July 1, 2011

18CN: Vandeman Elected Columbia Union Secretary

Vandeman Elected Columbia Union Executive Secretary
Was president of Chesapeake Conference

BY CELESTE RYAN BLYDEN, Editor, Columbia Union Visitor

The Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee elected Robert T. Vandeman executive secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the eight-state, mid-Atlantic region. The committee met June 22.

“Rob brings to the table a depth of experience that will bring real value to our union,” said Columbia Union president Dave Weigley. “He is a seasoned administrator and has a balanced approach regarding the mission of the church.”

Vandeman began his ministry 40 years ago, pastoring churches in Colorado, Minnesota, and Maryland, where he spent 12 years as senior pastor of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md. In 1995 he joined the conference leadership team, serving as executive secretary for 10 years and president for the past five.


LEADERSHIP TEAM: Columbia Union president Dave Weigley, left, with Rob Vandeman, president of the Cheaspeake Conference, who was elected executive secretary of the Union. [PHOTO: CU]

“Not only am I honored and humbled by the confidence shown in me for this position, but I am excited about the opportunity to be actively engaged in a wider sphere of ministry,” Vandeman said after accepting the call. “I want to be a supportive presence to the conferences and institutions throughout the Columbia Union.”

As part of his duties, Vandeman will serve on a number of boards and committees and assist Weigley in providing administrative leadership and support to the union’s eight conferences, two healthcare networks, a medical college, and a university. His office will record and archive minutes, policies, and resolutions of the union and see that each entity abides by their respective constitutions and bylaws.

He plans to take up his new role later this summer and serve the 2011-2016 term left vacant last month when Neville Harcombe died. During his transition, Edward Motschiedler, former union executive secretary, is serving as interim secretary.

The Columbia Union Conference serves as the regional headquarters for a cluster of local Seventh-day Adventist Church conferences located in the eight states that comprise the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Today, the Union boasts nearly 700 churches and 125,000 baptized members.