NAD Executive Committee Votes to Ask General Conference to Recognize Dr. Sandra Roberts

SILVER SPRING - During a lengthy and emotional discussion of the General Conference's "Unity in Mission" document, voted at the 2016 General Conference Annual Council meeting two weeks ago, the North American Division voted a statement asking the General Conference to officially recognize Dr. Sandra Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The vote was taken on day two of the 2016 NAD Year-end Meeting.

The discussion of the GC "Unity in Mission" document was characterized by many impassioned statements by division leaders in favor of equality in pastoral ministry.

As the 5:00 hour approached, well after the scheduled 3:30 PM end of the meeting, Dr. Randal Wisbey, president of La Sierra University in Southeastern California Conference, stood at the microphone and read from a prepared statement that ended with a motion asking the General Conference to recognize Dr. Roberts.

I want to thank you, Elder Jackson, for your leadership and personal commitment on guiding us in a way that embraces our deep commitment to women in ministry.

I am speaking as a member of the SECC. This is illustrative of what we are discussing this afternoon.

I am deeply concerned that the General Conference continues to be dismissive of our conference president, Dr Sandra Roberts, by not including her name in the SDA Yearbook. This would be troubling if this happened to any of our conferences--yet this has occurred to the duly-elected president of the largest conference in our division.

This was compounded at the recent Annual Council when Elder Roberts was not provided a badge that would grant her the ability to attend and to speak as was provided to every one of her fellow presidential colleagues.

The reason for this, I am told, is that, as the GC does not recognize her ordination, they do not recognize her presidency.

Elder Jackson, when something occurs that hurts and diminishes one of us, all of us are diminished and hurt. When we allow something to occur that we know, deep in our hearts, is unjust, we participate in this injustice.

I implore this body to find an appropriate response that enables us to move from talk to action. So many in our church are today watching to see if we will truly live our convictions.

For these reasons, I would recommend that we forward to the General Conference the following statement:

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.

After brief comment on the motion, a vote was taken. The results of the vote: 141 yes, 32 no, 5 in abstention. Discussion of the "Unity in Mission" document ended after the vote and will resume on Sunday. Spectrum will be providing live updates on Twitter @spectrummag throughout the meetings.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for a full report of days one and two from the North American Division Year-end Meeting.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Is this really so much to ask!? It all comes down to basic respect. I find it incredible that this is even an issue.


Sandra Roberts was elected by her constituency with property procedure. She was not appointed by someone from above. Her support is grassroots following the proper rules of electing a president. It is a crying shame that she has not been recognized by the General Conference. Our church operates from the ground up. We do not have the higher ups appoint those below but just the opposite. In reality then, ultimate power resides with the lay constituency. We should never forget that and the General Conference officers need to be constantly reminded of that fact. To have the General Conference approve of disapprove this is putting the cart before the horse.


So very proud of the leadership in the NAD and the willingness of Dr. Randal Wisby to give his voice not only for Dr. Sandra Roberts, but all women. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I know some will say it makes no difference but it does. To be heard, to understand the importance, and to do the right thing.


I found it appallingly petty, uncivilly childish and robustly rude that the GC in listing conference presidents in their yearbook, left the SECC presidency slot BLANK.

Dr Sandra Roberts had been elected by a robust percentage of her constituency. This majority democratically derived decision apparently had no sway or influence at the GC level.

The SECC is not only the.largest conference in the NAD, but no doubt the highest contributor of money to the church.

Their liberal largesse and generosity of giving should be withheld or bestowed elsewhere until their duly elected president is appropriately recognized.


The NAD just doesn’t get it. They cannot recognize her illegal presidency, and be faithful to the rest of the world church. When will they learn that they do not run the show? The cannot always have their way just because they have most of the money. The NAD leadership is becoming an obstruction, and interference in the progress of finishing the work. If all those who are wasting their time agitating about this issue would just get to work and spread the 3 angel’s messages, much could be accomplished–no ordination necessary.


Ted Wilson’s Values
So it is OK for Ted Wilson to appear to collude in the fraud and deceit of Paul Charles, named in the SDA yearbook under SID, a total nobody whose ordination may have been obtained under false pretenses, while it is not OK for Ted Wilson to recognize Sandra Roberts, legally elected Conference President, commissioned minister per NAD policy who has a REAL doctoral degree. Go figure - Edgar


Thank you NAD! Thank you Dr Wiseby for your motion! Jesus is happy when we are inclusive!


