NAD President to Retire July 1; Replacement Process Defined

Daniel R. Jackson, president of the North American Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (NAD), and his wife Donna, have announced their intent to retire, effective July 1, 2020. With the postponement of the 2020 General Conference (GC) Session, NAD administration has worked with GC leadership to establish a clear process for the election of the new NAD president in July 2020.

The Jacksons have served at the NAD headquarters since his election in June 2010 at the GC Session in Atlanta, Georgia. He was reelected to the position in 2015, at the GC Session in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to coming to the NAD, Jackson served for eight years as the president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada.

“Serving has always been a privilege,” says Jackson of his career working for the church. “The real privilege of all this has been meeting with our people from coast to coast, throughout the North American Division: in Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Guam, and Micronesia. To meet with our people… the perk of the job is to see the wonderful mission focus that many, many of our members have. This division is about mission.”

With the exception of five years of service in the Southern Asia Division, Jackson, a native Canadian, has lived and ministered entirely in the North American Division. He graduated from Canadian Union College (now Burman University) with a B.A. in Theology, and also earned an M.A. in Religion in Systematic Theology from Andrews University.

During his career, Jackson has served the church as a pastor, teacher, and administrator. Jackson and his wife, Donna, enjoy the three children and four grandchildren the Lord has given them.

But foremost, Jackson says he is a fellow traveler on the same path as every Christian headed toward God’s kingdom.

“I've always held the idea that God would move us into this role in great reverence,” adds Jackson. “I have not enjoyed every day, and I've said this plainly, …but it is the people that make the job very rich, and a huge blessing. I deeply respect and revere what God is willing to do in the life of a scamp from Edmonton, Alberta, and a wonderful woman from Sidney, British Columbia.”

Donna Jackson has served the NAD as Ministerial Spouses leader and NAD field assistant in the NAD Ministerial Association. Previously, she held the position of Family and Women’s Ministries director of the Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada Women’s Ministries liaison coordinator for eight years.

“I've been very fortunate to work in the Ministerial Association with an energetic team,” she says. “My special task has been ministerial spouses and their families. I have a special heart for the new spouses coming into it — a neat part of being the president's wife is meeting all these people. I wouldn't know them otherwise.”

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, B.C., Donna’s world view was stretched by living in the U.S., Sri Lanka, and India — and by serving on short term projects in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Donna was educated at Canadian University College and Spicer Memorial College in India (B.A. degree conferred).

New NAD President Election Process Established

In compliance with GC by-laws and working policy, NAD administration has worked with GC leadership to establish a clear process for the election of the new NAD president. All world division executive officers serve as elected officers of the GC and their nomination and election by the region they represent must be approved by the General Conference Executive Committee.

The NAD nominating committee will meet on July 6 to select a name to be presented and voted on by the NAD Executive Committee on July 7 and sent as a recommendation to the GC Executive Committee. Both of these committees will be chaired by Ted N.C. Wilson, GC president. The meetings will be held virtually via Zoom and a previously used electronic voting process will be utilized.

On July 9, the General Conference Executive Committee will meet virtually to receive the recommendation and elect the new NAD president.

As the process for a new NAD president starts, church leaders are asking members to lift up the proceedings and those involved in prayer.

This article was written by the NAD Office of Communication and originally appeared on the NAD website. It is reprinted here with permission.

Image: At the 2019 North American Division Year-End Meeting, Daniel R. Jackson, NAD president, and his wife Donna Jackson, smile during a special presentation as the executive boardroom's new name is unveiled. Photo by Pieter Damsteegt, courtesy of the NAD.

We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Amazing that church members have NO voice in the selection or acceptance of a new NAD president. They are not able to submit names. The process appears to be all in-house with paid employees. I suspect the new leader has to be politically and theologically correct. I wonder how many individuals have been standing in line planning to be the next president, by making political friends and mirroring their positions.

Why is it that in the article photo there is no social distance or wearing of masks? It appears to be business as usual, leading me to suspect that there is no long term planning for the impact of Covet 19 on the church.


The word on the street is that the replacement has already been chosen, bah humbug, yawn.


Hi @frankpeachamvt, as stated in the image credit at the end of the article, this is a photo from the 2019 NAD Year-end Meeting (which happened in November).



i would like to see sandra roberts nominated as NAD president…i think she’d sail through a NAD Excom vote, and could survive a close vote by GC Excom…in a post-covid world, we need someone who’s seen a lot of money pass through a lot of hands, and who knows how to make that money count…

dan jackson is leaving big shoes to fill, and a roberts presidency would be a signal that we’re thinking big…it would essentially render the WO controversy a moot point, which is important, given that NAD, like the rest of the world, will be needing to focus on mission in the context of economic disaster…


Being part of the SDA establishment for over 60 years, something tells me that the “new replacement” has already been chosen. The only thing missing now is the bureaucratic process needed to give the impression that the replacement is still “being chosen” - when it actually has already “been chosen.”

