On August 16, 2021, as part of the Pacific Union Conference 31st Constituency Session in Tucson, Arizona, delegates elected the officers who will lead the Pacific Union during the next five-year term. Also adopted were changes in the organizational bylaws that redesignated the nomenclature of four positions as vice presidents for specialized ministries.
In August of 2021, Pastor Newton took on the role of president of the Pacific Union Conference, which requires leadership of all church activities in a vast and diverse five-state region. Newton’s long history in church leadership in the Pacific Union makes him particularly suited to this role. For more than 25 years he has served in various capacities in the union: pastor in the Southern California Conference, president for the Nevada-Utah Conference, associate director of public affairs and religious liberty for the Pacific Union, and most recently as executive secretary and ministerial director for the Pacific Union—a role he held for 13 years. While he is a native Californian, having grown up in Arcadia, Newton attended college and graduate school at Andrews University in Michigan, earning bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in theology and ministry. He spent the first decade of his service as a pastor and conference leader in Illinois. Newton sees the role of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as being potentially transformational during what he calls a “monumental time in Earth’s history.” “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.” He is married to Jennifer (née Christian), a certified faith-based meeting planner and consultant; they have two adult children and two granddaughters.
Pastor Roberts was elected as the executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference in August 2021. Roberts comes to this role having previously served as president of the Southeastern California Conference, a position she held for eight years. She has an extensive history of service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Pacific Union, influenced by the example of her missionary parents. Her various roles have included pastor, associate youth director, school chaplain, summer camp director, religion teacher, and member of the board of trustees at La Sierra University. Before beginning her ministry in the Pacific Union, Roberts served as a dean and teacher at Cedar Lake Academy in Michigan. Pastor Roberts is the first female executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference, and although she has received an unusual level of attention because of her gender, she chooses to focus on the work of the church. “We have a ministry to do and things to accomplish,” she says. She has degrees from Loma Linda University (BS), Andrews University (MA), and Claremont School of Theology (D.Min). Roberts especially enjoys the diversity of the Pacific Union. An avid world traveler, she has visited more than 90 countries and intends to continue adding at least one each year.
Mr. Mayer has served as treasurer of the Pacific Union Conference since 2019, a role that emphasizes the responsible allocation of resources within the territory as part of the leadership team. Mayer has extensive experience in accounting and financial management. He spent three years at Pacific Union College as a staff accountant and six years outside the church in medical
management. Returning to church work, Mayer spent the last 17 years at the Pacific Union as senior accountant, assistant treasurer, associate treasurer, and undertreasurer before being elected treasurer. He also serves in a volunteer capacity as treasurer of his local congregation, Camarillo Seventh-day Adventist Church, as academy finance chair, and until 2021 as supervisory committee chair for California Adventist Federal Credit Union. A native of California, Mayer is a graduate of Rio Lindo Academy and Pacific Union College, where he studied business administration with triple emphases in accounting, marketing, and management. He also received training from Andrews University in Michigan and is certified in Planned Giving and Trust Services from the North American Division. Mayer is married to his loving wife of 25 years, Michelle, and they have three children.
Pastor Brown was elected vice president of the Pacific Union in August 2021, a role that requires close cooperation with the president as a key leader in the territory. Brown brings vast and varied experience to this role, having previously served within the Pacific Union as president of the Nevada-Utah Conference and pastor of several California congregations, as well as coordinator of Inner-City Ministries, Prison Ministries, Men’s Ministries, and African American Ministries. His business background complements his heart for ministry; Brown has not only worked as an accountant and payroll administrator, he has also taught accounting, math, tax, and business at the college level and served as dean of instruction at Heald College School of Business in Stockton, California. He has undergraduate degrees in business and religion from Oakwood University in Alabama, master’s degrees in business administration and divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, and a Doctor of Ministry from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. Brown is passionate about community and sharing Jesus with everyone he meets. He has been married to Julie F. Brown for 33 years, and they have two adult sons, Leon II and Lawrence.
Pastor Arreola has been coordinator of Asian-Pacific Ministries for the Pacific Union Conference since 2011, and he now serves in the newly created role of vice president. He also serves as coordinator of Multi-Ethnic Ministries for the North American Division (NAD). He oversees the 33 Asian-Pacific language groups in North America, with a combined membership of more than 100,000 people. Arreola is president of Pacific Institute of Christian Ministry, an equipping school for lay pastors and church leaders in the NAD. Arreola has a rich background as a church planter, international evangelist, senior pastor, departmental director, radio and television speaker, pastoral counselor, and adjunct professor. He has a bachelor’s degree in theology from Mountain View College in the Philippines, a master’s degree in religion and health from the Adventist University of the Philippines, a master’s degree in theology from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, and doctoral degrees from La Salle University and the Evangelical Theological Seminary, both located in Pennsylvania. Arreola is passionate about empowering local communities and congregations to expand, spreading the love of Jesus in ways that are culturally relevant. He is married to Dr. Imelda Arreola, a preventive health specialist, and they have one son, VicLouis Arreola V, a physician. All three members of the family speak for and operate Our Great Hope Today Ministries, heard in 65 countries.
