Delegates to the 61st General Conference (GC) Session in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, voted to accept the Nominating Commit- tee recommendation of electing Erton Köhler (above right) as GC executive secretary on June 7. They also voted to accept the recommendation of electing Paul Douglas as GC treasurer. Köhler and Douglas were first elected to these positions in April 2021 and will serve for the 2022-2025 term.
Köhler was born in southern Brazil and grew up with a desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, who served as an Adventist pastor. Köhler completed a bachelor’s degree in theology at the Adventist Teaching Institute (now Brazilian Adventist University) in 1989 and graduated from the same school in 2008 with a master’s degree in pastoral theology. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Andrews University.
From 1990 to 1994, Köhler served as a local church pastor in São Paulo. He was then elected Youth Ministries director of the Rio Grande do Sul Conference in 1995, and in 1998 became the Youth Ministries director of the Northeast Brazil Union. In July 2002, Köhler returned to the Rio Grande do Sul Conference to serve as executive secretary. The following year he was elected Youth Ministries director for the eight countries comprising the South American Division. After serving for four years as Youth director, he became the South American Division president in 2007.
Köhler is married to Adriene Marques, a nurse, and the couple has two children.
Douglas (above right) was born in Jamaica and has served in various capacities at General Conference Auditing Services (GCAS) since 1986, when he was appointed audit manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in accounting, as well as a professional certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership.
In 1993, Douglas became a GCAS regional manager. In 1997, he was elected GCAS assistant director, becoming GCAS associate director in 2000. For the past 14 years, he has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as GCAS director.
In 2020, he developed the “Road- map to Resilience” initiative for church leaders and their governing committees. This initiative seeks to prepare leaders “to sustain mission in times of crisis and provide an agile response to rapidly emerging realities.”
In both cases, delegates voted overwhelmingly to accept the committee recommendations.