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A Firing Troubles Educators, Pastors, and Donors in the Oregon Conference


Gale Crosby is a Seventh-day Adventist educator with 41-years of denominational experience, 32-years of which he’s spent working for the Oregon Conference. He was principal of several academies, moved to conference administration as associate superintendent, and then for the last nine years, Crosby has served as vice president for education. That ended on March 17, 2022, when the Oregon Conference Executive Committee voted to end Gale Crosby’s employment, effective immediately, and “move in a different direction.” Crosby was just a few months from turning 65.

The conference committee had met with Gale Crosby about conflict of interest and remuneration questions the previous February and in October 2021. Instead of just not recommending him to the constituents in this year’s September session, they fired him during the school year. 

This probably would not have been a story. But the conference twisted the knife. Uncharacteristically for corporations and Adventist institutions, the official statement included a clause of cause: “Due to significant concerns regarding Gale Crosby’s fiduciary responsibilities.” 

On March 31, Adventist Today published a story about the situation. Citing an anonymous source, the story alleged that Crosby “took a large sum of money donated to the Education Department and used it for personal purposes.”

Interviews with 15 conference administrators, educators, and constituents now reveal a central issue in Crosby’s termination as not the misuse of money but the use of outside funds that effectively changed the income of most leaders in the Education Department

In public comments, Oregon Conference President Dan Linrud has emphasized “trust” and said that Crosby was fired to protect educators. But educators interviewed for this story expressed frustration with how the situation was handled.

“I feel like I can't trust the administration,” states Peter Hardy, principal of Mid-Columbia Adventist Christian School in Hood River, Oregon. “I’ve been teaching for 40 years, the last nine under Gale Crosby. I have only good things to say about Gale. He's been the best guy to work under in my experience of 40 years.” Hardy mentions that his duties include teaching 9th and 10th grades, administration, and janitorial work for the school. “It kind of hit all of us principals like a ton of bricks. I think you could have told me that the Pope had become Adventist and I would not have been more stunned.” 

“It was devastating, devastating. It's so unexpected. And then the article that came out in Adventist Today. All of us that know Gale, we're shaking our heads going, ‘this is not Gale, this is slander,’” states Jenny Neil, 1st/2nd-grade teacher and principal at Three Sisters Adventist Christian School. “I don't know a more godly, humble person that has had that leadership role.”

In a letter to Adventist Today, Alden Thompson, retired professor of biblical studies at Walla Walla University, responded to the AT story: 

Here in the northwest, Gale Crosby has established a well-earned reputation as a competent and compassionate friend of Adventist education. No formal evidence has been cited against him. As far as the auditors were concerned, there were no red flags—they never sounded an alarm.

In interviews with at least 15 Oregon conference members, it’s clear that there’s more to the story. Randy Thornton, principal of Milo Adventist Academy and current president of the Education Leadership Team (ELT), the association of Oregon Conference school principals, points out that in dealing with the aftermath, Dan Linrud cited the dictionary by Merriam-Webster when talking about Crosby’s termination and the conference’s use of the term “fiduciary.” The online dictionary includes the following explanation:

Fiduciary relationships often concern money, but the word fiduciary does not, in and of itself, suggest financial matters. Rather, fiduciary applies to any situation in which one person justifiably places confidence and trust in someone else and seeks that person's help or advice in some matter. 

There are a few clichéd phrases associated with investigative journalism that roll off the tongue. In this case, follow the money does not really help here. One reason the conference emphasizes trust over some sort of financial scandal is that the money trail is clear. A donor provided millions of dollars to the conference to develop and support educational leadership. The central program for the purposes of this story was the Spiritual Wellness Grants, which provided all the principals and conference educational leadership with up to $10,000 in annual additional remuneration through reimbursements for three years. This ran through the conference. They moved through the conference system—treasury, HR, the education office, and auditing—for about two years without major incident. 

Then in October, Gale Crosby was accused by the conference president of conflict of interest over higher-than-policy remuneration. Crosby had received about $46,000 extra over four years, which had come from his mentoring in the leadership project and the administering the Spiritual Wellness Grant program. Conference insiders also note that long-simmering tensions and distrust between the two leaders have been factors. [The conference system encourages presidential deference, but officers report to the executive committee and the constituency, not any other executive officer.] But the fact is that the executive committee did terminate the vice president for education. In addition to the official conference statement, additional comments by the administration have not clarified much. Some reasons:

·       Concerns over fiduciary responsibilities—trust and following denominational policy

·       Conflict of interest—The conference does allow up to 10% of salary allowance for extraordinary remuneration. Crosby’s $46,000 put him about an additional 2% over. 

