After 23 years of service in the Iowa-Missouri Conference, executive secretary Robert Wagley and his wife Peggy Wagley, who served as an administrative assistant, said goodbye to the Iowa-Missouri Conference in October.

After much prayer, Wagley accepted a call to serve as a pastor in the Gulf States Conference. He is now pastoring the Gulf Coast Adventist Church in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the St. Elmo Church in Irvington, Alabama. This move puts them closer to most of their family.

“We felt it was the right time to take advantage of the opportunity to serve God’s people at a local level and do evangelism while also enjoying the blessings of ministering to family and friends in an area they really like and appreciate,” Wagley said.

The couple has been serving the Adventist Church since 1978. They have lived abroad and in multiple states while serving in various capacities. Wagley first joined the Iowa-Missouri Conference in 1983 in pastoral ministry. The couple served the church elsewhere for a few years and returned to the Iowa-Missouri Conference in 2000 when Wagley served as ministerial director. He later accepted the call to be the executive secretary for the Minnesota Conference. Five years later Wagley accepted the position of ministerial director and Peggy Wagley accepted the position of administrative assistant in the Iowa-Missouri Conference. In 2016 Robert Wagley was voted as executive secretary for the conference.

During his 23 years of service, Wagley said he implemented two programs which he believes are some of his most significant accomplishments for the Iowa-Missouri Conference. The first program developed evangelism and ministry zones which sought to connect pastors of specific geographical areas so they could meet regularly to encourage one another.

“I think it really helped build camaraderie and fellowship and team spirit for our pastors,” Wagley said.

Robert Wagley, with the help of Peggy Wagley, also introduced a portfolio-based approach to the ordination process for pastors within the conference.  This allowed the pastors to keep a record of their involvement and experience in various areas of ministry. The portfolios also allowed Wagley to identify strong and weak areas in a pastor’s ministry so he could better assist them.

Peggy Wagley was actively involved in several ministries including camp meeting, Women’s Ministries, Shepherdess and Religious Liberty. “It’s been fun to do, and I’ve very much enjoyed working with the pastors, their wives and members throughout the conference for so many blessed years,” she said.

The couple said they have enjoyed serving the Iowa-Missouri Conference in their various ministry roles and will miss the conference. “We will be leaving a part of our heart here,” Peggy Wagley added.

The couple also said while serving in the Iowa-Missouri Conference they have made friendships that will last a lifetime. “We have wonderful friends from Iowa to Missouri that will be lifelong friends. They have become like family, a home away from home.”

Fellow Iowa-Missouri Conference officers said the Wagleys will be missed and they hope God blesses their transition. “They have been a major part of our office family,” said Rhonda Karr, conference treasurer. “They have always been willing to serve in whatever task was at hand.”

Iowa-Missouri Conference president Dean Coridan said the Wagleys have been both great friends and colleagues for 35 years. “We have appreciated their work and they will be greatly missed,” Cordian said.

At this time the conference has not yet filled either position vacated by the Wagleys but are actively looking to do so.