Public Health



By Marcus Chapman


In 1967, Loma Linda University housed the 13th school of public health to be accredited in the nation by the Council on Education of Public Health. Since then, Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH) has adapted to meet the ever-changing landscape of health in individuals, communities, and systems.

One framework in which to consider public health comes from a paper published in 1958 by Sir Geoffrey Vickers, a pioneering systems scientist. In his paper, Sir Vickers argues that public health actions are dictated by “the successful redefinings of the unacceptable.”

In 2020, all of us became more aware of public health. In the media, online, and in private conversations, we were all talking about public health concepts and ideas. In redefining what is unacceptable, the staff, faculty, and students at LLUSPH stepped up to create testing of wastewater for COVID-19 and messaging about proper safety protocols. Later on in the pandemic, when the vaccines became available to the public, the school of public health helped organize the logistics of screening, line management, and dissemination of the available doses.

“Being a school of public health for over 50 years, we find it necessary to continue adapting how we deliver our public health lessons and ensuring those lessons are relevant to current challenges in our systems of health,” said Dr. Karl McCleary, PhD, Associate Dean for Strategy in the Loma Linda University school of public health. “In our school, we’ve been strategic about the way we think of the future, so that we’re always in a position to remain innovative.”

Public Health

Underlining its commitment to training the future of healthcare professionals and leveraging its position within Loma Linda University Health (eight health-science schools and its new Medical Center, which opened this summer), is LLUSPH’s Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program.

Huma Shah, DrPH, program director for the Master of Healthcare Administration, has been trying to grow a program that meets the requirements of the established MHA degree but also prepares students for the very real problems they are going to face within the business of healthcare.

One way in which the school lives out its mission through the MHA program is through its community partnerships. Organizations such as LLUH, Advent Health, and Adventist Health host residencies and fellowships where students work on relevant and innovative projects. The MHA program also partners with local entities, such as Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), the Riverside Department of Public Health, and San Antonio Community Hospital, located in the Inland Empire of California.

“These partnerships allow our students the opportunity to work on problems in our surrounding communities,” said Shah. “This sort of opportunity provides our communities with resources and also provides our students with the practical experiences that keep our 96% graduate employment rate so high.”

Shah, who recently became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, has big plans for growing the program. Being accredited, not only by CEPH but by AUPHA and CAHME, not only guarantees a level of quality within the program but also ensures the program stays at the forefront of Healthcare Administration education.

Thomas Melton II, a student in the LLUSPH MHA program who graduated June 2021, was the first student representative from the Inland Empire on the Healthcare Executives (HCE) Student Council. The MHA program is also proud to have the second highest number of student memberships among local colleges and universities within the Healthcare Executives of Southern California.

“Being a student member of the HCE has allowed me to network and collaborate with students of health administration from universities throughout our larger community,” said Melton II. “I am proud to have been the first student representative from the Inland Empire to sit on the HCE Student Council. I am also honored to have had the opportunity to chair the Programming Committee of the HCE Student Council.”

“As the program director, I have seen firsthand the confidence our students gain while going through the program by connecting not only with their own cohort but from other students and professionals through this membership,” said Shah. “Learning is elevated to a higher level where students can begin to make connections with theories and frameworks being introduced in the classroom and seeing how it is applied in the field. In addition, membership participation gives students an opportunity to serve and practice their leadership strengths while gaining mentorship from experienced professionals.”

Most recently, students within the MHA program won first place in the 2021 Healthcare Executives of Southern California Statewide College Bowl. It was an exciting achievement for a small program within a small school of public health and a move toward a larger vision: to be globally recognized in providing excellent, quality healthcare management education with an emphasis on service using a values-based approach to confront healthcare issues.

“We monitor the careers of our alumni for up to three years to ensure they’re getting the jobs they’re prepared for or at least on track to become leaders in the field. We also ensure the quality of our education by referring to accrediting entities such as the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME),” said Shah. “Finally, our program is advised by an Executive Advisory Board made up of C-suite executives currently working in organizations supporting systems of health and making positive changes in the healthcare sector.”

The Master of Healthcare Administration program at LLUSPH can be taken online or on campus; current COVID-19 emergency remote learning protocols apply. The School of Public Health will also be offering a certificate in Healthcare Administration beginning in 2022.

Learn more. 

Pacific Union




TUCSON, ARIZONA, August 17, 2021 — Bradford C. Newton has been elected president of the Pacific Union Conference, replacing Ricardo B. Graham, who is retiring after 14 years of service as president and more than 46 years of ministry. Elected to fill the role of executive secretary that Newton has held since 2008, Sandra E. Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference, is the first woman to be elected to serve in the administration of the Pacific Union Conference and within the North American Division.

Delegates returned Stephen V. Mayer to the position of treasurer, while Leon B. Brown, Sr., president of the Nevada-Utah Conference, was elected to serve as vice president, replacing Jorge Soria, who is retiring after 47 years of ministry. The elections were a significant part of the agenda for the delegates of the 31st Pacific Union Constituency Session, held August 15-16, in Tucson, Arizona.

