ARTICLE BY BETH THOMAS, ANN
During the final minutes of the business session on Monday, June 6, the Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted to re-elect Ted N.C. Wilson as president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church. This will be Wilson’s third term.
Ted N.C. Wilson has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a variety of roles throughout his nearly 50 years of ministry. He began as a pastor in the Greater New York Conference in 1974, and quickly moved into administrative and foreign service roles.
Wilson holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Religious Education from New York University; a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University; and a Master of Science degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University. As president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, this education has served him well as he visits schools, hospitals and various church organizations around the world.
While attending Loma Linda, Wilson met his future wife, Nancy, a physical therapist, and together they raised three daughters, Emilie, Elizabeth, and Catherine, while working for the Church in New York; West Africa; Russia; and Maryland. His administrative experience led the Church in business session to elect him as a General Conference vice president in 2000—a position he held until 2010 when he was elected president.
During the past 12 years of Wilson’s leadership, the Church has adopted ministry initiatives rooted in personal revival and corporate reformation. The Total Membership Involvement (TMI) initiative, a full-scale evangelistic thrust spearheaded in 2016, sparked mission efforts around the world involving every member, every church, in personal and corporate outreach. This has resulted in thousands of people embracing the gospel through the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s understanding of the three angels’ messages.
Under Wilson’s watch, the Church’s strategic plans have focused on church members reaching the world, and inspiring and equipping them to use their God-given spiritual gifts in witness and service for Christ. The current strategic plan, “Reach the World: I Will Go,” outlines specific suggested goals to meet in the Church’s mission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19, 20).
Wilson, along with fellow officers and church leaders helped lead the church through extremely challenging times, especially during the novel coronavirus pandemic that plunged the world into chaos. Leaders were forced to make difficult decisions to best meet the changing needs of the World Church. These included reducing and eliminating staff travel, establishing public health protocols for employees, reassessing finances and budgets, postponing General Conference Session, promoting virtual meetings, and more. Throughout this ordeal, Wilson has been a reassuring presence with his encouraging weekly videos to the Church, pointing members to Jesus.
That seems to be the overarching theme for Wilson’s life and ministry. As he so succinctly stated in a brief life sketch: “You don’t need to know what the General Conference is or who the president is. All you need to do is know the Lord, attend your local church, be involved in mission, be in relationships, and love people—telling them about God’s love and Christ’s soon coming.”[i]
The Wilsons covet member’s prayers as they continue in their leadership roles within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.