The North American Division Ministries Convention held Jan. 13-16 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, focused on the theme Stronger United: Many Voices, One Vision. This event, held twice every five years, aimed to strengthen collaboration between various ministries and departments within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” said Gary Moyer, vice president for administration of the Carolina Conference, during the opening session of the convention. “We just need to come out of our silos and work together.”

The principle of working together to build up efficiency and encourage one another was highlighted many times throughout the four-day event, which included presentations from over 60 ministry leaders. Nearly 650 attendees representing every region in the NAD participated in a variety of workshops geared toward sharing relevant information and learning best practices in ministry.

Attendees were also invited to visit all 54 booths in the exhibition hall representing Adventist church departments or ministries, and other supporting ministries. Participating organizations located in Mid-America territory included AdventSource, Christian Record Services for the Blind and the Voice of Prophecy.

A worker at the NAD Health Ministries booth portrays Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, renowned pioneer of Adventist health ministries.

Throughout the convention, a variety of musical selections were shared by vocalist Denise Josiah and her husband Donell Josiah, a music producer and performer. Well-known pianist Sam Ocampa also led out in times of praise and worship.

Two Mid-Americans Receive LifeTime Achievement  Awards

During the convention, 20 Lifetime Achievement awards and 20 Excellence in Ministry awards were given out. “We praise God for the excellence displayed in the lives and work of these individuals,” said NAD president Daniel R. Jackson.

Nancy Buxton, MAUC director of Women’s Ministries, and attorney Darrel Huenergardt, MAUC director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, both received Lifetime Achievement awards for their years of dedicated service. Buxton has led the MAUC Women’s Ministries department for 15 years and travels around North America presenting seminars. She also faithfully assists conference Women’s Ministry directors with their programs and events. Huenergardt has served as legal counsel for the Mid-America Union for 30 years and has worked with hundreds of members experiencing Sabbath workplace accommodation challenges.

“It’s a proud day for Mid-America as we celebrate the service and accomplishments of these two leaders,” said Gary Thurber, president of the Mid-America Union Conference.

Adventist Women Leaders Connect and Learn

At the conclusion of the Ministries Convention, nearly 100 women from across North America attended the first Adventist Women Leaders NAD event, a luncheon geared toward connecting, training and mentoring women in leadership positions in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“The purpose of AWL is to connect and engage women in leadership positions,” said Celeste Ryan Blyden, AWL director. “We are here to acknowledge God-given callings and contributions to ministry, and to support and train women leaders.”

Keynote speaker Jennifer Stanford, CEO of an executive coaching and change management firm named Emergent, presented the concept of identity mapping, and each attendee participated in a personal mapping assessment followed by small group discussions.

Each person also received a copy of the book Crucial Conversations to help continue the process of learning how to understand and communicate more effectively with work colleagues, family and church members.

“I really appreciated the things we learned,” said one attendee from Mid-America. “I think every work team would benefit from this type of training.”

Minnesota Conference staff Savannah Carlson and Shalina Bonjour participate in a training workshop during the Adventist Women Leaders event.

What is Adventist Women Leaders? Learn more about this new NAD initiative and connect with other women leaders: or email:

Photos: Brenda Dickerson