Held every five years to conduct the official business of the church, more than 350 delegates participated in the constituency session. Elder G. Alexander Bryant, president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, served as the chair of the Nominating Committee for the constituency session, and led the delegates inthe balloting process. “You have just elected the most diverse group of officers in the history of the Pacific Union Conference,” said Bryant, a remark that received standing applause from delegates. Speaking directly to themembers of the new administration, Bryant said, “This body elected you in an overwhelming fashion. Lead this union to the next level as we prepare for the soon return of Jesus Christ.”

Delegates also voted on the coordinators for ethnic ministries and adopted changes in the bylaws that redesignate these positions—along with the director of education—as vice presidents for specialized ministries. Serving in these positions are VicLouis Arreola III, vice president for Asian Pacific ministries; Virgil S. Childs, vice president for Black ministries; Berit von Pohle, vice president for education; and Alberto Ingleton, vice president for Hispanic ministries.

In his role as executive secretary during the previous term, Elder Bradford C. Newton has chaired the Bylaws Committee, and he spoke to the importance of these new designations. “We believe that this will both broaden the administrative leadership for the Pacific Union Conference and deepen the opportunities for all of our ministries to come together in shared ministry and mission.”

The delegates also received the treasurer’s report from Stephen V. Mayer on the financial status of the position of the Pacific Union, which has seen steady and continuous growth since the last constituency session in 2016. “We have seen the Lord’s faithfulness repeatedly demonstrated in the last five years. We are committed to responsibly use these sacred resources for His kingdom.” An accompanying report from the G.C. auditor confirmed that Pacific Union Conference entities audits affirmed the highest level of compliance with standard financial practices. Reports were also received from education and healthcare, and they may be found on the Pacific Union Conference website, as well as in the Recorder magazines for July, August, and September.

The retirements of Elder Ricardo Graham and Elder Jorge Soria prompted emotional responses of gratitude from the delegates. They each spoke with affection for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and their appreciation for the many years of service in the Pacific Union. The retiring leaders each expressed gratitude to their spouses as their partners in ministry. Acting on behalf of the Pacific Union Conference, Bradford and Jennifer Newton formally recognized and expressed appreciation to Elder Ricardo Graham and his wife, Audrey Weir-Graham, and to Elder Jorge Soria and his wife, Lina Soria, for their dedicated service.

“I want to thank you for your prayers through the years,” Graham told the assembly, with his wife, Audrey Weir-Graham, by his side. “I never planned to be any type of administrator, but I’ve always been willing to go where God sends me, and I’ve had the great support of a great wife every step of the way.” He continued, “I have full confidence in the team you have elected, that God will lead them as He led the previous team, to prepare to meet Jesus.”

Elder Bradford C. Newton now takes up the leadership for the Pacific Union in the field in which he had served in pastoral and administrative roles since 1995. “We stand in a very monumental time in earth’s history,” Newton stated. Reflecting on the theme for the 31st Constituency Session, he continued, “How we respond to Christ’s words, ‘So Send I You’ will impact not only our lives but our churches, schools, and communities. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is uniquely called to a prophetic role in our society. The way the Lord has led us in the past, and the promise of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, gives us confidence for the important work that lies before us.”



Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Mail to: PO Box 5005, Westlake Village, CA 91359

Street Address: 2686 Townsgate Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361


Dan Serns



By Ron Rasmussen


CLOVIS, CALIF.,—August 12, 2021, Dan Serns has been elected as President of the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CCC). His effective start date has yet to be determined.

Pastor Serns currently serves as Director of Evangelism (for English-speaking persons) for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He has been ministering in this capacity since 2014. His previous ministry experiences include the following: Developing a language school and serving as a pastor in Brownsville, Texas (1979 – 1984), Director of Youth Ministries, Church Ministries, and Vice President of the Texas Conference (1984-1995), Pastor in the Kansas-Nebraska Conference (1995-1999), Senior Pastor in the Upper Columbia Conference (1999-2004), Ministerial Director/Soul Winning, Global Missions, Church Planting for the North Pacific Union Conference (2004-2010), and Senior Pastor of a 1,000 member church in the Texas Conference (2010-2016).

Serns holds undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Religion from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. He also received the Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministry degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Serns and his supportive wife Lois have three married children (Jacob, Dustin, and Danesa), who are all serving the Lord by God’s grace.

The personal mission of Pastor Serns is: “The Adventist Message to All the World in This Generation!” We welcome Dan and Lois Serns and rejoice that they are joining us in ministry in Central California.

The CCC was established in the year 1911 and has grown to where today there are 34,133 members, 150 congregations, and 29 schools, over a territory of 17 counties in California. 

Read this press release on the CCC website.

Dan Serns

Adventist Health



By Christine Pickering 


ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Scott Reiner, the visionary Adventist Health CEO who has led the nonprofit, faith-based company to reimagine the future of healthcare, is leaving at year end to establish a family foundation that is focused on global health and well-being, Board Chairman Dr. Ricardo Graham announced on July 30.

“Scott has served Jesus’ healing ministry exceptionally well for more than 30 years,” Graham said. “The board and I are deeply grateful for all that he has accomplished and are excited for his new calling.” The board will identify candidates to carry on the organization’s sacred work during this next chapter at Adventist Health, he said.