·       Bad blood—a few education terminations seem to bother the president for personal and/or financial reasons. 

Spectrum sent the following questions to the conference: 

1. What were the specific significant fiduciary concerns mentioned in the release regarding Gale Crosby? Are there any major documented financial mismanagement concerns that did not involve the Leadership Development Program? 

2. What caused the changes in the conference administration's relationship with Crosby between the October meeting, the February meeting, and the March meeting?

3. The donor has stated that all funds given to the Education Department for Leadership Development were properly distributed. Is it correct that no Oregon Conference administrators have been in touch with the donor regarding Crosby? 

4. Was there a policy change around "gifts" during the October meeting? If so, what led to that decision? Please include any language from any old or new policies relevant to this. 

5. To what degree did conflicts over leadership style contribute to this executive action? Did Dan Linrud ever publicly mention some terminations carried out by Crosby as an additional cause?

6. Besides Crosby, during the investigation, who else from the Education Department was spoken to? Did you speak to anyone who helped build or run the Leadership Development Program?

The conference responded:

After prayerful consideration, the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists wishes to share the below statement concerning the story Spectrum is pursuing related to our former employee. The below constitutes the entirety of our response and these comments can be attributed to the Conference.

Consistent with the ministry and writings of Ellen G. White, the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists considers education of students among our most sacred responsibilities. 

In March of 2022, the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists informed constituents that we had ended our relationship with our former education leader, due to significant fiduciary concerns that were brought to our attention. While we are bound not to disclose confidential personnel matters, we will underscore that all work performed under the auspices of the Oregon Conference is governed by well-established protocols for oversight to ensure transparency and faithful stewardship of resources provided to the Conference. This is a critically important aspect of fulfilment of our mission; of performing the work that we believe is ordained by God. Every member of our team must be accountable for the way in which resources are allocated and these decisions are to be made collectively, to help ensure appropriate outcomes.

We wish to reassure parents and all members of our constituency that additional safeguards are in place to ensure that all spending is aimed directly at providing a quality education rooted in our faith.

In a text message, Brian Gosney, a former Oregon Conference officer, states, “Introducing students to the love of Jesus has always motivated Gale Crosby. I found him to be an innovative yet honest conference leader.”

Map of Oregon Conference schools

The Financial Specialist

Gayla Rogers works for the Oregon Conference as the financial specialist for the Education Department. In interviews, she was called the “Education CFO” by several superintendents and principals given that her role involves interfacing with the conference finance officers and the education office, as well as with the leadership of the 32 Oregon schools. She states, “Bottom line is if it has to do with money in our department or in our schools, it will probably go across my desk. . . . I manage all of the donor funds, including the processes and protocols implemented for all of our donors. It's imperative to me that those be maintained with the integrity of the intent of the donor.”

She asks if she can just cut to the chase. “I really don't think this is about money. 99 percent of every reimbursement or payable disbursement request, whether it's donor dollars or out of operations, has my signature on it. If this was truly about money, they had to have locked my door at the same time they locked Gale's. I am convinced that this is not about money or I would not have my job.” 

Rogers understands that it was probably HR that flagged Crosby’s compensation as out of policy compliance. She says that if anyone in administration would have asked her, she would have been able to explain the source and the rationale. But no investigation involved talking with her. She still has her job. The $46,000 in additional compensation was from the donor, part of Crosby’s role overseeing the Leadership Development Program over the roughly four years of creation and implementation, as well as his role as one of the mentors. And like the donor did for everyone, it also included funds to cover tax liabilities—all processed through payroll and the entire conference financial system. 

Listening to Rogers, it’s clear her work in the Education Department is driven by a deep sense of mission. She reflects on working with Crosby: “Sharing the stories of God's children being introduced to Jesus every day in classrooms of 32 schools was Gale's passion. Oregon Conference members have responded in so many ways—financial partnerships being one of those.” She continues, “When a donor collaborates with a leader and commits to a financial partnership, it is imperative that processes and procedures be put in place in order to maintain the credibility, clarity, consistency, and integrity of that gift immediately. Money is only one tool in this amazing ministry—but a tool God has given me the solemn opportunity and responsibility to collaborate with generous members on behalf of his children.”

