June 7, 2022

Motion to Add Vaccination to the Agenda Defeated

Photo by James Bokovoy

A motion to amend the agenda of the GC Session to include a discussion on vaccination was defeated on the first day of business on June 6, 2022. General Conference delegate Jonathan Zirkle had presented a motion to amend. “COVID has caused a lot of problems for our church and has caused a lot of problems for our members,” Zirkle said. Citing a document signed by thousands of Adventist Church members, pastors, and health professionals, he made a request for the church to “reconsider [its] stance on vaccination. I think it is very important we have a discussion on this.” 

After the motion was seconded and a couple of members spoke on behalf of the motion, GC president Ted N. C. Wilson went to the microphone to comment.

“Since [the motion] has been seconded, it is fair that we vote on it. But I want to strongly urge this body . . . not to put that issue on the agenda.” Wilson explained it is not a Constitution and Bylaws item; it is not a Church Manual item; and it is not a fundamental beliefs item. 

Wilson added that the General Conference has stated the position that, as regards vaccination, everyone should make their own decision. “The General Conference has not mandated that people take the vaccination,” Wilson emphasized. “It has given people a choice.” 

As other delegates lined up to speak, a motion was made to cease all debate and proceed immediately to voting. The motion to cease debate was passed by 1,581 (84.5 percent) to 291 (15.5 percent) votes. Finally, the motion to add the issue of vaccination to the agenda was defeated, as only 203 (11.4 percent) voted in favor of the motion, while 1,579 (88.6 percent) voted against.