Reiner, who has served as CEO since 2014, is confident in the company’s future, given its dynamic and experienced leadership team and the company’s bold 2030 strategy that extends its reach beyond sick care into well-being, he wrote in a letter to all associates on July 30. “Personally, our work has always been about living our mission and expanding love and care to those in need, and I am looking forward to carrying these values with me into the next chapter of my journey.”

After beginning his healthcare career as a registered nurse at Adventist Health’s Glendale hospital, Reiner served in a variety of leadership roles, including president and CEO of the 515-bed Glendale medical center and executive vice president/chief operations officer of Adventist Health.

Accomplishments during Reiner’s tenure as CEO include:

  • Strategically repositioning the hospital-centric company to a care, health and well-being organization, including the acquisition of Blue Zones, to fully align with its mission commitment
  • Creating a new operating framework across 24 hospitals in 10 distinct service areas, while creating significant clinical, cost and performance improvements, achieving outcomes in the top 10% or 25% nationally
  • Welcoming six new communities with hospitals and clinics to the system
  • Creating new innovative offices of Mission, Culture and Consumer as well as a Well-Being Division
  • Serving as chair of the California Hospital Association

“I am thankful for the experiences and relationships that have enriched my life during my time at Adventist Health, and I will always be humbled by the trust you have placed in me,” Reiner wrote in his letter to associates. “I will continue to work during the remainder of 2021 to keep Adventist Health on a trajectory to achieve our vision and fulfill our mission, and I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities you have given me to make a difference and serve you.”

# # #

Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii as well as others across the U.S. through its Blue Zones company, a pioneer in taking a systemic and environmental approach to improving the health of entire cities and communities. Through this work, Adventist Health is leading a 21st century well-being transformation movement. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in hospitals, clinics, its innovative Adventist Health Hospital@Home program that provides virtual in-patient care at home, home care agencies, hospice agencies and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities. Our compassionate and talented team of 37,000 includes associates, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals and volunteers driven in pursuit of one mission: living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Together, we are transforming the American healthcare experience with an innovative, yet timeless, whole-person focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing to support community well-being. 


Loma Linda University Health



New adult hospital and Children’s Hospital tower expansion home to advanced patient care

By Ansel Oliver


Loma Linda University Health on Friday, Aug. 6, officially opened the Dennis and Carol Troesh Medical Campus, home to a state-of-the-art adult hospital and Children’s Hospital tower expansion — a momentous occasion years in the making as leaders celebrated with a jubilant ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Built to meet updated state seismic codes for acute care facilities, the campus is home to LLUH’s new 16-story Medical Center and 9-story Children’s Hospital tower. The campus incorporates leading advances in patient safety and comfort and was designed to continue the organization’s 115-year legacy of care and healthcare education in what has become one of the most medically complex regions in the nation.

Loma Linda University Health

The new campus was made possible in part by the philanthropy efforts of Vision 2020 – The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow. Leaders thanked philanthropists Dennis and Carol Troesh for their lead gift of $100 million to the initiative.

“This is truly a historic day in the legacy of Loma Linda University Health,” said Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, president of Loma Linda University Health. “There are no words to adequately express the sincere gratitude and excitement that we feel as we open these doors to the community.”

Hart recounted his personal journey. He was born in the Loma Linda Sanitarium, which was located on a nearby hill and now houses two university schools. He attended the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and helped to move patients into the Medical Center’s cloverleaf towers when they opened in 1967.

On Sunday, Hart took part in the transfer of patients to the new Medical Center on the Dennis and Carol Troesh Medical Campus.

“What a remarkable transition in one lifetime from a quiet sanitarium with a College of Medical Evangelists to a world-renowned academic health center known as Loma Linda University Health,” Hart said. “We stand today on the shoulders of many who have made this transition a reality.”

Loma Linda University Health

The acute care facility, built upon 126 base isolators to reduce the impact of seismic activity, is the second-tallest hospital in California. The Medical Center has 320 licensed beds, while the Children’s Hospital expansion brings its total bed count up to 84.

Kerry Heinrich, CEO of Loma Linda University Health Hospitals, reflected on the Seventh-day Adventist legacy of the organization, highlighting LLUH’s co-founder Ellen White arriving to the area in 1905 and remarking “this is the very place” that would be used to bring hope and healing. The new campus, Heinrich said, begins a new chapter in that legacy.

“This very place will be home to thousands of dedicated physicians, nurses, and clinicians, a place where they will provide world-class clinical care and education,” Heinrich said. “This very place will support the intense efforts of researchers whose discoveries will make an impact around the world.”

LLUH leaders thanked the state of California for its support of $165 million in funding. State Treasurer Fiona Ma, MS, MBA, expressed her appreciation at the ceremony. “I want to thank the Loma Linda community for all your good work and your persistence in making this happen,” she said.

A special additional ceremony was also held on the new facility’s fifth floor for the San Manuel Maternity Pavilion. Leaders thanked the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for their contribution of $25 million. The gift, the largest in the tribe’s history, recognized the century-long partnership between the hospital and the tribe.

Loma Linda University Health


Loma Linda University Health comprises eight schools, six hospitals, and approximately 17,000 employees. LLUH is the flagship academic health sciences center of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and it has sponsored numerous missionaries and served as a consultant for the establishment of the six other Seventh-day Adventist medical schools worldwide.