I bet there are still many people praying intensely on behalf of a choice that has already been made. Wasting their time. TW will be chairing the whole process, so we know exactly how it will go…


Zoom will only make it easier for those in charge of the election to take near absolute control of the outcome. Truth of the matter is divisions of the GC have less autonomy than union conferences. With improved telecommunications between GC and union conferences/missions around the world, is there still a need for the various world divisions?


good question…the answer is maybe not in the short term, but maybe once a vaccine for covid is developed and distributed, and life as we’ve known it resumes…

there’s no question that unions within a division have more concerns in common than with unions in other divisions, and from time to time, it makes sense for the GC to act through it’s divisional representative to address these concerns…

i don’t think it’s necessary for the entire world church to be involved in divisional union concerns each and every time they surface…

if i remember what EGW said about union conferences correctly, ‘to shield the conferences from the GC’ perhaps the divisions are there to shield the unions from the ‘high handedness of the gc’ also.

Wouldn’t it be more practical, then, to do what I have been suggesting for a long time? Eliminate the GC! One shot and the source of the trouble is retired. Send that bunch of pastors to a new job, some real pastoral job in churches!

This would allow the dissolution of the Divisions as well, leaving the Unions that could form a kind of worldwide coalition to maintain the unity of the Church.

Of course not going to happen. The easy jobs at the GC level, and the “power” imbued in them, are extremely attractive - and money runs into the coffers so freely… Who wants to go back to any “real work?” … :thinking:


You would like them to be theologically incorrect?? What, you want civil war from the top? Jackson was no rubber stamp for the GC (pushing for WO, which I bet is your issue here as well), but was theologically correct. Your desire seems to be just to destroy the church from within. I might add that his wife was a committed supporter of WO. Real pro-WO.

Yes, I agree.

Are you kidding Jeremy? Rubbing the GC’s nose in it? She is a pariah, won’t happen.

You mean the world church as it meets in session, the representatives of the church? Is that what is high handed? Or is it the GC executive group, that carries out the will of the people? You think they are high handed?

well, if roberts were nominated, i think you agree that she’d be a near unanimous vote by NAD Excom…yes, there’d be a few stragglers - probably trump voters - but the vast majority in NAD Excom would vote yes…the only question is whether she’d survive a GC Excom vote…

so let’s say that TW voted against her, as we all expect he would…the point is, he’s only one vote…i think that roberts may very well eke out a win in a GC Excom vote…after-all, the GC has already seen its budget cut by NAD…that and any further cuts by NAD no doubt loom large in the wake of covid…would a vote to uphold an anti-WO vote that probably few really believe in prevail…probably not…

No, of-course not. However I would like a NAD leader to be able to think for themselves, not group think. To not be governed by church politics, which is regarded as sacred theology. I would like the NAD leader to not build a shrine to themselves, considering the poor before they pour millions into an office building. Jesus and the early apostles set an example of keeping overhead expenses low in terms of headquarters and focused funds on the poor. Just wondering, how much larger salary and status does the NAD president receive in comparison to a church school teacher? I wish we could do away with the word President and accept a more humble word following the example of Jesus who chose the most common title–son of man (which every male can claim).

If the common practice at the GC didn’t change lately, the new NAD President has already been chosen, now only pending the formal vote (aka façade) to make it appear to be “the people’s choice.” Business as usual! :woozy_face: :woozy_face:

1 Like

Well… the division headquarters buildings outside North America I’ve seen so far tell the same story. And the group think, as you mentioned.


Really! She is outside of policy. Why would they vote her? And why would the world body vote her?

They just voted to reprimand unions and conference presidents, and you think they would vote in a lady who is there outside of the very policy they just slapped some people for? Do you think they are schizophrenic?

It would not be shooting in the foot, but the heart.

There has ben plenty of going against group think in the past, and plenty of staying with it. The elder Wilson (before this one) wanted to continue and was let go, something he was not prepared for, nor did he like. It is up in the air.

And I agree with you on humble servants.

I suspect she is fully within God’s policy.
The GC has pulled pull a few fast ones in effort to fool the world body she is outside.

“Nothing has changed”
SA GC 2015, Wilson

1 Like

This presupposes that there is a “correct” theology. Aside from the historic Christian teachings of the Trinity, Christ’s unfallen nature and the completion of Christ’s atonement on the cross, the rest of theology is ambiguous and subject to variations of interpretation.

As my dad used to say, take certain verses from the Bible and you can come up with one certain “truth.” Then get another set of verses from the Bible and you may come up with a “truth” that is the exact opposite of the first one. And my dad knew his Bible very well.


Sandra Roberts would be elected for her administrative qualities, management skills, spiritual leadership, and Godly character, unlike many who are “elected” in political “good ole boys” maneuvers.

If she were not the official, duly and legally elected president under the constitution of the Pacific Union, believe me, she would have been legally marched out of her office. She is the legally elected president. Period.

You sound as if you would have declared Ellen White unordained by God and ineligible to speak publicly to large groups, participate in the highest level GC leadership, and was not gifted with spiritual leadership eligible for ordination and global leadership.

And you have never acknowledged the Holy Spirit’s role in gifting women the gift of spiritual leadership: for Ellen White and Sandra Roberts and thousands of others who are leading congregations and capable of serving as presidents of conferences, unions, divisions, and the General Conference which should recognize their gifts based on the qualifications above for Sandra Roberts and ordain them. That “men” do not want this is irrelevant to the Holy Spirit, Whose power breathes and lives as Divine Power, energy, and preferences.