Story by Shelley Nolan Freesland
The Adventist World Radio (AWR) Board of Directors has elected Duane McKey as the new president of Adventist World Radio, replacing Dowell Chow, who has served as president for the past six years. McKey has been director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as assistant to Ted Wilson, the president of the denomination, for Total Member Involvement since 2015. Prior to that, he was vice president of the Southwestern Union Conference in Texas, USA, and president of the Arizona Conference.
Chow is retiring in January, 2017, after 50 years of service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a variety of roles and countries. He first joined AWR in 2005, working as vice president for finance, before stepping into the role of president. Prior to that, he served in positions ranging from chief financial officer/treasurer of the Columbia Union Conference in Maryland, president of the New Jersey Conference, and stewardship, trust services and ministerial director, to senior pastor in Puerto Rico, and mission secretary/treasurer and Book & Bible house administrator in Venezuela. Over the years, he was an active member of multiple boards, including Washington Adventist University, Adventist Health, Washington Adventist Hospital, and additional health entities in New Jersey.
During his time at AWR, Chow was a tireless traveler. He hiked across mountains in Mexico to deliver audio players to isolated tribal villagers, baptized new Adventists in a muddy pit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, verified FM signals in the Canary Islands, helped train new producers for Bhutan, and more.
Under his leadership, AWR’s active broadcasts – heard via shortwave, AM/FM, and podcasts – grew by more than a dozen languages, including Dzongkha, Tibetan, Yemba, and Oriya. At last count, AWR’s daily podcast downloads had reached 18 million. Chow spearheaded the negotiations for the first Adventist FM broadcasts in India (which now serve millions of listeners in 22 major cities). He was thrilled to see plans for four production studios in mainland China become reality. He had a passion for the people of North Africa, and worked closely with the Spanish Union of Churches Conference on FM broadcasts that would serve listeners in multiple colloquial languages.
Chow says, “Serving the church through Adventist World Radio has been a privilege. It is a thrill to see the gospel commission being played out in the world, assisted by the ministry of AWR. I would like to express special gratitude to our faithful supporters. Brighter days are still ahead, and it is my prayer that under the leadership of our new president, AWR will grow and continue to be a blessing to world.”
AWR senior vice president Greg Scott says, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with Dowell, as God has used him a powerful way. As he and his wife, Heidi, move on to the next phase of their life, we truly wish them all the best and pray for God’s richest blessings upon them.”