Ron Halvorsen Jr., a veteran Seventh-day Adventist pastor who currently leads the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, has officially accepted a call to become president of the Ohio Conference, officials there said. He is expected to begin working there in February 2014.
Halvorsen succeeds longtime Ohio Conference president Raj Attiken who announced his retirement in September 2013.
"It has been a long and serious prayer journey which has brought us to the point of accepting the call to the Ohio Conference," Halvorsen in a statement. "And that is how we will continue to travel: prayerfully. Only God can lead us as we need to be led. And only God's power can see His will done. We look forward to being a part of the Ohio church family. And we look forward to seeing what God will do for and through the Ohio church family."
According to the conference's statement, Halvorsen was a "favorite" among presidential search committee members, and visited Ohio early in December 2013. He and his wife, Buffy, spent several days checking out the Columbus and Mount Vernon areas, including the conference office, the Kettering area, and concluded their visit at the Worthington church for a "meet and greet" time with the committee.
Since 2008, Halvorsen has been senior pastor at the College View Church, near the Union College campus he and Buffy both attended as undergraduates. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at the Union College Theology Department, conducted several successful (local) radio and television ministries, and is a published author for Guide magazine and Ministry magazine. No stranger to Ohio, Halvorsen has spoken at both Mount Vernon Academy and Spring Valley Academy as their week of prayer presenter.
Before taking the Union College position, Halvorsen was senior pastor at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, and earlier spent eight years as pastor of the Keene, Texas, Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Halvorsen has been married for 32 years to Beth "Buffy" Vercio Halvorsen, MS, LCMFT, and they have two adult children and one grandchild. Buffy, also a pastor has served as Pastor for Family Ministries at the College View, Sligo, and Keene church congregations. She specializes in marriage and family therapy, and is a regular speaker for camp meetings, church and women's retreats.
-- with information from Heidi Shoemaker, Ohio Conference