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Stele named director-elect of Adventist Biblical Research Institute

Two other directors retained at first Annual Council Nominating Committee report

Stele named director-elect of Adventist Biblical Research Institute

Current general Vice President Artur Stele was appointed director-elect of the Biblical Research Institute yesterday. Stele will retain his title as a general vice president. [photo: Ansel Oliver]

Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership yesterday appointed world church general Vice President Artur Stele as director-elect of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI), located at world church headquarters.

Longtime BRI director Angel Rodriguez recently announced his forthcoming retirement, effective in mid-2011. Stele is expected to serve as an associate director until Rodriguez vacates the position.

Stele holds a master's degree in religion from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University and a doctorate in Old Testament Studies from the same institution.

Stele, who formerly served as president of the church's Euro-Asia region, will join four other associates in the department, all of whom delegates voted to retain in their current positions as associate directors. They are: Kwabena Donkor, Ekkehardt Mueller, Gerhard Pfandl and Clinton Wahlen.

At General Conference Session this summer, church officials indicated that electing eight instead of nine vice presidents at headquarters could fund a new associate director in the world church's department of Education. However, nine were nominated and elected. As he shifts to BRI, Stele will retain his title as a general vice president, but the move will free up a salary, said Orville Parchment, assistant to the Adventist world church president.

Leadership also voted to retain four additional top church officials: the directors of the White Estate and Geoscience Research Institute -- James Nix and James Gibson, respectively; the assistant to the president, Orville Parchment; and the president of Adventist World Radio, Dowell Chow. Chow has served as president for the radio ministry arm of the church since his appointment by the AWR board in July. Confirmation by delegates this week formalizes that decision. Nix, Gibson, Parchment and Chow were also each made world church field secretary, a mid-level executive position.

Delegates voted to elect David Trim as the new director of the world church's department of Archives and Statistics. Current director Bert Haloviak recently announced his retirement.

Also in the Nominating Committee's report is the selection of 11 honorary assistant directors of the world church's Health Ministries department. They also named 17 young adults and other lay people to serve on the church's top decision-making body, the 300-member Executive Committee. Their appointment fulfills a commitment church officials made at Session to better represent the diversity of church membership on the committee.

Pending approval later this week of a restructuring of the church's mission department, delegates accepted the nomination of current world church Field Secretary Gary Krause as an associate secretary. Under a so-called "mission board," Krause's office -- Adventist Mission -- would fall under the oversight of the Secretariat department at world church headquarters.