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Archives / 2015 / June




Spring,  Maryland,  United StatesJames R. Nix, director of the Ellen G. White Estate, felt a pang of jealously when he saw a statue of Joseph Smith several years ago. The statue, which depicted Smith being commissioned as a prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, caught Nix’s eye when he and his wife entered a visitor center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

As he walked by, he saw a father looking at the statue with his young son, who was about three years old. “Look, son,” the father said, “that’s where God called the prophet.” Nix turned to his wife and said, “Where in the Seventh-day Adventist Church can I have that kind of experience with my child or grandchild?”

The incident planted a dream that Nix first saw fulfilled on April 12, 2015, with the dedication of a new visitor center at the Ellen G. White Estate. Church leaders declared the attractively presented collection of original historic documents and memorabilia and a multimedia presentation as the grand finale to be on par with exhibits at world-class museums in nearby Washington, D.C.

Nix and other church leaders hope that the new visitor center will allow people to discover Adventist Church history and ultimately gain a closer connection with the Bible and Jesus. “May it always point people to the Word and most of all to the Living Word,” Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, said in a dedication prayer at the visitor center, located on the lower level of the church’s headquarters.

The White Estate’s visitor center is divided into two parts: one devoted to the life of Ellen White, who Adventists believe had the biblical gift of prophecy, and the other to her ministry. The smartly decorated rooms are filled with original books and 19th-century furniture, state-of-the-art displays, and interactive activities for all ages.

Tours of the White Estate will begin June 1, 2015, to be offered on the half hour, Monday through Thursday. [Andrew McChesney/Adventist Review]

Adventist leader new secretary-general of the Christian World Communions

Bern, Switzerland—Dr. GanouneDiop was voted the new secretary-general at the annual meeting of the Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions. Once a year, secretaries-general or equivalent offers from approximately 20 Christian world communions take part in an informal two- or three-day conference to present the work done in their churches and discuss current issues.

The group includes the Anglican Communion, Ecumenical Patriarchate (Eastern Orthodox), Catholic Union of Utrecht, Baptist World Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, The Salvation Army, General Conference of Seventh- day Adventists, Mennonite World Conference, World Methodist Council, Ecumenical World Council of Churches, and World Evangelical Alliance.

The secretary-general organizes annual conferences and is elected for two years, usually with multiple reelections. The Conference of Secretaries represents about two billion Christians and covers more churches than any other organization.

“It isn’t an ecumenical movement. The purpose is not to build the visible unity of the Christian family, but to share information, concerns, and reports, and to become better acquainted with each other. No church is encouraged to change its beliefs or to create a new Christian community. Doctrinal issues are not on the agenda. The members represent their churches and their beliefs,” former secretary-general, Dr.John Graz, reports. Diop, a native of Senegal, West Africa, is an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is the contact person for the worldwide church at the United Nations (UN), and deputy director of the General Conference Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty. Diop is also part of the planning committee of the Global Christian Forum, which is a platform for meeting and conversation between Christian churches and communities to promote mutual understanding and address common challenges.

For several decades, the secretary- general of the annual Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions have been Seventh-day Adventists. Dr. Bert B. Beach served from 1970 to 2003, and Graz served from 2003 to 2014. [APD, CD EUDNews]

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