“The future physicians and healthcare professionals who learn here will have many opportunities to train in multidisciplinary teams and come to understand that meaningful patient experiences must be at the center of everything we do,” said Tamara Thomas, MD, executive vice president for medical affairs at Loma Linda University Health. “It is my hope that the work taking place within these walls will transform the lives of both our current and future healthcare professionals and the diverse community we serve.”


—additional reporting by Larry Becker and Sheann Brandon




By Faith Hoyt


I got my first real Pathfinder experience in August 2019 in Oshkosh, Wis., where I photographed and reported on the Pacific Union Conference clubs attending the International Pathfinder Camporee. The enormity of the event and the excitement of the campers left quite an impression on me. Chatting with shy but proud teens about the new honors they earned and watching the baptisms of countless young people—including the 200 from our union—gave me a glimpse of the impact of this club on their lives. While wandering through four hangars filled with booths, expos, and activities, I learned about the history and roots of this ministry—and about a man named Laurence A. Skinner, the first world Pathfinder leader.

Laurence Skinner loved Pathfindering, and when the General Conference adopted Pathfinders worldwide in 1950, Skinner’s advocacy and encouragement helped build up the programs that we have today. His impact on Pathfindering here in the West—and throughout the world—is very real.

Many remember Elder Skinner, but none as well as his daughter, Donna Warren, whom I had the opportunity to interview this summer. Donna is a native of the Southeastern California Conference and wrote from her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She described her father, his ministry, its impact on the family, and some of the remarkable memories she treasures as the daughter of the first world Pathfinder leader.

Laurence A. Skinner

Who was Laurence Skinner?

When I asked Donna to tell me about her father, she described a devoted and loving Christian gentleman—a conservationist, nature lover, teacher, and leader.  “His smile was the sunshine of our lives!” she shared.

This quiet and dedicated man helped cast a vision for a global movement, and I wondered how his journey started. Looking back to the start of his career, Donna recounts the experiences that fueled and inspired her father’s vision for Pathfindering.

His ministry began with a teaching assignment in an elementary school in the Southeastern California Conference.

“Perhaps it was here that he realized the importance of a ministry for the youth of the church,” she said. “I believe it was in these early years that he realized that he loved teaching.”

After his time in the classroom, Donna’s father assisted in the first Youth Camp in Julian, Calif., and in 1932 he directed the first youth camp in Idyllwild, Calif.

“The sign read ‘J. M. V. Pathfinder Camp,’” Donna said, noting that the word Pathfinder came into use at about that time.

Laurence A. Skinner

Youth ministry at the local and global level  

I’ve heard it said the best ministry leaders are those who worked at the local level. This was the case for Laurence Skinner, who focused on youth ministry in local contexts. From his youth work in the Hawaiian Mission in Hilo, to youth ministry in two local conferences in California, Elder Skinner gained both experience in the field and a vision for what young people needed—perspectives that he took with him when he was invited to come to the General Conference.

“It was when he was Associate Youth Director in the General Conference that he put together the materials and wrote the official Pathfinder Handbook for the world Pathfinder program, which actually started in the Pacific Union Conference years before,” Donna shared.

Prior to the launch of Pathfinders, Donna remembers hearing her father say he wished there existed something like Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts for the youth; a program that honored Adventist values on health and diet and respected the seventh-day Sabbath.

“I think he saw this as his mission,” she said.

Her memory of her father’s words reminded me of my own experiences in Girl Scouts and Awana club and the many Sabbath afternoons when I wished for a Pathfinder club within driving distance.

Distance didn’t seem to deter Elder Skinner. He traveled the world conducting Youth Congresses, Pathfinder Jamborees, and other youth meetings in the Far East, Europe, South America, India, Australia, the South Pacific, and the Middle East.

Laurence A. Skinner

Skinner’s favorite aspects of Pathfinders

From conversations with many church leaders, I’ve deduced that travel drops off their list of favorite things about ministry. This was the case for Elder Skinner. Donna believes the hands-on conducting of nature classes, giving Bible quizzes, promoting the Pathfinders’ goals of completing the progressive classwork to become a Friend or Companion—these mentorship moments where he was directly involved with campers brought her father much joy.

“He was a born teacher,” she stated. “He studied diligently and received much satisfaction by imparting this knowledge to young people with whom he came in contact during the camping experience.”

Additionally, Donna recalls that one of her father’s great delights was the lively campfires every evening where he would “absolutely shine.” She describes how he loved leading the campers in spirited songs and always told a continued story that ended each night with a cliff-hanger so that the campers eagerly waited for the next installment. Oh, to have been a camper at one of those campfires!

Elder Skinner’s role and its impact on the family

Having a dad who visits camps and camporees around the world comes with a cost. Donna’s memories of homelife when her father was away gave me a picture of the sacrifice involved in this kind of ministry.

“While we were always so proud of our father’s accomplishments and the fact that he was doing something significant that he loved, we became aware over time that there were sacrifices that impacted our family, especially our mother,” Donna shared.