Donors Trust Gale Crosby

Crosby’s tone changes when he talks about two things: “the kids,” as he calls them, and donors. On those two topics, he becomes very earnest and his tone intensifies. He’s in awe of massive generosity and unlike many people, he’s not intimidated by the very wealthy. He talks about connecting “a kid” with a donor who paid for the student’s education. Of course it changed the kid’s life, but Gale goes further, “To be a part of that whole, to see the donor just get blessed from blessing others. Just to be a part of that is beyond words.” Gale’s the middle man, a connector, helping to make something like modern miracles happen.

He can seem almost innocent about these matters. In an age when the purity and potential of children is too often politicized and weaponized, Crosby’s mantra, “it’s all about the kids” can seem simple. But during interviews, almost every educator and even a pastor or two repeated the phrase “it’s all about the kids” in Oregon. 

It clearly appeals to donors as well. In his nine years as vice president for Education in the Oregon Conference, Crosby’s raised around $50 million. I talk about the hugeness of that number and he calls fundraising “biblical.” Perhaps because of the passionate earnestness in his voice, I picture an epic, miraculous Bible moment: Moses parting the Red Sea and making a way forward against all odds. But no, Gale is just saying that it is biblical as a good Adventist might assert that keeping Sabbath or caring about the poor is supported by Scripture. “It’s very clear in the Bible,” he says, “that those who are given means are given those means to help and bless others.” 

After I first spoke with Gale Crosby, I asked to speak to the donor responsible for the millions that supported the Leadership Program and the Spiritual Wellness Grant. 

Crosby connected us right away via phone. The donor spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the large amounts of money involved and a desire to maintain privacy. I confirmed the donor’s identity, involvement, and reputation for church support.

“I'm very disappointed to see the way things came down,” the donor said. “I very much care about Adventist education.” They stated that Crosby did not do anything unethical or problematic in his stewardship of their funds. “The money was used exactly how I wanted it to be used,” the donor added.

The donations went to fund scholarships for students who couldn’t afford an Adventist education in Oregon, and through Gale’s relationships, also students at Walla Walla University. The funding was used for campus beautification, to boost capital campaigns, and help talented teaching aids get certified. The funding also benefited teachers and principals and the entire conference education leadership team. 

The donor also wrote the following publicly: 

This letter is to confirm and verify that all of the funds that I donated to the Oregon Conference Education Department for Leadership Development including the Junior High Step Up Leadership Program, the Senior High SA and Class Officer Leadership Training, the Principal Mentoring Program and the Educational Leadership Spiritual Wellness Grant were all distributed in accordance to my wishes and in accordance to my instructions. I have reviewed documents quarterly over the three year period of the program and verify that all of these funds were given in accordance with the guidelines that were laid out to the Vice-President of Education at the inception of this Educational Leadership Program.

“I saw an issue," the donor says, “of having good quality leadership at each school. Gale, with a group, put together a program which I think has been a very productive program to solve some of the issues in leadership at our schools. I was very happy to be financially supportive of a program that we felt was making a difference. . . . To see it end this way was very disappointing.” 

The donor explains that the program was also meant to be bigger than just the Oregon Conference. “Our goal was, let's do something that can help Adventist education in Oregon that we can replicate in all other places if they're interested. So it was somewhat of a test pilot program to see, well, is this going to work here? And if it does, maybe that's something we can use to benefit other places.”

The donor confirmed that the conference did not reach out in their termination process and had not a month and a half later. In response to questions about what’s next, the references the donor made to waiting on God’s leading regarding next steps in donating mirrored language Crosby uses. Talking with them both, it's clear they trust each other and share a similar mission-driven view of Adventist education. 

While reporting this story, many Oregon educators sent brief text messages in support of Crosby, attesting to his honesty and good leadership. One message turned out to be another major donor. Public records show that the Erwin Family Foundation has granted significant funds to many Oregon entities, including several Adventist schools and the conference Education Department.

In a text message, Jerry Erwin wrote, “In working with Gale for the last several years on the conference education board I know his commitment and love for Christian education is unsurpassed. His presence in the leadership of the conference will be missed. The way Gale was terminated was not only wrong, it destroyed his reputation by the way it was interpreted. The damage is not just to Gale but to our whole education system and those who support it.” 

