Members of the Executive Committee of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted to accept three recommendations of the Nominating Committee on April 11 during the Spring Meetings in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
Members voted to accept Sócrates Quispe as an associate director for the Education Department of the General Conference; Oleg V. Voronyuk as treasurer of the Euro-Asia Division; and John C. Peckham as an associate editor of the Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines.
Below is information on the three new leaders.
The new Education Department associate director, a native of Peru, arrives in his new position after an extensive career as a professor, researcher, and educational leader. Quispe, who for the past 10 years was associate director of education in the South American Division (SAD) of the church, is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. He will replace John Wesley Taylor V, who was recently elected president of Andrews University.
Quispe was first trained as a food engineer and later followed with studies in theology and higher education management and leadership. He is a renowned researcher in his native Peru and, in 2021, acted as the SAD coordinator of the Global Church Member Survey. For years, he has led and participated in the regular assessments of Adventist higher education institutions across the eight countries of the SAD and beyond.
Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, director of the Education Department of the General Conference, gave Quispe a warm welcome to the education leadership team and highlighted his experience and profound knowledge of the Adventist educational system.
“Quispe is an experienced researcher and scientist and has two post-docs as well as one patent,” Beardsley-Hardy said. “He brings this expertise to the development of postgraduate degrees and development of research at [Adventist] universities and does so from a biblical position and with a commitment to the message and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
She also highlighted that in his previous position, Quispe was deeply involved in educational programs and institutions assessment. “We have worked together for many years on site visits for the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities, and I am confident that he will serve well as associate director of education,” Beardsley-Hardy said.
Quispe thanked Adventist leaders and Beardsley-Hardy for their trust and acknowledged their ongoing support. “I feel small for such a responsibility, but I recognize that God is in control,” Quispe said. “It’s only by God’s grace that I can serve His church. And I also know that I will have the support and help of Dr. Beardsley-Hardy and my colleagues.”
Oleg V. Voronyuk
The newly elected treasurer of the Euro-Asia Division comes to his new position after years of experience as a professor, educational leader, and financial officer. He will replace Vladimir I. Tkachuk, who will now be involved in specific projects assigned by the General Conference.
An ordained pastor, Voronyuk initially served as a professor and interpreter of English and German at Zaoksky Adventist University before becoming head of the English Department and then vice president of Student Affairs. From 2010 to 2021, Voronyuk served as chief financial officer of the school, and in early 2021 he was elected associate treasurer of the Euro-Asia Division.
After learning of the vote that elected him to his new position, Voronyuk said that he is committed to support evangelistic activities across the region, especially of a new initiative that seeks to train pastors and local elders to motivate members to offer and give Bible studies to their friends, relatives, and colleagues.
Voronyuk also emphasized he is committed to making younger generations a priority. “Even if savings on other areas have to be made, I will make sure that youth, Pathfinders, and children’s ministries initiatives are sufficiently funded,” he said. “Children and youth are the future of the church, and they need to know it.”
He added that special attention will also be given to pastors and their families who agree to pastor churches and do evangelism in remote areas such as Siberia and Russia’s Far East. “They need to feel how much the church appreciates what they do in those harsh conditions,” he said. “There is nothing specifically new or revolutionizing about this, but I just want to make sure that we are putting our money where our mouth is,” Voronyuk said.
John C. Peckham
The new associate editor of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines is an award-winning professor, theologian, and author who has built bridges in academia with other Christian and theological organizations. Peckham, currently a theology and Christian philosophy professor at Andrews University, will take over his new role on July 1. He will replace Gerald A. Klingbeil, who has been called to serve in his native Germany.
An ordained pastor, Peckham completed a PhD in systematic theology at Andrews University in 2012 and an MDiv with emphasis in systematic theology in 2005. He is author of several books, including Theodicy of Love: Cosmic Conflict and the Problem of Evil (Baker, 2018), which won the WORLD Magazine Accessible Theology Book of the Year, and Canonical Theology: The Biblical Canon, Sola Scriptura, and Theological Method (Eerdmans, 2016). He also authored The Love of God: A Canonical Model (IVP Academic, 2015), which won the 2015 IVP Readers’ Choice Award.
Peckham is quoted often and extensively by the specialized press and academia. He is also a renowned professor who has won multiple teaching and research awards. Among them, he won the Siegfried H. Horn Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award (2019), the Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Award (2016), and the Outstanding Dissertation Award (2012) at Andrews University. In 2012, he was also named Educator of the Year at Southwestern Adventist University.
“It is a great privilege to be called to serve Adventist Review Ministries in this capacity,” Peckam said. “I am excited to join the team, and I am praying that God will use me to be a blessing in this new position.”
Adventist Review editor Justin Kim also weighed in on Peckham’s election.
“The Adventist Review is privileged and excited to have Dr. John Peckham onboard as our associate editor,” he said. “He follows our long tradition of solid biblical scholars as our editors. He will add scriptural creativity to theological articulation and spiritual depth to doctrinal fidelity. We appreciate his ministry of professional and academic excellence as well as his approach to theological issues that are of individual and global import. We look forward to what the Lord will do with the future of the Adventist Review and all its media.”
This article was updated on April 13, 2023.