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Vandeman Elected Union Executive Secretary

Story by Celeste Ryan Blyden


Columbia Union president Dave Weigley congratulates new union executive secretary Rob Vandeman.

The Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee today elected Robert T. Vandeman executive secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the eight-state, mid-Atlantic region.

“Rob brings to the table a depth of experience that will bring real value to our union,” says Columbia Union president Dave Weigley. “He is a seasoned administrator and has a balanced approach regarding the mission of the church.”

Vandeman began his ministry 40 years ago, pastoring churches in Colorado, Minnesota and Maryland, where he spent 12 years as senior pastor of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md. In 1995 he joined the conference leadership team, serving as executive secretary for 10 years and president for the past five.

“Not only am I honored and humbled by the confidence shown in me for this position, but I am excited about the opportunity to be actively engaged in a wider sphere of ministry,” Vandeman said after accepting the call. “I want to be a supportive presence to the conferences and institutions throughout the Columbia Union.”

As part of his duties, Vandeman will serve on a number of boards and committees and assist Weigley in providing administrative leadership and support to the union’s eight conferences, two healthcare networks, medical college and university. His office will record and archive minutes, policies and resolutions of the union and see that each entity abides by their respective constitutions and bylaws.

He plans to take up his new role later this summer and serve the 2011-2016 term left vacant last month when Neville Harcombe died. During his transition, Edward Motschiedler, former union executive secretary, is serving as interim secretary.