Later I spoke with Gale to check some facts. He’s driving back from Walla Walla University from a student senior recital. As he tells me about the visit, his voice changes and he sounds different again. Gale’s voice gets soft as he tells me that it “was just a joy” to be invited by the soon-to-graduate “kid” to witness their success. Hearing that tone again, I know something about this student’s educational journey was incredible. 

There is an age-old question in the history of religion: the tension between the priests and the prophets, the bureaucratic and the charismatic. Both are essential. But tensions can arise between those who focus primarily on the power of the organization for mission and those whose gifts drive them to reach outside to make things happen. With donors drawn more to Gale Crosby’s vision, those involved had made a choice between saying “no” to a donor who wanted to directly help educational leaders in the conference for three years or try to make a way.

The Leadership Program

The Oregon Conference has 32 schools with 2400 students in its territory, which includes Western Oregon and Southwestern Washington. At the core of this question of trust lies the Oregon Conference Education Department Leadership Program, which ran through the 2018–2021 school years. In a letter to the executive committee, Crosby explained the large-scale project’s four components:  

Step-Up Program helps junior high students to identify and begin developing emerging leadership skills. The Education Department contracted with Big Lake Youth Camp to take 50-60 student leaders up to the camp for three days each year to be trained to be leaders for Jesus.

Senior Academy Class/Student Association Officer Training Program assists senior academy students to hone leadership skills to lead their respective student bodies. Students from each of our five senior academies spend a week learning new leadership skills and making intentional plans for the coming school year to apply in their roles as student leaders. 

Principal Mentoring Program identifies teachers and gives them the opportunity to undergo a rigorous nine-to-twelve-month training program to equip them to be future school principals. In addition to developing skills, it pairs each prospective principal with conference educational leaders in a mentoring relationship. Since this is an extra responsibility and extra work is involved, part of the leadership grant does include a small stipend for both the mentor and mentee. 

 Spiritual Wellness Program provides our current education leadership team of school principals and educational superintendents opportunities to grow in their spiritual development. The program starts with a focus on helping each school principal and superintendent identify personal spiritual growth areas. Gathering this information is done through conversations between the principal or superintendent and the VP for Education and confidential surveys. The principal or superintendent develops a personal Spiritual Wellness Plan that helps them to grow spiritually in the areas they have self-identified. Funds are then provided by the generous Oregon Conference church members to help each leader grow spiritually according to their Spiritual Wellness Plan.

Principals and superintendents were able to increase their pay by about $10,000 a year. Some had the Spiritual Wellness Grants directed to pay for the tuition of their dependents, some used part of it to become healthier, some donated it all to their schools, some used it to relieve some financial strain. 

The Rationale

I spoke with Angela White, associate superintendent for the Education Department, while she was driving to a school. She wanted to be fully transparent so that the rationale and success of the program is understood. 

A former principal, White’s been involved with finding ways to chip away at the systemic problems around school leadership for a while. “I started back when I was a principal, the year before I became superintendent,” she says. Working with Gale, we started what we called principal release time.” The conference formula currently states that schools received subsidy for a full-time principal once the school qualifies for seven teachers based on enrollment. White adds, “Well, between, you know, 25 students and 125 students, you have no extra financial support, which is insane. It's the most insane job we have in our organization.”

In 2019, White wrote a 93-page paper on the Spiritual Wellness Program while completing an MA in Educational Leadership. It explains some of the issues faced by the conference: 

“The pay-scale for all workers within the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, including pastors, is determined by the North American Division and can only be adjusted by cost-of-living factors. Because we exist solely for mission purposes and are funded by the tithe of constituent members, the only differentiation of pay is through level of degree or years of service. This means there are some cases where a teacher may be making more money than their principal or a teacher may move geographically to become a principal and receive less pay than when they were teaching.” She writes, “One-third of our 32 schools are one-room schools with one teacher and up to 20 students in various grades. The teacher is also the acting principal. Some of our one-room schools have additional aides and volunteers as well. One-third of our schools have two to six teachers each where one of the teachers is also the acting principal. The last third of our schools have full-time administrators without teaching duties. Our schools range from seven to 308 students in population.” These are 2019 numbers and the conference reported much higher numbers for 2022.

Principal retention rate before and during the Spiritual Wellness Grant program (research of Angela White)

White explains that it’s hard to attract teachers and administrators because working conditions can be difficult in small schools and pay is lower than in the public system. “If you’re graduating college and you are a beginning teacher in public school, you will make more than my highest paid teacher makes in Oregon,” she says, “and the disparity is getting wider.” White adds that over two-thirds of Oregon Conference principals have to teach classes in addition to carrying the responsibilities of a full-time principal. “If we are to find and retain highly effective leaders for Seventh-day Adventist schools, we will need to make some serious decisions regarding pay, work-load, and a supportive culture,” she says. “I am really interested by the history of the hospital system. What they had to do to find qualified administrators once they got to that crisis point. And I think education is in the same boat.”

In a conversation, White says, “Full-time principals in the Oregon Conference often carry several roles besides principal such as developmental director, vice-principal, marketing director, curriculum coordinator, etc.” Focused on finding some solutions, she cites an extensive series of studies showing that “a highly effective leader has been found to be the number one characteristic of a successful school.” She continues, “If we are to find and retain highly effective leaders for Seventh-day Adventist schools, we will need to make some serious decisions regarding pay, work-load, and a supportive culture.” Drawing attention to a “strong correlation between employee burn-out, annual income level, and family well-being,” she concludes that “pay, work-load, and job satisfaction are all factors that need to be considered if we want the job of being a Seventh-day Adventist principal to be attractive and sustainable.” 

In her MA thesis, White explains the grant program: 

During the 2018-2019 school-year a donor-based group along with my boss, the Vice President for Education in the Oregon Conference Office, initiated a Spiritual Wellness Grant (SWG) that was offered individually to school administrators. This optional program asked the principal to submit a plan that outlined their ideas for spirit, mind, or body renewal. They then could follow their plan and receive reimbursements for their receipts up to $10,000 for the year. Their plan could include many areas such as a family vacation, adding on a room to the house, helping pay for their child’s tuition, joining a club, or covering a wellness retreat.

Jenny Neil, 1st/2nd grade teacher and principal of Three Sisters Adventist Christian School, was part of the Spiritual Wellness Grant program. “It gave me a sense of, I'm a professional, and I'm valued because of the work that I do and because of the care I put into my job,” she says, adding that she has regularly worked 70 hours a week for the past 13 years. “I felt like somebody sees and hears the hard work and the effort that I'm putting in to make my school the quality school that it is.” She adds that hearing about the conference’s termination of Gale Crosby hit her like “a ton of bricks.”

She’s known him for thirty years. “He's this person that I've known since I began teaching, and he has never wavered from his drive and energy and passion for kids and to see them in the kingdom.” Her voice waivers. “I feel like we’ve had a death in the family.” 

“To see how he was treated. What words am I looking for? So beyond unacceptable,” states Bethany Edmundson, principal at the Riverside Adventist Christian School. “Mr. Crosby is a phenomenal leader, he leads by example. He's taught me how to lead the way that I believe Jesus led.” Edmundson is a good example of the ways that Adventist education has transformed in Oregon. Two years ago, Edmundson’s school had 35 students. According to conference guidelines, she would still need to split her time between the classroom and being principal. But due to the program that Crosby implemented and supported through donations, Edmundson is a full-time principal, and the school now has 100 students. 

Rita Barrett, a Spanish teacher who worked with Crosby when he was principal of Portland Adventist Academy, states, “As a teacher, I always knew I could count on Gale’s support, trust, and encouragement, both as my principal and as superintendent.” Also at PAA, Pastor Stephen Lundquist, who teaches Bible, writes that he’s known Crosby for nearly 13 years. “The Gale that I know publicly and professionally—leading meetings and communicating from the stage—is the exact same Gale that I am privileged to know privately and personally. He is the real deal as a leader, mentor, and friend. He does not simply serve, he has become a servant.” Another pastor, Dan George, who leads the City Sanctuary Adventist urban mission church plant in Portland, states, “Praise God for Gale’s foresight, insight, and leadership! It has been a privilege to know Gale Crosby as an educator and friend for the past 26 years. His love for teaching children about the love of God is well known in the North Pacific Union and beyond.” 

