June 25, 2021

Reflecting on the Contributions of Two Retiring Leaders in North America

Among several retirements announced during the 2020 North American Division (NAD) Year-end Meetings in November 2020 were leaders of two vital ministries of the NAD — Lincoln Steed, editor of Liberty magazine, and Maitland DiPinto, director of Hope for Humanity.

Liberty magazine is the official publication of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that focuses on religious freedom, which is a core principle of the denomination. The bi-monthly magazine was founded in 1906 and is considered an invaluable inter-denominational resource in the field of religious liberty.

Hope for Humanity (HFH) is described as a relationship-building ministry that empowers members to engage with their communities and support special ministries and initiatives throughout the division. One of the main focuses of HFH is its Partners in Mission Literacy Program, which is a collaborative effort between the NAD, the Inter-American Division, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and the Southern Asia Division. Partners in Mission is credited for helping more than 200,000 people in 13 countries to obtain literacy.

Lincoln Steed

Lincoln Steed worked for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 45 years. He began his work for the Adventist Church in 1975 as a copy editor for Review and Herald Publishing Association before returning to Australia, his home country. In 1985, he returned to the U.S. to work for the Pacific Press Publishing Association as the liaison editor for Sabbath School quarterlies.

“I held several jobs, some of them concurrent. I was director of editorial services, assistant vice president for editorial, head book editor, textbook editor, and then editor of Listen magazine,” Steed said.

He went on to become editor of Liberty, a position he heldfor 22 years.

“As Liberty editor, I strove to continue our distinctive prophetic and historical approach to the topic and to make the magazine attractive to the secular mind and readable for the less informed," Steed said. “I have enjoyed editing Liberty, traveling far and wide to ‘proclaim liberty throughout the land.’ ”

“Lincoln has been a great representation of our church in the area of public affairs and religious liberty,” Orlan Johnson, director of NAD Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, said. “His editorial commitment to the prophetic message was unwavering. I say to Lincoln, thank you, and ‘well done thou good and faithful servant.’ ”

“Lincoln’s ministry through Liberty magazine through the years has kept its readers and our church focused on one of mankind’s most fundamental rights — the right to choose whom one worships,” G. Alexander Bryant, NAD president, said. “He has been committed to and a great champion of this cause. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his untiring work and razor-sharp focus to our fight for religious liberty.”

Maitland DiPinto

In 2000, the NAD Ingathering ministry became known as Hope for Humanity (HFH) to better reflect the purpose of the ministry. As director, DiPinto was instrumental in the name change and refocus of the ministry’s mission. In doing so, DiPinto built up HFH’s Partners in Mission Literacy Program, which establishes and supports literacy centers around the world.

“Adult literacy was chosen as a primary focus because a significant percentage of our members and those in the communities they serve are illiterate. It is estimated that 4-5 million Adventists can’t read,” DiPinto said. “In addition, thousands of previously under-involved Adventist members have become engaged as literacy facilitators in what many of them refer to as ‘my mission for Jesus.’ ”

Under his additional responsibilities as HFH director, DiPinto orchestrated a partnership between NAD’s nine unions to “adopt” one of the major islands within the Guam-Micronesia Mission to support designated mission projects.

“I have had the privilege of being a small part of something that is making a big difference in people’s lives, and that is fulfilling to me,” DiPinto said. “I do my best work when I am engaged in work that I feel passionate about. For the past 21 years, I have been so blessed to have a job that fulfills my need to make a significant difference in people’s lives.”

Bonita Shields, outgoing NAD vice president for ministries, added, “The literacy program Maitland DiPinto spearheaded through Hope for Humanity will have an impact for generations. It’s easy to say, ‘Read God’s Word,’ but to empower people to do so is another thing. Maitland has given his energy, his expertise, and his heart to build up the lives of God’s people. He and his work will be forever appreciated.”

Bryant remarked, “Maitland’s work with Hope for Humanity is truly a ministry of Jesus; it is what I imagine He’d do if He were walking the earth today. The countless lives transformed and impacted will only fully be known in heaven. Maitland’s legacy will be known as ministering to ‘the least of these among us.’ ”

The original version of this story was posted on the North American Division news site.