We were told that black people are too slow in their thinking to play quarterback, but then we saw Doug Williams lead his team to victory in Super Bowl XXII. We were told that interracial marriage is a sin, but then we saw our congregations populated with such beautiful diversity. Desmond Doss was told that a conscientious objector cannot be of service to America, but then we saw him wearing the Medal of Honor. We were told that Muslims cannot be decent, patriotic Americans, but then we learned about the heroism of Captain Humayun Khan, who died for our country. We have been told by Clinton and Gina Wahlen that women are too innately stupid to choose what health care coverage to purchase, but we have seen women excel in leadership all over the world, including the SECC. Seventh-day Adventist male headship theorists have told us that women standing alone at the Tree are incapable of making the right choice, but we have seen multitudes of such women choose Jesus as Lord and Savior. Reality has a way of overcoming prejudice, if we only give reality a chance.


It is increasingly harder for me to ‘buy’ the idea that the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is ‘God’s true church.’

It is increasingly easier for me to ‘buy’ the prospect that there must be another way to define that thing, wherever, or however it might exist.
( Perhaps, ‘The Church of the Too-Tired-to-Stay-and-Fight’ )

One thing is certain:
If I was sick and/or dying, and needing comfort, I would NOT want any SDA church ‘officer’ to visit me, nor could I conscientiously ‘sell’ such ‘comfort’ to any other person in a similar situation.
I think a friendly dog would serve that purpose much better.

If I can’t ‘buy’ it, or ‘sell’ it, then why should I ‘recognize’ the credentials of any SDA church officer, ‘ordained’, ‘elected’ or ‘otherwise’ ?

So, even the GC President, Ted Wilson, is truly as irrelevant to me – and I to Him – as President Dr. Sandra Roberts is to the GC.

What a relief to have figured all that out . . .

Happy Sabbath ! :wink:


“If all those who are wasting their time agitating about this issue would just get to work and spread the 3 angel’s messages, much could be accomplished–no ordination necessary.”

If this only were the issue then the Second Coming could have occurred during the over 150 years that there was no real “agitation” about the issue. Obviously this has not been the case.


One day, posthumously the GC will apologise for their wicked actions. TW will be long off the scene by then. It would be far better that they act in a way that doesn’t require an apology.


To quote blc “Groucho”: “If all those who are wasting their time agitating about this issue would just get to work and spread the 3 angel’s messages, much could be accomplished…”

I am wondering if you realize, sir, that the sentiments expressed in that particular sentence apply equally to yourself. Shabat Shalom.


And who knows that someday, TW may be honored as the “man who splintered the SDA church” as Pope Francis did this week with Martin Luther. Not the legacy anyone would want.

Haven’t you been following the SID debacle where TW has been bending the GC Working Policy to suit his agenda without oversight from any GC agency, just like any king would? In Paul Charles’s ordination case, the GC Working Policy stipulates that ordination can be undone by the conferring union but TW contends that the conferring union cannot because he is now employed by the division. Even his own GC legal counsel agrees with the Working Policy. But in your contention, “it won’t happen” not because of the GC Working Policy but because it suits TW’s agenda. It’s church members like you who embolden and foster bad behaviors on our leaders part.

Frank, I cannot say it any better.


The same CG that gives it’s ultimate support of EGW’s lofty authoritative position in the church won’t even recognize Sandra Roberts in the world directory of conference presidents. TW’s credibility is gapping wider than the Grand Canyon.


Just this week, a woman was appointed President of Andrews University. What a strange denomination we belong to in that a woman can be in charge of the men and women who teach up-and-coming pastors, but cannot be in charge of established pastors or even a group of believers. Having a phallus is required of a pastor and a conference president, but not of a university president? Dumbfounding.

Added 10-31-2016:

Interesting questions. God surely judges our behavior by our brains (I Samuel 16:7), but the GC leadership, official church theology, and the church’s alt-right movement judges our behavior by our genitals. More on this absurdity here:


It is ironic that in a weeks time the movie ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ will be released telling the story of our own Desmond T Doss.
I suspect many in the NAD will find encouragement in the telling of that story, to hold firm unwaveringly to their convictions inspite of the threat of being ‘court marshalled’ by the GC leadership.


…for anybody, man or woman.


My father was a life-long SDA pastor and his father was an SDA pastor. I have the SDA church in my DNA. I have been steeped as a Pastor’s Kid in the absolute essential of respecting the church hierarchy. To criticize the church is like hurting myself.

But, this story makes me genuinely ashamed and appropriately angry. For those who know how to implement the appropriate process, please impeach the Leaders responsible for this blatant shunning. The time has come.


You need to find a needs-based church to satisfy your feelings.