of the Year

Southeastern California Conference President Dr. Sandra E. Roberts has been named Spectrum Magazine's 2016 Adventist Person of the Year. Roberts bested a field of ten candidates selected by Spectrum editors. In online voting spanning seven days, she received 23% of the vote ahead of North American Division President Daniel Jackson (20% of the vote) and WWII noncombatant Desmond Doss (, whose story is featured in the award-nominated biopic "Hacksaw Ridge."

Roberts, who is the first woman to serve as a president of a conference in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, has had an eventful year. During the North American Division Year-end Meeting where Roberts was a delegate, the Executive Committee overwhelmingly approved a motion asking the General Conference to officially recognize Roberts as a duly-elected leader of the largest conference in the North American Division. The statement, proposed by La Sierra University President Dr. Randal Wisbey said, 

The attendees of the North American Division Year-end Meeting respectfully request that the General Conference provide Elder Sandra Roberts, President of Southeastern California Conference, the same respect, rights, and privileges of office as any other conference president within the North America Division who has been duly elected by an official and legal constituency meeting of that conference.  This will include inclusion in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook as president of Southeastern California Conference, and being provided with regular and official credentials at General Conference meetings, such as Annual Council, etc., the same as any other North American Division conference president.

Sandra Roberts was also one of three 2016 honorees of the Weniger Society. Recipients of the Weniger Award represent the best in Adventism and reflect the values of Charles E. Weniger, who during his life was the Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary where he inspired his students by example and expectation to strive for excellence. The Society began its awards program in 1974, and has now honored 166 individuals. 

Spectrum Magazine staff are deeply honored to present Dr. Sandra Roberts the inaugural Adventist Person of the Year award in recognition for her many contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We also thank all who participated in our reader poll to help determine this year's recipient.

Here is a breakdown of the vote:

Of the ten nominees, the chart above breaks down the percentages for the candidates that received more than 5% of the vote total (including votes for "other" nominees - more on that below). The remaining nominees, Niels-Erik Andreasen, Shesell Busby, Lowell Cooper and Ricardo Graham received less than 5% each.

Those who preferred a person not named in the polling could select "other" and write in a person of their choosing. There were several write-in nominees, though none of them passed the 5% threshold in polling. In alphabetical order, the write-in nominees were Daneen Akers, Doug Batchelor, Colleen M. Bond, Reinder Bruinsma, Jeffrey Dale, Raoul Dederen, Desmond Ford, Larry Geraty, Tanner Martin, Randy Roberts, Dennis Stirewalt, David Trim, Gayle Tucker, Ted Wilson and Jared Wright.

Respondents came from 311 cities and towns in 38 countries:

41 states and the District of Columbia in the United States
7 states in Germany
6 provinces in Canada
6 states / territories in Australia
4 states in Mexico
2 states in Brazil
2 regions of Denmark
2 regions of Iceland
2 provinces in the Netherlands
2 regions of New Zealand
2 provinces in South Africa
2 counties of Sweden
2 countries of the United Kingdom
1 locale each from the following: Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Lebanon, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand and Zimbabwe

Congratulations to all 2016 Adventist Person of the Year nominees and especial congratulations to Dr. Sandra Roberts, an outstanding leader and the 2016 Spectrum Magazine Adventist Person of the Year!


Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7818

A great choice. Thoroughly deserved.


Dr. Sandra Roberts couldn’t be more courageous, ethical, and example of an excellent leader. Congratulations!


sandra has definitely exhibited christlike grace in the mistreatment she has received from the GC…this is surely a quality we’d like to see more of in all our leaders, and church members…


Would it be a conflict of interest for Ted Wilson to jump in and nominate himself for next year?


I am glad to see women in ministry and believe a 50% ratio would be healthy for our church. Sandra Roberts is fine example. Yet, I can’t help wondering why God in the OT removed any chance a women could ever serve as priest. Was it because of the Eden curse placed in perpetuity on women?

