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GC Session Day 6: First Woman GC General Vice President Ella Simmons Retires


On the last day of the 2022 General Conference (GC) Session, 33 retirees were recognized during the Retirees’ Recognition ceremony. The retirees’ collective years of service totaled 1,383, according to the presentation shown during the ceremony. 

Ella Simmons, retiring as a GC general vice president, was one of the people recognized. Simmons is the first woman general vice president to serve the GC. She was first elected in 2005 in St. Louis, Missouri, and has served in the position for 17 years—three full terms and two extended years, as stated by GC Associate Secretary Gerson Santos, who presented the retirees’ names. 

Simmons grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and became a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church when she was 16 years old. According to the General Conference Leadership webpage, she has had previous experience as an educator and administrator, having served as chair for departments of education at Kentucky State University; associate dean at University of Louisville; professor at Oakwood College, now Oakwood University, and La Sierra University; academic vice president at Oakwood College, now Oakwood University; and provost and academic vice president at La Sierra University. 

An article written by Nicole Dominguez for ANN recognized Simmons’ work as an advocate in the Adventist church.

“As an advocate against classism, racism, nationalism, casteism, and sexism, Simmons has been a model vice president in ensuring the Adventist mission addresses social issues in a Christ centered way,” the article reads. “Her term has been used to glorify God and improve the church on a global scale.”

Simmons was recognized at the GC Session for 32 total years of denominational service.

Of all the retirees recognized, six served 50 or more years. L. James Gibson and Larry R. Evans were recognized for 51 years of service. Dowel W. Chow, Thomas Evans, Hiskia Missah, and Ekkehardt Mueller served for 50 years.


Full List of Retirees Recognized at the 2022 GC Session

Key: name, position at retirement, total years of denominational service

 Rudy R. Baloyo, Southern Asia-Pacific Division secretary, 39 years of service

 Rodney Brady, South Pacific Division treasurer, 41 years of service

 Mario E. Ceballos, GC Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries director, 35 years of service

 Dowell W. Chow, GC field secretary and Adventist World Radio president, 50 years of service

 Kwabena Donkor, GC Biblical Research Institute associate director, 22 years of service

 Cheryl Doss, GC Institute of World Mission director, 24 years of service

 Larry R. Evans, GC assistant to the president for Adventist Possibility Ministries, 51 years of service

 Thomas Evans, North American Division treasurer, 50 years of service

 L. James Gibson, GC field secretary and Geoscience Research Institute director, 51 years of service

 Stephen R. Guptill, Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 34 years of service

 Fred Hardinge, GC Health Ministries associate director, 40 years of service

 Wilmar Hirle, GC Publishing Ministries associate director, 37 years of service

 Daniel R. Jackson, North American Division president, 49 years of service

 Si Young Kim, Northern Asia-Pacific Division president, 44 years of service

 Linda Mei Lin Koh, GC Children’s Ministries director, 49 years of service

 Max W. Langi, Southern Asia-Pacific Division treasurer, 49 years of service

 Jairyong Lee, Northern Asia-Pacific Division president, 43 years of service

 Israel Leito, Inter-American Division president, 49 years of service

 Mike Lekic, GC Education associate director, 35 years of service

 Saustin Mfune, GC Children’s Ministries associate director, 38 years of service

 Hiskia I. Missah, GC Stewardship associate director, 50 years of service

 Selvin Moorthy, Southern Asia Division treasurer, 44 years of service

 Ekkehardt Mueller, GC Biblical Research Institute associate director, 50 years of service

 Gan-Theow Ng, GC executive secretary, 48 years of service

 James R. Nix, GC field secretary and White Estate director, 49 years of service

 Janet R. Page, GC Ministerial Association associate secretary, 22 years of service

 Jerry N. Page, GC Ministerial Association secretary, 48 years of service

 Orville D. Parchment, GC field secretary and assistant to the president, 42 years of service

 Ruth Parish, GC Human Resources director, 37 years of service

 Juan Prestol-Puesan, GC treasurer, 49 years of service

 Ella Simmons, GC general vice president, 32 years of service

 John H. Thomas, GC associate secretary, 44 years of service

  Brad Thorp, GC field secretary and assistant to the president, 38 years of service


Megan Yoshioka is a reporter for Spectrum and a recent mass communication-writing/editing graduate from Southern Adventist University. She has lived in California, Hawaii, and Tennessee.

Title Image: GC Vice President Ella Simmons chairing a business meeting at the 2022 GC Session. Photo by Tor Tjeransen / Adventist Media Exchange (CC BY 4.0).

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