Two conferences in the North American Division have announced presidential transitions, officials at each reported.
Douglas L. Bing will move from vice president for administration to serve as president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in western Washington. He was elected December 13, roughly ten weeks after John Freedman, the former conference president, was elected North Pacific Union Conference president.
“I look forward to implementing ministries to disciple our children, grow our leaders, involve members in ministry, and spiritually grow in Jesus”
At the same time, Pennsylvania Conference president Ray Hartwell said he’s accepted a call to the Georgia-Cumberland Conference to serve as the Stewardship and Trust Services Director and Association Secretary beginning January 1, 2017. A successor is expected to be elected at a future date, he said.
Bing’s election followed “a day of evaluating the ministry needs of Washington Conference and reviewing a list of candidates,” a conference announcement stated. NPUC president Freedman chaired the Washington Conference meeting, which also had union leaders John Loor and Mark Remboldt in attendance.
“I look forward to implementing ministries to disciple our children, grow our leaders, involve members in ministry, and spiritually grow in Jesus,” Bing said in a statement. “We want to move forward with prayer as we reach western Washington with the love of Jesus.”
He began his pastoral ministry in Omaha, Nebraska, as a youth and young adult pastor. Bing went on to pastor an academy campus church and a large metro church in Kansas before coming in 2001 to Washington Conference as ministerial director. He was elected vice president for administration in 2002, and functioned as an active part of the administrative team.
Bing earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University. Earlier, Bing earned a Bachelor of Arts in theology and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska; during his Union College days, he spent a year in Indonesia as a student missionary. He is married to Wilma, and the couple have three young adult children.
"Each of you in Pennsylvania will remain on our hearts and in our prayers”
Hartwell said his work in Georgia-Cumberland will concentrate on “working with pastors on stewardship and the spiritual value of honoring God with His tithe and our offerings, teaching personal financial wellness to members and working with churches and schools on capital campaigns for enlarging mission and building facilities to grow and expand the kingdom.”
A veteran leader in the Pennsylvania Conference, Hartwell said leaving was a bittersweet decision. "Each of you in Pennsylvania will remain on our hearts and in our prayers,” he wrote in a message to constituents. “And we shall be eager to watch and see what the Lord does through the amazing mission leadership team all across the Pennsylvania Conference.”
At the same time, Hartwell wrote, the move will allow his wife, Jeanne, to assist her parents. The move to Georgia-Cumberland “will enable them to live in Calhoun, Georgia, where Jeanne’s parents live and honor them in the golden years of their life.”
The Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which covers the western portion of the state, reports 111 churches, companies, and groups worshiping weekly, along with 20 schools and one summer camp. The conference has 23,080 members.
At the end of 2014, the Pennsylvania Conference reported 11,093 members worshiping in 120 churches and companies across the state. However, as Adventist Review reported recently, a recent evangelistic effort in the western portion of Pennsylvania is expected to add as many as 100 people to the membership rolls.