During her father’s time in the General Conference from 1947 to 1963, her father’s world travels took him away from home for at least six to eight months out of every year. During this time, Donna’s mother managed everything by herself.

“My sister and I were teenagers, and I’m sure there were many times she missed having my father around to provide support,” she said.

There were many missed birthdays, graduations, and other special events. But Donna mentioned a bright side: occasionally when her father attended camps or youth gatherings that were held in the summer and were within traveling distance, the family accompanied him. “That was always a treat!”

Laurence A. Skinner

A foundation for youth ministry

Donna remembers one of those summer trips to Camp Wawona in Yosemite National Park. It was around 1940, and her father was the Youth Leader in the Northern California Conference. This trip created some of her all-time favorite memories, which included riding around on a Shetland pony with her sister Jolene.

Talking with Donna about her camp memories made me think of my own favorite memories from Leoni Meadows camp. I realize I still haven’t forgotten the hand motions the staff used when we sang with campers.

If you ever wore the Pathfinder uniform, earned your way to Master Guide, or worked hard for badges, Bible Bowls, and camporees, you can be thankful for the opportunities Laurence A. Skinner sought for young people. His legacy lives on in Pathfindering and in the personal impact of being a thoughtful, appreciative, dedicated father—one with a vision for youth ministry.

Laurence A. Skinner

Milton Peverini



By Richard Peverini, with Kimberly Luste Maran and Faith Hoyt


Pastor, radio speaker, and evangelist ministered to Spanish-speaking audiences around the world, serving in ministry for a total of 58 years.

Milton Peverini García, former speaker/director for La Voz de la Esperanza, passed to his rest in Loma Linda, California, in the early morning on June 27, 2021, after a long illness. He was 88.

In January 1971, Peverini García joined the ministry of La Voz de la Esperanza as associate speaker/director, becoming the speaker/director in 1974, after Braulio Pérez Marcio retired. Devoted to the cause of Jesus Christ since his youth, his theology studies, training as a lawyer, and experience as an educator and youth counselor gave Peverini García a firm foundation as speaker/director. Throughout his ministry, he made a significant contribution to the spiritual life of thousands, not only as speaker/director of the La Voz de la Esperanza ministry, where he led for 27 years, but also as a speaker in international evangelism series and as the author of numerous books and articles.

“He possessed that rare blend of genius and humility, which, happily for me, made him the perfect mentor. And for the myriads that followed him on radio and television, it translated into intensely interesting yet easy to follow expositions of our beloved Adventist faith,” shared Frank González, who joined the La Voz de la Esperanza ministry in 1996 and became the speaker/director when Peverini retired in January 1998.

In his personal life, Peverini García was known as a kind and dignified person, keenly interested in how his friends and family were doing. He always enjoyed a chance to get to know new people.

“Milton was the epitome of kindness, gentleness, and meekness,” shared Dan Matthews, longtime colleague and associate pastor at Loma Linda University Church. “I know because I was there when other louder leading voices sought to dominate Media Center decisions. But, all of us would quickly defer to the godliness evident in Milton’s quiet comment.”

As the years went by and his health started to fail, his work for the church became limited to teaching the Sabbath School lesson in his local church. “Pastor Peverini” has now passed to his rest, awaiting the blessed coming of the Lord Jesus.

“Elder Milton Peverini was a humble, spiritual, and dynamic leader of our radio ministry La Voz de la Esperanza for many years,” shared Pastor R. Ernest Castillo, retired vice president of the North American Division. “He will be greatly missed. But let us never forget that through his ministry he made a tremendous positive impact on our Hispanic community around the world. Come Lord Jesus.”

Along with his wife, Eunice, he is survived by three adult children, Ricardo, Graciela, and Susana; six grandchildren; and one great-grandson. His family and friends honor his memory and take comfort in the Lord’s promises.

A memorial service is planned for July 10, 2021, at 4 p.m. PDT. The service will be available for watching online through In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to support the ministry of La Voz de la Esperanza (click here for English).

Click here to read more about Milton Peverini García.

Recorder Correction



June Recorder Correction

The Pacific Union Conference Constituency Session begins at 6:00pm on Sunday, August 15, 2020, not August 16, as was announced in the June Recorder. Registration begins at 2pm.

The complete Constituency Session notice is as follows:

Pacific Union Conference Constituency Session

The 31st session of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will be held at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Hotel and Spa, Tucson, Arizona , August 15 and 16, 2021. The first meeting of the business session will be called at 6:00 p.m., August 15. Registration will begin at 2:00 p.m. Delegates are selected by the local conferences according to the terms of the Pacific Union Bylaws. This session is called to receive reports from the officers and various departments, to elect personnel for the ensuing term, to consider revisions in the Bylaws, and to transact any other business that may properly come before the delegates. This session is called as a special session under the Union’s Bylaws. The business items addressed above are normally conducted in a regular session every five years, but a regular session cannot be held on the preplanned August 2021 dates because of a provision in Union Bylaws that ties the date of the Union’s regular session to the calendar year after the General Conference regular session. As of the time of this publication, the General Conference regular session has been delayed at least two years, which would delay the Union’s regular session to 2023 at the earliest. Believing it is in the interests of the Union and its constituents to conduct the above-referenced business in a timely manner, this meeting is called by the Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee as a special session, and appropriate Bylaws amendments are presented to ensure all necessary business can be properly accomplished at the meeting. Please review the materials provided with this notice describing proposed amendments to the Bylaws. (See pp. 65-67.) Motion number 1 provides amendments that allow all necessary business to be conducted at the upcoming special session. Motion number 2 provides other amendments the Bylaws Committee recommends to the Union.

