December 4, 2021

Kiribati Church Region Makes Historic Appointment of First Female Secretary

It is a great achievement that will boost the work, regional church president said.

By Tracey Bridcutt, Adventist Record, and Adventist Review

The Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) Executive has appointed Naomi Booia as the secretary of the Kiribati Mission. It is the first female secretary appointed in the history of the TPUM in the South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

Booia, currently a theology lecturer at Fulton Adventist University College in Fiji, will take up her appointment in the middle of next year. She graduated from Fulton with a Bachelor of Arts in theology. She worked in Kiribati Mission from 2013 to 2016, then attended the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in religion in 2018.

TPUM president Maveni Kaufononga welcomed the appointment. “For me, this is a great achievement for our work in Kiribati,” he said. “We are short with pastors in Kiribati, and Naomi will be a role model for our women to step up to a pastoral role which will boost the work in Kiribati. Many women in Kiribati contribute to the running of the government and private sectors; why not within the church?”

Fiji Mission also has a new secretary following the recent appointment of Epeli Saukuru in the role. He replaces Ronald Stone, who will be joining Fulton Adventist University College as head of the theology department. Fiji Mission president Nasoni Lutunaliwa expressed his delight with the appointment. “I believe that this appointment has the seal of God’s anointing, and I would like to request your support and prayers for Pastor Epeli as he takes on his new role at the mission,” Lutunaliwa said.

Kiribati Mission is one of the nine church fields in TPUM. According to church statistics, Kiribati has 20 Adventist churches and more than 3,000 baptized church members, in a population of 121,000 people, a ratio of approximately one baptized Adventist member per 40 residents. Fiji Mission, on the other hand, has 174 churches and more than 29,700 baptized members in a population of 899,000, a ratio of approximately one baptized Adventist member per 30 residents. The TPUM is one of the four major church regions across the South Pacific Division. Besides Fiji and Kiribati, it includes other island territories such as Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

Fulton Adventist University College is a co-educational boarding tertiary institution located in Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. It offers degrees in theology, business, and education.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.

By Tracey Bridcutt, Adventist Record, and Adventist Review