April 11, 2024

Delegates Vote Three New Department Directors

New leaders tapped for Health Ministries, Women’s Ministries, and Planned Giving

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review
Ted Wilson, General Conference president, introduces the newly elected General Conference vice president and departmental directors on Wednesday, April 10, during the Spring Meeting. [Photo: Enno Müller, Adventist Review]

On April 10, the General Conference Executive Committee (GC EXCOM) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted to accept three recommendations of the Nominating Committee and elect three new departmental directors. Meeting at the church’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, GC EXCOM voted to accept Zeno L. Charles-Marcel as director of Health Ministries, Galina Stele as director of Women’s Ministries, and Héctor Otoniel Reyes as director of Planned Giving and Trust Services at the General Conference.

Charles-Marcel, who has been serving as Health Ministries associate director, will replace current director Peter Landless, who is planning to retire on November 1 after a period of coordinated transition. Stele replaces Heather-Dawn Small, who died on January 2. Reyes will replace Dennis R. Carlson, who is retiring.

Biographical sketches of the three new directors appear below.

Health Ministries director Zeno L. Charles-Marcel

Born in Trinidad, Charles-Marcel has extensive experience in the U.S. as a physician and health-care leader. Before being elected as associate director of the Health Ministries department in 2015, he was vice president of Medical Affairs at Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital in Wildwood, Georgia. He has been a speaker with the Weimar Reverse Diabetes seminars, worked at the Lifestyle Center of America, and has been involved in health evangelism in several countries. In the past, he also served as interim director of International Health Center: Vida Sana, the lifestyle center at La Carlotta Hospital in Montemorelos, Mexico.

“It’s a privilege and honor to serve,” Charles-Marcel said. “My wife and I thank you for this opportunity.”

Charles-Marcel added that he is thankful he will be able to share the leadership with Landless for a few months before the latter retires. “I just want to let you know that we are going to be standing on the shoulders of giants,” he said.

Charles Marcel
Zeno Charles-Marcel was elected Health Ministries department director on April 10. He will replace Peter Landless, who is retiring on November 1. [Photo: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists] 

Women’s Ministries director Galina Stele

Galina Stele had been elected as associate director of the Women’s Ministries department in October 2023. Before that, she had served in the GC Office of Archives, Statistics and Research since 2012. Born in the Russian Federation, Stele has traveled the world to serve the Adventist Church in various positions, including professor of theology at Zaoksky Theological Seminary in the Russian Federation, coordinator and general editor of Shepherdess and Living Church in the Euro-Asia Division, and director of the Euro-Asia Division’s Institute of Missiology. In 1996, she was the first woman to graduate with a doctorate in ministry from Andrews University, and she is a widely published author.

“It is a great privilege and honor for me to be elected as Women’s Ministries director for the worldwide church,” Stele said after EXCOM members voted to accept the Nominating Committee recommendation. “The Adventist Church is blessed by wonderful, talented, and dedicated women. I will need all of yours and their prayers to continue, by God’s grace, the rich legacy [of] the Women’s Ministries department and to keep the mission of the church moving forward.”

Galina Stele is the new director of the Women’s Ministries department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. She comes to the position with extensive experience as an educator and leader. [Photo: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists] 

Planned Giving and Trust Services director Héctor Otoniel Reyes

A Mexican-American, new Trust Services director Héctor Otoniel “Tony” Reyes had been elected in October 2023 as associate director of the department at the General Conference. Before accepting that position at the world church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland,  he had served as vice president of university advancement for Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, since January 2020. Previously, he served in the Potomac Conference in the U.S., three Adventist academies, and Montemorelos University in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, in the areas of development, planned giving, and advancement.

Planned Giving and Trust Services “is what you are going to do with all that the Lord has blessed you with,” Reyes told EXCOM members after they voted him in. “We get to encourage our church members to participate in this generosity and this faithfulness, and the stewardship of what the Lord has given.”

Reyes added that he wished to ask “for a lot of prayers.” “It’s not easy for members to grasp the stewardship concept, and the planned giving concept, but we look forward to working with all of our divisions and our people to mobilize resources for mission.”

Héctor Otoniel Reyes will replace Dennis R. Carlson, who is retiring, as the director of the Planned Giving and Trust Services department at the General Conference. [Photo: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists]