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Norwegian King Honors Former World Church President

Story by Samantha Young; Photo by Megan Brauner
Published on 4/3/2012

According to a recent media release from the Royal Palace, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway has appointed Jan Paulsen, DTh, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. Paulsen, who served as General Conference president from 1998-2010, said the announcement was a surprise.

“What warms my heart is the accolade that came with the recognition—‘Service for the good of humanity,’” commented Paulsen, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md. “That is what the life of Christian service is all about.”

According to Tor Tjeransen, communication director of the Norwegian Union Conference, King Olav V founded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 1985, which is conferred on foreign and Norwegian nationals as a reward for their outstanding service in the interest of Norway.

Paulsen, a native of Norway, and his wife, Kari, will “go home” for the presentation ceremony, which will take place June 2. Their three adult children and grandchildren will be there to witness the special occasion.

This focus on the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a country where the national faith is Lutheran will be noticed. Reidar J. Kvinge, president of the Norwegian Conference, said, “It is a great honor for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway that the global service of Dr. Paulsen has been recognized in this way.”