Ordination Service



Church administrators, coworkers, and friends gathered on Founder’s Green at La Sierra University on Saturday, June 26, for an afternoon ordination service for Pacific Union Director of Education Berit von Pohle.

“We add our hands of blessing on the ministry that has already taken place and is taking place,” prayed Nate Furness, lead pastor at Napa Community Church, during the program.

Brooke Lemmon, von Pohle’s daughter and a principal in Southeastern California, introduced her mother to those gathered and shared more insights into Elder von Pohle’s life.

“It could be easy for an administrator to take the reins and direct others in the way that the show must be run, but Berit’s specialty is not only in leading but in helping others find their strengths and talents in leadership,” Lemmon said. “Her motivation is grounded in love for the life-changing work that’s done in Adventist Education.”

Ordination Service

More Than a Gesture—An Act of Blessing

Elder Berit von Pohle’s ordination service was marked by heartfelt moments—one of which she describes.

“When I became a first-time principal at San Pasqual Academy, I had the opportunity to hire a pastor for the campus church,” von Pohle said. “Mark Holm joined the staff and capably led the church congregation for a number of years.”

During this time, Holm was ordained to the gospel ministry. Von Pohle shared how Holm has since been a youth pastor, campus chaplain, and Bible teacher—until a stroke limited him from working.

At the end of the ordination service on Sabbath, Holm indicated his disappointment that he had not been on the platform to participate in the laying on of hands. “He wanted to put his hand on me and share his blessing with me,” Von Pohle said. “It was incredibly meaningful to me.”

Von Pohle has served as director of education at the Pacific Union Conference since June 2011. She previously worked as a teacher and academy principal in Southeastern California Conference, an academy principal in Oregon Conference, and superintendent in Northern California Conference.

See more photos of the ordination service. 

Ordination ServiceOrdination Service

Von Pohle's Ordination Ordination Service Ordination Service Von Pohle's Ordination

Von Pohle’s Biography

Berit von Pohle spent most of her formative years near the La Sierra campus after immigrating to the United States from Denmark with her parents and older brother. Berit attended La Sierra Elementary for grades one through eight. She chose boarding academy, Rio Lindo, for her secondary years and participated in the music program and Sabbath School leadership. She took organ lessons, which led to her playing regularly for religious services. Berit returned to La Sierra for college, where she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Business Education, which prepared her to teach at the secondary level. During the summers of her college years, she worked at Pine Springs Ranch. At the close of her junior year, she was baptized on the mall at La Sierra University.

Berit spent 12 years teaching, first at San Diego Academy and then at La Sierra Academy. During those years, she earned a master’s degree in Counseling and added the roles of school counselor and registrar to her teaching load.

Schooling continued, and Berit completed the Specialist in Education degree in Educational Administration, which prepared her for her first principal position at San Pasqual Academy. As principal, Berit worked closely with the local church pastor to create a spiritual climate that would draw the students to Jesus. During these years, Berit was granted a Commissioned Minister license. She led Bible studies with a group of students and was delighted when this led to the baptism of several from the group.

At Columbia Adventist Academy, Berit had the opportunity to create the position of chaplain, which was a new concept for day academies. The individual hired was new to the idea as well. However, they worked collaboratively to engage and empower the students in leading out in the spiritual activities on campus. Each year, graduation weekend included a baptismal service.

After 14 years as an academy principal, Berit became superintendent of the Northern California Conference and cast the vision that our classrooms should have an expectation of excellence in an atmosphere of knowing Jesus. And she went back to school again, this time completing an Ed.D. in Educational Administration by the early years of her tenure as Director of Education for the Pacific Union Conference.

Whether to classmates in Pathfinders, campers at summer camp, students in the classroom, teachers under the supervision of a principal, principals working in the conference, or superintendents working with the Union Office of Education, Berit has been committed to ministry. And it hasn’t just been part of her professional life. For most of the past 25 years, she has regularly taught an adult Sabbath School class at the Napa Community church, continuing even during the pandemic.

Berit’s husband, Chico, who passed away last year, was one of her greatest champions and shared the Sabbath School teaching duties. Their daughter, Brooke, is forging her own administrative journey as the principal at Oceanside Elementary School. Brooke and her husband Kyle have two daughters, Arden and Ava. Berit’s mother continues to provide support and wisdom.

Nominating Committee



2021 Nominating Committee Report

Pacific Union Conference

June 25, 2021


Westlake Village, Calif. – The Pacific Union Conference Nominating Committee has released this completed slate of nominations prior to the 2021 Constituency Session, scheduled to be held in Tucson, Ariz., August 15-16, 2021.

The nominees for the Pacific Union Conference Officers 2021-2026 are:

President: Bradford C. Newton

Executive Secretary: Sandra E. Roberts

Treasurer: Stephen V. Mayer

Vice President: Leon B. Brown, Sr.

