Juan Rafael Prestol-Puesán, treasurer of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (GC) since 2015, announced he will retire on August 1, 2021. His denomination service spanned almost 50 years during which he served in three world divisions. Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson shared the news with hundreds of members of the General Conference Executive Committee (GC EXCOM) on April 13, on the opening day of Spring Council, one of the two annual business meetings of the world church.
“It is with a blend of conviction and sadness that I communicate to you my intention to transition to retirement effective August 1, 2021,” Prestol-Puesán wrote just a few hours before Wilson made the announcement official. Now he will help coordinate a transition period and assist his eventual replacement, Wilson announced.
Prestol-Puesán has served in treasury functions for the Adventist Church since graduating from college in 1969. He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and began his work for the Adventist Church in the Inter-America Division territory in 1969 as an accountant in the Dominican Conference. In 1972 he began serving as treasurer of the North Dominican Mission. On Dec. 17, 1976 he was ordained and continued to serve the mission until 1977, when he took time to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States.
After completing his MBA in June of 1980, Prestol-Puesán served as secretary-treasurer of the Greater New York Conference in Manhasset, New York. In 1987, he was elected as the undertreasurer of the Atlantic Union Conference in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, and later served as treasurer of the region.
In 1993, Prestol-Puesán moved to Moscow, Russia, to serve as treasurer of the Euro-Asian Division. Following his term in Russia, Prestol-Puesán relocated to Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, in 1996, where he served as associate treasurer and then treasurer of the North American Division. He was elected undertreasurer of GC in 2007. While serving at the GC, he completed a Ph.D. in leadership from the School of Education at Andrews University in December 2014.
Prestol-Puesán is married to Belkis Domínguez and has two grown daughters and two grandchildren.
In sharing the news with hundreds of church leaders, Wilson emphasized what he termed Prestol-Puesán’s “outstanding qualities” in service to the church. “He is a professional in his own right,” Wilson said, “a very careful treasurer and thoughtful person.”
Wilson noted Prestol-Puesán’s strong emphasis on leadership and impeccable service. "He is a very ethical and very mission-minded person,” Wilson said. “A very spiritual person and a great preacher.”
The church president also said that Prestol-Puesán has always shown a great interest in how God provides for His people. “It has been an enormous privilege to work with you,” Wilson concluded.
Reacting to Wilson’s comments, Prestol-Puesán emphasized his background and God’s leading in his life. As a son of a sea captain growing up close to the sea in a Spanish-speaking environment, he never imagined he would eventually move with his family to keep studying and serving. “I learned English when I came to the United States 44 years ago,” he shared. “I never thought I would work to the point of serving the church in the General Conference.”
Prestol-Puesán thanked both his team at the financial department of the GC and Wilson for ongoing support. “I wish you the Lord’s blessings as you continue leading,” he told Wilson. At the same time, he expressed his gratitude to God and His leading in his life through the years. “I want to give all the glory to the Lord,” he said. “It’s been a privilege for me to serve.”