For Immediate Release
July 3, 2000
Contact: Celeste Ryan
TORONTOPastor Don C. Schneider, 57, of Berrien Springs, Michigan, was elected today as president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America at the 57th Adventist World Session in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
For the last six years, Schneider has served as president of the Lake Union Conference of the church, composed of 480 churches and 70,000 members in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He has 36 years of experience as a pastor and church administrator for the 150-year-old Protestant denomination.
Schneider was born in Merrill, Wisconsin. He was ordained to pastoral ministry in 1968 after completing an undergraduate degree at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and a master's at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He began his ministry in Louisiana and served as a pastor and administrator in ten U.S. states, including Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Nebraska, Wyoming, New Jersey, Louisiana, Colorado, California, and Michigan, before becoming president of the Lake Union Conference six years ago.
Schneider is married to the former Marti Connell. They have two adult children.
In this new role, Schneider, elected to serve a five-year term, will guide the church from its Silver Spring, Maryland, headquarters, serve on more than 100 hospital, school, and organization boards operated by the church, and lend leadership to mission, evangelism, educational, and humanitarian strategies.
Schneider replaces Alfred C. McClure, who has retired after 10 years as president of the church in North America. During McClure's tenure, the North American church launched ambitious evangelistic initiatives using satellite communication and church planting. In the past five years, 750 evangelism series were held, 400 new churches were organized, and more than 185,000 new members joined the church.
There are more than 11 million Seventh-day Adventists worldwide, worshiping in more than 45,000 churches. The North American Division with 5,000 churches and a membership of more than 900,000, is one of 12 world divisions. It is known for a strong emphasis in community service, education, evangelism, and healthcare.
The Adventist World Session is the 57th since the first held in Michigan in 1863. The body of 2,000 delegates representing 205 countries, elects its administrative leadership every five years. The next meeting is slated for 2005 in St. Louis, Missouri.
For more information, visit www.adventist.org, the official web site of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For more information on Pastor Schneider, contact Celeste Ryan, media relations manager for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America at 240-463-3526.