As leader of a team including the other elected union officers—the executive secretary, the treasurer, and the vice president—the president is responsible for coordinating the complex mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Pacific Union territory—the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. He or she is ultimately responsible for the work of all departments within the Pacific Union Conference organization, and is responsible to the Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee and its constituency, and, indirectly, to the North American Division and the General Conference.
Ricardo Graham has served as president of the Pacific Union Conference since 2007. He has twenty-three years of administrative experience in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, having previously served as executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference, president of the Northern California Conference, and executive secretary of the Northern California conference. Before assuming administrative responsibilities, Graham served as a pastor, originally in the Lake Region Conference in the mid-West of the United States and more recently in California. Graham has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakwood College, a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He has written numerous articles for church publications, including Ministry magazine, Message magazine, Signs of the Times (Australia) and the Adventist Review. He has authored two books, Jesus Unlimited and The Book of Job. Graham is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He is married to Audrey Weir Graham, an educator, and they have two adult children, Jessica and Jonathan.
The executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference provides administrative leadership and management for departmental directors and associates. He or she also helps direct the work of the executive committee and supervises the implementation of its actions. The secretary keeps most of the official records of the Pacific Union Conference, such as the minutes and the index of the executive committee, and issues the appropriate credentials and licenses for personnel.
Bradford C. Newton
Bradford C. Newton has served as executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference since 2008. He has previously served as president of Nevada-Utah Conference, government relations director and associate public affairs and religious liberty director of the Pacific Union, and as a pastor in Southern California and Illinois. In addition to his role as executive secretary, he has held the additional responsibility of Union ministerial director since 2010. Newton earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Andrews University. He is a native of Arcadia, California. His wife, Jennifer Christian Newton, is a health care management consultant, and they have two adult children, Amanda and Tyler.
The vice president works closely with the president, sharing in designated administrative activities and responsibilities. He or she is responsible for planning and promoting evangelism and discipleship as well as global mission and evangelistic small groups initiatives. He or she also overseas evangelism endowment fund projects, acts as liaison between the local conference and the North American Division for ministries not staffed within the Pacific Union office, and oversees the ministries which are coordinated by volunteers appointed by the Pacific Union Executive Committee to give leadership in disaster response, prayer ministries, prison ministries, single adult ministries, and women’s ministries.
Jorge P. Soria, Vice President
Jorge Soria has served as director of Hispanic and Portuguese Ministries at the Pacific Union Conference since 1991. Previously he served as the Hispanic Coordinator for the Southeastern California Conference and as a pastor in California and youth director in Brazil. He is a graduate of Pacific Union College (Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Spanish), and Andrews University (Master of Divinity). He has published articles in Spanish-language magazines and has authored a book for small groups titled The Ten Commandments due to be published in 2018. Soria is native of Mexico. He is married to Lina and they have two children, Jay and Edson, and three grandchildren, Lexi, Olivia, and Emely.
The treasurer is the chief financial officer of the Union. He or she is responsible for safeguarding all monies received by the Pacific Union Conference and disbursing them in harmony with policies voted by the executive committee. The treasurer maintains accurate and comprehensive accounting of church funds and presents accurate reports on a timely basis. As chief financial officer, the treasurer coordinates the financial activities of the Union and its church-operated organizations. He or she is responsible for the operation of the Union office and its facilities.
Ted Benson has served as treasurer of the Pacific Union Conference since 2005, and has worked in the Pacific Union treasury department in various roles since 1976—as systems analyst, associate treasurer, and undertreasurer. Benson previously worked for Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) where he helped facilitate the conversion from IBM systems to RCA/Univac systems, and Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) where he was trained to handle IBM System 370 for scientific processing. He is a graduate of La Sierra Academy Loma Linda University—La Sierra Campus where he studied business administration and accounting. He completed training in systems engineering at IBM offices in Los Angeles. Benson is a native of California, having been born in Riverside. He is married to Beverly Kay (Wood), and they have one adult son, Ted, Jr.
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.
Pacific Union Conference Standing Committees and Boards
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)