Sandra Roberts Re-elected Southeastern California Conference President

Dr. Sandra Roberts, incumbent president of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) of Seventh-day Adventists, was re-elected president at the October 7, 2018, SECC Constituency Meeting in Riverside, California, with 75% of the nearly 600 delegates voting in favor.

Though John Anderson, pastor of the Mentone Church, argued that the conference was out of harmony with GC policy and Mario Veloso, former General Conference officer originally from Chile, referred the matter back to the Nominating Committee, his motion failed by a vote of 70% to 30%.

Gary Taber, Corona Church pastor; Jennifer Helbly, LSU chemistry professor; and Randy Roberts, LLU Church pastor, gave strong speeches in favor of the incumbent being re-elected.

Edward Siahaan, a delegate from Azure Hills Church, moved to close debate with 77% of the delegates agreeing.

All the remaining personnel recommended by the Nominating Committee (Jonathan Park, secretary; Verlon Strauss, treasurer; Elizer Sacay, VP for Asian Ministries; Robert Edwards, VP for Black Ministries; Yohalmo Saravia, VP for Hispanic Ministries; and the proposed executive committee) were voted in, each by more than 90% of the delegates.

Business was preceded by an inspiring worship service during which Dr. Kendra Haloviak Valentine gave a stirring and telling message, “Growing Together in Christ."

Lawrence T. Geraty is President Emeritus of La Sierra University and a constituent of the Southeastern California Conference.


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Way to tell the GC what’s up. Now she can go there and not speak or vote next week at the executive committee meeting. Only people capable of growing unity beards can do that so says the GC.

Unfortunately the LGBTQ community was ignored again. I suppose we will have to wait 40 more years until we even be members in good standing much less ordained clergy and openly love who we love. So I’ll give the SECC an 80s style “slow clap” but it’s still not that groundbreaking or relevant to a sizable number of people.


On Sabbath, October 6 at the Loma Linda University Church, Dr Jon Paulien suggested that major decisions of Adventist entities should be taken by consensus as in New Testament times. Further, he suggested that such consensus could be approximated by a 2/3 vote or a 3/4 vote. What would have happened if a 3/4 vote had been mandated in this situation. Would Sandy have fallen over the line? If the vote were actually 75.2% she would have won. If it was 74.8% she would have lost.

The church member in the pew speaks. And that is the way it is supposed to be. That is the way we are organized. The member is more important than the policy, unless there is heresy involved. I don’t sense the folks at the GC are claiming heresy. The best they can do is cite policy. Policy is being informally rewritten by the pews. The church is going to have to deal with that reality in a different way than the bureaucratic fight.

Of course, the question is, why would it ever be acceptable that the net result of a few policies is to exclude capable, godly women from exercising - at the call of fellow Christians - their gifts of service to our fellowship? It isn’t.


Seems that is like the First Shot by Carolinians at Fort Sumter, 1861.
Congratulations on your re-election!

Thank you Dr. Geraty for the wonderful report!
Perhaps Union President one of these times?


Amen. The bottom line. The call of the Holy Spirit.


sandra roberts’ re-election is very good news…certainly the vote to re-elect her would have been in the high 90’s were it not for the unfortunate confusion that has resulted from san antonio…

sandra is well-liked and respected, even here in calgary…she has been an impressive example of christian forbearance and grace under sustained slight…i hope she becomes president of PUC some day…


Congratulations Sandra Roberts. Once again California leads.


Wonderful news…and congratulations, Sandra Roberts!


Congratulations Sandra Roberts as the SECC recognizes your leadership of the body of Christ in his vineyard.


Are these sub-conferences within the SECC really necessary? How many women pastors have been hired by the Asian-Pacific Ministries and Hispanic Ministries congregations during Sandra Roberts’ tenure? Black Ministries?

I’m glad you feel comfortable being a part of the Church (I assume). Stay with it, and with us.


Proud of the (my) SECC Constituents!
Congratulations again Dr. Sandy Roberts!
Those who continue supporting discrimination of women should be ashamed of themselves.

I wonder when the GC will stop this ridiculous behavior of suppressing Dr. Roberts’ name from the YearBook.


@niteguy2, I was hoping she would move on to the Union and be replace by another well credentialed, spirit guide person of either gender. I think at the Union level it really puts it out there that not just this conference but all the conferences in the region feel the same way.

Perhaps, Dr Sandra should wear a fake beard so she can fit in with the fake leaders. Or place masking tape over her mouth to really highlight that she has been muzzled. Imagine the site of Dr Sandra standing at the microphone for several minutes in silence with a very visible tape over her mouth. Oh, the symbolism!


Can we truthfully call this an honest to goodness election when constituents are presented with no alternative qualified candidates, regardless of gender? I’m just curious if voting were anonymous. Was it?

My sense is, if there’s going to be a split, most, if not all, Asian-Pacific and Hispanic congregations in the SECC will choose to stay with the GC’s NAD appointed Pacific Union Mission executive officers.

Competence and commitment do count. I recall the election of a new president of the Illinois Conference, after the incumbent died in office. One of the conference officers has a fellow Place his name in contention. His advocate gave a stirring speech in his favor, the main point was he knew the deceased agenda and would carry on with vigor. the chair of the nominating committee replied, maybe the Lord had all He wanted of that agenda. A new man was brought in.


A strange view point. Why a priority of Corporate Adventist first Christianity perhaps.

Congratulations to the SECC, the most egalitarian and progressive conference on the planet!

Also I am guessing, the most affluent and highest donor conference on the planet.

Somehow their economic clout needs to be utilized to garner the respect Dr Roberts deserves from the bullying, belligerent GC.


I like seeing data, Joselito, so kudos to you for sharing. Are you suggesting with these numbers that declining growth is a reaction to or result of Sandra Roberts’ presidency (elected late 2013), or might the decline be a reaction to San Antonio 2015 (which can’t explain the 2014 numbers), simple updating of membership books, or some other factor like socioeconomics (recovery from the great depression)? And if it is, indeed, a reaction to Sandra Roberts, would it reflect a negative reaction among conservatives who moved their membership elsewhere, or some level of ineffectiveness? I’d like to see how numbers compare among other conferences in the region. It’s pretty clear with the recent vote that the membership (via its representatives) has confidence in her effectiveness.

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Even celibate, virginal, single, monastic gay men are denied pastoral duties, even though otherwise qualified.

One I know of, works as a hospital chaplain.