Coordinator, African American Ministries: Virgil S. Childs

Coordinator, Asian-Pacific Ministries: VicLouis Arreola III

Coordinator,  Hispanic Ministries: Alberto Ingleton

The 52-person Nominating Committee was chaired by Elder G. Alexander Bryant, President of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Elder Velino Salazar, President of the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, has served as the Secretary.

Ministerial Council




The Pacific Union Conference Ministerial Department has announced the dates and location for Ministerial Council—the first in-person union event held for pastors, chaplains, theology students, and conference/union leaders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of pastors and leaders from around the union will gather in Tucson, Arizona, for this three-day event, held August 16-18, 2021.

“More than ever, we need one another and the Spirit of God at work in our midst,” shared Pacific Union Ministerial Director Bradford Newton. “To experience preaching that heals and gives hope, teaching that explores new paths forward, and togetherness that restores and nourishes will be the catalyst for writing that next chapter of your ministry calling.”

The Pacific Union Conference Ministerial Council brings the entire clergy team of our union together every five years for inspiration, fellowship, worship, and practical teaching on Scripture and topics unique to the ministry of pastor leaders.

This event’s theme, “So Send I You,” comes from Jesus’ words in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

“The theme focuses on Jesus the healer, the Word of truth to His people and the world,” Newton said. “The Servant of God’s love to all people is the guiding principle for this council.”

Core aspects of this event include preaching for healing and hope, teaching that challenges ministry leaders to new pathways forward, and the emotional nourishment and spiritual restoration that comes from being together.

Plenary session speakers include North American Division (NAD) President G. Alexander Bryant, Adventist Health (AH) Spiritual Care Executive Sam Leonor, Southern California Conference Lead Pastor Cherise Gardner, and Southeastern California Conference Executive Secretary Jonathan Park.

Seminar session speakers include NAD Ministerial Associate Director Jose Cortes, North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Vice President for Hispanic Ministries Cesar DeLeon, NPUC Assistant Director for Hispanic Ministries Carolann DeLeon, Oregon Conference Lead Pastor Kara Johnsson, AH Portland Vice President of Mission Integration Terry Johnsson, Pacific Union Conference PARL Director Alan Reinach, Pacific Union College Professor of Applied Theology James Wibberding, and Northern California Conference President Marc Woodson.

Participants are encouraged to note that all State of Arizona and event location health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 will be carefully adhered to at this event.

Learn more.

Click here to register. 

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Ministerial Council



In San Bernardino, Calif., a congregation is working to fight health inequities and support their community during COVID-19.

At the 16th Street church, Senior Pastor Andrea Trusty King—a wife, mother, author, speaker, and ordained minister of the gospel—has spent the last eight years leading her flock. Under her leadership, her church has helped serve the community in specific ways.
“Last year we worked tirelessly to help San Bernardino declare racism a public health crisis,” King said. “As a result, our church, in collaboration with the Inland Empire

Concerned African American Churches (IECAAC) and C.O.P.E. (Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, a network of churches focused on Black residents in the Inland Empire)—we have been working to minimize some of the health inequities we’ve been seeing, especially in dealing with COVID.”

To that end, on Friday, April 2, Governor Gavin Newsom visited the pop-up vaccine clinic at the 16th Street church to encourage eligible Californians to get vaccinated and to highlight efforts to vaccinate people in the state’s most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. King described the governor’s visit as a blessing for the community, providing people with the opportunity to see and talk with the governor as well as get their vaccine. Five hundred vaccines were distributed through a partnership with Loma Linda University Health and C.O.P.E.

King explained that during the clinic, community members were also able to see and talk with their congressman, assemblywoman, and other elected officials.

“It’s a community-oriented church. It’s an amazing group of people who love to be out in the community,” King said, describing her congregation.

In addition to the clinic, the church provides COVID testing and food giveaways, as well as partnering with other organizations to fight human trafficking. Dr. King counts it a blessing to work alongside a group of people who love God and also love people.


By Connie Vandeman Jeffery, with Faith Hoyt

Watch the interview with Pastor King on All God’s People:

For more info about Andrea King, visit:

Read more about the vaccine clinic:



Partial Nominating Committee Report

Pacific Union Conference

May 26, 2021

Thousand Oaks, Calif. – The Pacific Union Conference Nominating Committee has released this partial slate of nominations prior to 2021 Constituency Session, scheduled to be held in Tucson, Ariz, August 15-16, 2021.

The nominees for the Pacific Union Conference Officers 2021-2026 are:

  • President: Bradford C. Newton
  • Executive Secretary: Sandra E. Roberts
  • Treasurer: Stephen V. Mayer
  • Vice President: [undetermined]
  • Coordinator, African American Ministries: Virgil S. Childs
  • Coordinator, Asian-Pacific Ministries: VicLouis Arreola III
  • Coordinator,  Hispanic Ministries: Alberto Ingleton

The 52-person Nominating Committee will continue their work over the next few weeks to complete the nominations. Elder G. Alexander Bryant, President of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, is the Chair of the Nominating Committee, and Elder Velino Salazar, President of the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is serving as the Secretary.

Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Mail to: PO Box 5005, Westlake Village, CA 91359
Street address: 2686 Townsgate Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361

Pacific Union College



Posted by Pacific Union College on May 25, 2021

Dr. Ralph Trecartin has been selected by the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees to be the next president of Pacific Union College. He will begin his role as president on July 1, 2021, and will be the college’s twenty-fourth president in its 138-year history.

“Dr. Trecartin is joining the PUC family at a very important time,” said Bradford Newton, board chair and executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The college has launched a new Vision for the future, and we believe Dr. Trecartin is the leader this school needs to move this plan forward.”

Trecartin currently serves as the associate provost and dean of the College of Professionals for Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and has served in higher education for over 30 years. Trecartin received his PhD in finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business, his MBA from Andrews University, and his bachelor’s degree in Theology at Atlantic Union College.

Prior to joining the administrative team at Andrews University, he spent 18 years in various academic and administrative roles at The College of Brockport, State University of New York. As Executive Director and then Assistant Provost of International Education at Brockport, he led a team that stabilized the program financially and left it a healthy, viable enterprise that continues strong today.

“Dr. Trecartin is an excellent choice for PUC,” said Milbert Mariano, PUC’s vice president for academic administration and academic dean. “His experience and leadership speak for themselves, and I look forward to working closely with him as we continue to shape PUC’s future.”

“We followed a careful and thorough process that considered dozens of candidates,” said Berit von Pohle, board trustee, director of education for the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and chair of the presidential search committee. ”His proven track record in innovation, partnerships, and fundraising, as well as his experience in academic, enrollment, and financial administration, make him uniquely qualified to lead Pacific Union College at this particular time.”

Dr. Trecartin comes from a family with deep roots in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. His grandfather, Lowell Rasmussen, served as education director of the Pacific Union before going to the General Conference, and his parents and siblings have dedicated their lives to church service.

“Building a vibrant Adventist educational offering is what captures my imagination,” said Dr. Trecartin. “Education is one of the most powerful ways to model joyous life, and to influence aspiring young people to reach for the highest levels of achievement while growing closer to God.”

Dr. Trecartin believes in a strong student-focused learning environment. “Our campus needs to be a place where students love to be and feel like they belong,” he said. “I want the PUC experience to include opportunities not available anywhere else.”

Dr. Trecartin will be moving to Angwin with his wife, Virginia, a registered nurse. He has four grown children, all of whom got their undergraduate degrees from Andrews University. Andrew, Alexander, and Ross are all physicians who received their medical degrees from Loma Linda University, and Zachary is pursuing his MBA at Andrews University. Dr. Trecartin is the proud grandfather of three, and is excited to have another on the way!

“I’m excited to be coming to Pacific Union College,” said Dr. Trecartin. “It’s my desire to partner with God and the PUC team as we seek to strengthen our student’s faith experience and grow PUC to new heights of success.”

To read this press release on Pacific Union College’s website, click here. 

La Sierra Athletics



As the Covid-19 pandemic spread throughout the nation and the state during the winter of 2020, La Sierra University along with all educational institutions within Riverside County where the university is located were ordered closed effective March 16. Many believed the situation would last a few weeks. More than a year later, the campus remains closed in keeping with ongoing state restrictions for higher education. Presently only limited labs and studio classes are allowed on campus and public events have remained suspended including a suspension of spectators at campus athletics events.

The university’s nine varsity sports teams – men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, softball, and baseball faced varying degrees of disruption – the cross country program was sidelined for the year and on-campus team practices for other sports were delayed and then repeatedly shut down when Covid cases surged in the region. Conference play and championships were also moved up in the season by months.

Tests for Covid-19 three times a week; Covid symptoms screening before play; training rooms and equipment sanitized after every use; face masks required outside of game play, except volleyball players must wear them while playing; drinking fountains disabled; no hugs or high-fives – these are examples from pages of detailed pandemic protocol developed for the university’s athletics department under the leadership of Athletics Director Javier Krumm and through which the department has strived to maintain the safety of its student-athletes, coaches and personnel while allowing the teams to continue operating. The protocol is part of a larger document created and released last September by the university’s Emergency Management Team outlining operational activities for the entire campus based upon public health guidelines.

The La Sierra Golden Eagles program was the first in its conference to publicize detailed pandemic operating procedures and served as a model for some of Cal Pac’s guidelines, Krumm said. While at first confusing for student-athletes, they learned to incorporate the procedures into their activities. The detailed protocol was vital to their ability to safely practice beginning in October last year and eventually to play games. Protocol was developed through the efforts of Head Athletics Trainer and Compliance Officer Brian Murphy, Associate Athletics Director Brianne Talboom, virologist and associate biology professor Arturo Diaz who serves as the Golden Eagles faculty representative, Student Wellness Services Director Dan Nyirady and Vice President for Student Life Yami Bazan.

Varsity student-athletes are also required to uphold a high academic standards which for some proved more difficult when all classes moved online. Through an online system, the department keeps track of student-athletes’ grades and works with faculty and staff advisors to help guide and support students, including with game and class conflicts.

Read more of this article from La Sierra University.

La Sierra Athletics

Printed: December 2021  – Page 1 of 1

Article reprint from on December 2021

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