Delegates to the 34th Constituency Meeting of the Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church, August 18-20, 2017 elected Christelle Agboka, Kevin Benta, Allan Chichester, Lisa Clarke, Reynold Hazelwood, Damson Oppong, Gerardo Pasikatan, Elizabeth and Orlando Pule, and James Rooney as new directors. Jakov Bibulovic, Edwin Martin, Maria McClean, Raveen Pal, Alvin Ram, Theodore Sargeant and John Scott, were re-elected.
(Photograph from L to R: D. Oppong, K. Benta, C. Agboka, E. Pule, O. Pule, J. Rooney. Absent: A. Chichester, L. Clarke and G. Pasikatan)
Christelle Agboka, a freelance writer, is the new Communication director. She replaces Halsey Peat who served the department since 2005. She will also have responsibility for graphic design and the new media studio.
Keven Benta takes on the responsibility of property management, including Kingsway Pioneer Home. He is a realtor and former member of the Conference Board of directors. His predecessor, Birthe Chan, had served since 1997.
Allan Chichester is the new Sabbath School director. He is responsible for all divisions from Cradle Roll to Adult Sabbath School. He was formerly lead pastor at Toronto Central Church. Chichester’s predecessor, Theodore Sargeant, is director for ADRA Ontario, Compassion Ministries (Blind, Deaf, Community Services) and Disaster Response.
Lisa Clarke was voted as the Superintendent of Schools. Presently working as a Curriculum Coordinator in British Columbia Conference, she was formerly the principal of Grandview Academy in Southern Ontario. Clarke replaces Donald McIntyre who served since 2013.
With the exception of Prayer Ministries, Reynold Hazelwood assumes responsibility for part of the portfolio previously held by Eustace Williams - Personal and Prison Ministries, Bibleinfo.com and the Ontario Conference School of Evangelism and Discipleship. He was lead pastor at Brampton Church.
Damson Oppong replaces Joel Nembhard as the new Ministerial secretary. Oppong leaves his role as pastor of Ruth Church, located in Brampton, to join the directors at Conference headquarters. Nembhard served since 2013.
As the new Stewardship, CBIF and Kingdom Builders director, Gerardo Pasikatan takes on the portfolio (with exception of Worship) previously held by newly-elected executive secretary, David Schwinghammer. Pasikatan was formerly lead pastor at First Filipino-Canadian Adventist Church in Toronto.
Elizabeth and Orlando Pule are the new Family Life directors. This is the first time that Ontario has elected a husband and wife team as co-directors. It follows the model for Family Ministries at the General Conference and North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. The ministry includes men, women, marrieds, and singles.
Formerly, pastors at Ottawa Adventist Church, the Pules replace Joan Rogers and Glenn DeSilva. Rogers led Family and Women’s Ministries, while DeSilva had Men’s Ministries, along with Camp Frenda.
James Rooney replaces Glenn DeSilva as director of Camp Frenda director. He will also serve as associate director for Compassion Ministries. He was pastor at London Adventist Church.
Vacant Positions Left to Board of Directors
Delegates referred the following positions to the Board of Directors to be filled: Assistant to the President, Assistant Treasurer, Assistant Education Superintendent, and Adventist Risk/Legal/PARL.
Standing Applause for Outgoing Directors
Delegates demonstrated their appreciation of outgoing directors by standing and enthusiastically applauding them. As Conference president publically thanked directors for their “faithful and sacrificial service” over one, two or more terms, delegates seated nearby reached over to them and shook their hands, hugged them and expressed gratitude.
Edwards asked delegates to pray for both outgoing directors and new new directors.