Pastor Childs has served as the regional coordinator serving the Black churches of the Pacific Union since 2016. When this role was reimagined as a vice presidency in August 2021, Childs was the obvious choice to lead the ministry in accordance with his unique vision, which has been developed over decades of practical and cutting-edge experience. His roles within the Northern California Conference have included assistant pastor, senior pastor, director of African American ministries, inner city ministries, men’s ministries, and prison ministries. Childs is a member of the Oakland Faith Advisory Council and is a recipient of the 2015 Pastor of the Year award, presented by One Thousand Mothers Against Violence, an organization based in Oakland, California. Childs has conducted numerous prophecy seminars, evangelistic meetings, and conflict resolution workshops, and he enjoys teaching religion at elementary and high schools. He has degrees in theology and higher education administration from Oakwood College and Alabama A&M, respectively. Childs is married to Patricia Woods-Childs, and they have three adult children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Berit von Pohle has served as director of education at the Pacific Union Conference since June 2011 and was elected into the new role of vice president in August 2021. She has more than 40 years’ experience working in Seventh-day Adventist education. Her previous roles include teacher and principal in the Southeastern California Conference, academy principal in the Oregon Conference, and superintendent in the Northern California Conference. She has a bachelor’s in business education from Loma Linda University-La Sierra, a master’s in counseling and guidance from Loma Linda University-Riverside, and both an Ed.S. and an Ed.D. in educational administration from La Sierra University. Dr. von Pohle serves on the board of all of the secondary schools in the Pacific Union as well as the boards of Pacific Union College and La Sierra University. She chairs the board of Holbrook Indian School. She is regularly involved with the training orientations to teachers and principals as well as training for school boards. Dr. von Pohle also represents Adventist education in the Pacific Union Conference to external entities. She serves as a commissioner on the K-12 Accrediting Commission for Schools of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). She is also on the board of the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO), currently serving as president of the board. She has previously served as chair of the California Department of Education Private School Advisory. Von Pohle is originally from Denmark and came to the United States as a toddler. She is a self-described “book addict” and especially enjoys reading up on education and leadership. She is known for her ability to help others find their strengths and talents in leadership, and she is motivated by her love for the life-changing work she sees in Adventist education. Von Pohle has a daughter, who is a principal in the Southeastern California Conference, and two granddaughters.
Pastor Ingleton has been coordinator of Hispanic Ministries of Pacific Union Conference since 2018 and naturally moved into the position of vice president for the ministry when it was re-designed in August 2021. He previously served as vice president for Hispanic Ministries for Southeastern California Conference and as senior pastor of La Sierra Spanish church as well as at other congregations in the Southeastern California Conference. A multi-talented individual, Ingleton spent several years in the publishing department for the Central California Conference and worked as a literature evangelist. Ingleton holds a bachelor’s degree from Montemorelos University in Mexico, as well as a master’s in pastoral ministry and a doctor of ministry from Andrews University in Michigan. His strengths lie in managing large congregations and events, organizing groups to attain their goals, and motivating people toward greater discipleship. Alberto is married to Elizabeth Roman Ingleton.
Committees and Working Groups
“How can we thank God enough for you?” —1 Thessalonians 3:9
Some of the most important work that we do at the Pacific Union is carried out through our standing committees and workgroups. And while these carefully and representatively selected small groups of people generally take their tasks very seriously, not everyone loves committees.
We love ours.
Our committees gather people together from all across the Union’s geography to take on work that will benefit all of us. They are made up of people who are diverse in terms of race, culture, age, gender, and demographics. They include lay members and employees. They benefit from the wisdom of those who have been members for years and others who have been members for just a short time.
Our workgroups are very good at trying to understand the circumstances out of which their agenda items arise. They work hard at asking good questions, and seek to hear the details and the stories that might be lost if there wasn’t a group of thoughtful people taking up these topics. They work on narrowing the gaps between what we know and what we are given the opportunity to learn. They challenge the status quo while affirming the policies and procedures that have served us in the past. They create a dynamic, living history of the work of our organization, and while affirming what has been done that truly resonates with our mission, they also help us lift our eyes to God is calling us to do in the future. They keep at it, quarter after quarter, year after year, problem after opportunity after challenge after discovery. They begin their meetings with prayer, and they are generally still praying when they get the work done. They show us how Christians can come together with grace, conviction, and a shared love for the message of Jesus even on the mundane, the difficult, and the everyday. They demonstrate that when placed in God’s care, nothing is ordinary.
Evangelism Endowment Committee
Hispanic Coordinating Committee
Asian Coordinating Committee
Regional Coordinating Committee
SOULS West Board
Literature Ministries Advisory
LSU and PUC Finance Committees
Workers’ Comp Board
Finance and Investment Committee
Western Adventist Foundation Finance Committee
Conference Executive Committees
LSU and PUC Executive Committees
Holbrook Indian School Executive Committee
Senior Academy Boards (32 total)
Departmental Quarterly Reviews
Ethnic Advisory Councils
(Department Advisory Councils)
(Adventist Education Leadership and Advisory Committees)