The priesthood was limited to a small and exclusive club of Levites, regardless of education, natural talent or desire to serve. Moreover, only perfectly healthy Levites, in the prime of life, could be active in temple ministry. Of course, today we hold to a New Covenant model of ministry. Yet I wonder why did God set up a ministry model, which extended for thousands of years, so anachronistic and unfavorable to all of the female sex? I wonder what advice we would give to Moses if we could go back in time?

Would it be appropriate for this setting if I were to declare “I have been shown” that on the day when our names are called “up yonder” TW, our church’s spiritual leader and highly esteemed GC president all over the world together with his EXCOMM, would be standing by the pearly gates ready to bar Sandra Roberts from entering as an ex-officio of the SDA church. How would God respond?


I voted otherwise, but I heartily congratulate Dr Roberts for her achievements , and her success in this election.


Elmer, I already posted a comment here but it was removed. Maybe because I suggested that the “stone-age mentality” is being gradually imposed to the Church, vis-à-vis the treatment of women by this administration).
(Check the LoungeGate)


Well, of course she won as she was most qualified, admired, educated and noble. Oh, she was a woman, too, but I don’t think that influenced the vote one bit. But I do think misogyny on the part of the other voters may have influenced them. Like the election, you know.


excellent chice, but Fritz Guy should get equal billing. tZ_emphasized text_


There is NO evidence of ANY persons attached to Silver Springs building vocalizing ANY dissent regarding the Disrespect that has been shown Dr Pastor Roberts in the past 2 years [24 months].
ALL of THEM are in TOTAL Agreement with how she has been treated, how she has been abused.

@GeorgeTichy – Yes, My posting was ALSO not permitted as a response to how Dr. Pastor Roberts has been abused the past 2 years.
I did post it on the Lounge areas.

Frank – Men were only unclean until Sundown.
Women were unclean for Days. Even to the extent of being careful what they Touched.

Tribe of Levi – When Israel Sinned. the Tribe of Levi, as a Tribe, did NOT engage in the activities. This is WHY they were so honored after the “church in the desert” was made. Even then there was an age requirement for when they could begin and when they were forced to retire.


I guess you have to wait for their retirement to hear of anyone speaking out.

Isn’t that the way things work?:smirk:


Yes, so true. I mean Desmond Doss only saved the lives of 75 guys under enemy fire. Whats that compared to not having your picture in the Yearbook? No wonder he didnt win! Who nominated him anyway? Some misogynist no doubt.


How many people voted?

Also, what was her response to this honor?


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I didn’t vote for the simple reason that I don’t find any value in this exercise - or sport? Like baseball and the World Series, the playing field is in North America. .Not enlightening at all.

Besides, why didn’t the Spectrum editors mention one significant achievement of Sandra Roberts during the brief time she occupied her present position if her contributions were so many? It seems that her significance has been purely symbolic for the cause of WO. Don’t the people who stood behind her – starting with the SECC’s nominating committee (chaired by Fritz Guy, correct me if I’m wrong) and the NAD TOSC (chaired by Gordon Bietz), to mention only two such groups - deserve this recognition instead? Just wondering.:confounded:


It is quite fitting that Dr. Sandra Roberts is Spectrum Magazine’s 2016 Adventist Person of the Year. It is quite fitting that she is an Adventist. By their fruits you shall know them.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Gen 3:4,5.

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.1 Cor 14:37.

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 1 Tim 2:12.

3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:3,4.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:” 2 Cor 4:3.

Dr Sandra Roberts when placed in competition with other prestigious contenders for the title “2016 Adventist of the Year”, has clearly won the contest!

This is a direct and distinct rebuke to our GC president who tried to denigrate, diminish, and demote her with his childish, petty, and rude deletion of her name in the yearbook.

I hope that he will take notice that his actions have not met with approval by the majority of NAD Adventists.


Anyone know the top 1 to 3 accomplishments of Sandra Roberts that improved any SDA group or members?

Lovely speculation as to the motive of those who voted for others.

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