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SSD’s First Couple Heads to GC for New Assignments :Adventist News Online

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The 61st General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church just elected Elder Saw Samuel as one of the associate secretaries and his wife, Dr. Orathai Chureson, as the Adventist Children’s Ministries director of the General Conference. 

The General Conference, in the plenary session, elected Elder Samuel and Dr. Chureson on June 8, the second day of the GC Session. Samuel, who currently serves as president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), said he has a particular burden to share the gospel with the unreached people in his division. The SSD encompasses 14 countries and has a population of over 1 billion but only 1.3 million church members. Chureson, on the other hand, has been serving as the director of Adventist Children’s Ministries for the division since 2010.

Samuel, the first Burmese to serve as division president, said his vision for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division is to mobilize, unite, and use the God-given resources of young people, professionals, regular church members, and media and technology to spread the gospel.

The Nominating Committee, on June 8, 2022, nominated Saw as one of the seven associate secretaries of the General Conference. Other officers elected are: incumbent undersecretary, Hensley Moorooven; associate secretary, Gerson Santos; associate secretary, Claude Richly; associate secretary for Adventist Mission, Gary Krause; associate secretary for Adventist Volunteer Services, Elbert Kuhn; and associate secretary for International Personnel Resources and Services, Karen Porter.

Samuel, who had served as division president since 2015, was first elected executive secretary of the division in 2010. Before that, he was the ministerial secretary of the Southeast Asia Union Mission in Singapore. The beginnings of his career as pastor and administrator were in Thailand, serving as executive secretary of the Thailand Adventist Mission (2002–2008), director of the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program of the Thailand Adventist Mission (2006–2008), youth director of the Thailand Adventist Mission (2002–2004), pastor of the Bangkok Adventist Hospital Church (2000–2002), and chaplaincy coordinator for Seventh-day Adventist English Language Schools in Thailand (1998–1999).

Samuel graduated with a Doctor in Ministry degree from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in religion from Spicer Memorial College (now Spicer Adventist University) in Pune, India, in 1995 and 1997, respectively.

Dr. Orathai Chureson is the current director of Children’s Ministries and Adventist Ministerial Spouses for the SSD. She is an educator who specializes in Curriculum and Instruction and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She served in various capacities as an elementary teacher, tertiary instructor, clerk, librarian, and translator of children’s materials. As a pastor’s wife, she engaged in various leadership roles at the local church. She is from Thailand. Samuel and Chureson are blessed with two children: Amanda, and Paul. 

Samuel’s six years of experience as executive secretary and seven years as president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division gave him the opportunity “to observe and learn many things that will help his future leadership under the Holy Spirit’s guidance,” commented Pastor Ted Wilson, newly re-elected president of the world church. “He is a very spiritual, respectful, humble, and mission-minded servant leader whom God will use mightily in the GC Secretariat team.”

Wilson continued, “He will need to lean on Christ daily and claim the promise of James 1:5 [“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (NKJV)] every day, just as I try to do. “It is only through God’s wisdom that we can humbly and effectively work.”

In addition, Wilson said Samuel and his wife will need to make sure their schedule includes appropriate family time.

This article was originally published on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division’s news site

 

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