Merrill Caviness spent the last 13 years of his long career pastoring in the Oregon Conference. He says, “I have worked with a lot of conference educational superintendents in my 41 years and I can say that without reservation from my experience with Gale Crosby . . . that he is the best that I have worked with.” Caviness mentions an earlier initiative by Crosby called “Together As One” that other pastors and educators have mentioned. “It was refreshing.” Caviness reiterates, “In my 41 years, I have never seen a conference education department so stable.” Then he tells a story: “Our school, where I pastor, was in trouble. We were deciding whether to close because we were $200,000 in debt to the conference.” He points out that instead of having the conference education board meet at the conference office every other month, Crosby would take them to one of the schools and the school would host the board. He continues, “It was April 1, and they brought the school board chairman, the principal, and me up front. And then they handed us an envelope. And they told us that our debt was completely paid off. And at first, our principal said, ‘Is this April Fools?’ And then I can just say that tears streamed down all of our faces because we couldn't believe what God had done. We just could not believe that. And from that moment on, the whole spirit of the school turned round. We have tripled in size since then. In my experience, I have never seen before what God has done with our schools in the Oregon Conference over the last 9 years with financial stability, student enrollment, and mission.”

Principal sick days before and during Spiritual Wellness Grant program (research of Angela White)

“I worked closely with Gale at Hood View Junior Academy when he was principal there. I served on the school board, including several years as chairman of the school board,” states Pastor Tom White. “I have known Gale for over 25 years. My experience with Gale has shown me his overwhelming dedication to Adventist education.” Jim Robertson, who was employed by the Oregon Conference from 1969–2010, says, “I taught religion classes at Portland Adventist Academy from 1975–2009. Gale Crosby was principal the last seven years I was there. He was a person of moral integrity that brought warmth and caring to students, staff, and the greater Portland Adventist community. I am dismayed that he was so suddenly removed from his educational leadership at the Oregon Conference.”

A graduate of Portland Adventist Academy, Greg Nakashima now works outside the state. He has worked with Crosby as a consultant, leading workshops and providing professional coaching for Oregon educators. Nakashima says, “There's been countless stories demonstrating his heart of service. He constantly supported his team—superintendents, principals, teachers. He is dedicated to providing the best education to every student in the Oregon Conference by empowering every leader.” He adds, “[Gale] is a champion for educators in the Oregon Conference. . . . In our culture where educators are generally underappreciated, underpaid, overworked, Gail understood that. He was a leader that did everything he could to appreciate and value his educators, knowing that if those educators were cared for and empowered, that would create a positive impact with every student that they were in touch with.”

Anita Molstead, who retired as associate superintendent in the Oregon Conference, says, “I worked with Gale Crosby quite closely on many projects over the years. . . . Words fail me as I think of raising money to pay off all the schools’ debts. That's only one example of how outside the box he is in his thinking and creativity. Never once did I question his integrity, his commitment to excellence, or his commitment to Jesus. He always would say, ‘it's all about the kids, it's all about the kids.’ I am still in shock over his abrupt firing and the irreparable damage to his personal and professional reputation. I believe it's one of the saddest incidents in the history of Oregon Conference.” Karie MacPhee, principal of Klamath Falls Adventist Christian School, states, “I really don't think that I would currently be an Adventist educator, let alone administrator, if it wasn't for the [Leadership Development Program]. The bottom line is that Gail exudes Jesus more than anybody that I have had the privilege of knowing. He is just an incredibly kind, gracious, and humble person. And his caring compassion for people, especially the kids that we teach, is unmatched.”

An educator, Ann Campbell, says, “I was very distraught. . . . Another magazine, I felt, did a hit job.” She states, “I've known Gail for over 25 years. We work[ed] together in Portland as principals.” Warren Minder, who was most recently special assistant to the vice president for education in the Oregon Conference, states about Crosby: “He was very honest.” Minder adds, “The teachers and principals appreciated the fact that he had an interest in their professional growth and in their spiritual growth. And not only was his interest there, but he did things that helped them have the ability to grow, and that's where the finances came in. He had people that would donate for a program that assisted them over and above what the denomination could do.”

The next Oregon Conference constituency session is September 19, 2022. Because of the timing and the career-destroying language around the Gale Crosby termination, the Oregon constituency clearly has questions for the conference president. In addition to following the money, there’s another clichéd phrase in journalism. What did the president know and when did he know it? In this case, it might apply. How did millions of donor dollars flow through the conference long before the president brought it to the attention of the executive committee? What did Dan Linrud know and when did he know it? Answering the swirling questions might help restore some trust as the constituents consider their own fiduciary role in the Oregon Conference going forward. 

On April 28, the Oregon Conference elected a new vice president for education. Previously, Brandon O’Neal had been a part-time conference superintendent and also principal of Portland Adventist Elementary School. As such, O’Neal benefited from the Spiritual Wellness Grant program. 


Alexander Carpenter is executive editor of Spectrum

Title image courtesy of Gale Crosby

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