General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Seventh-Day Adventist Church logo.svg
Formation 1863
Type Religious/Non-Profit
Region served Worldwide
President Ted N.C. Wilson
Staff 400

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists[1] is the governing organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and administers the Church's operations world-wide. Its headquarters is in Silver Spring, Maryland.

General Structure[edit]

The General Conference is at the administrative head of the church, with multiple levels of organization beneath it. Each level is organized with a representative form of government constituted by the level beneath it, with the individual members of the Church forming the base level (see below for a complete list of all the organizational levels). For example, individual members form a local church and elect most of its leaders. Each of those members, however, would not carry a vote when it comes to electing leaders of the next level (the conference of churches). Instead, this process is usually carried out by having each church elect a number of delegates, who then carry a vote in the leadership election at the conference level. Thus, the overall system of government is not truly representative when considering more than just two adjacent organizational levels.

At the top, the General Conference elects the executive committee and officers to govern the Church until the next General Conference session. Six levels of Church structure lead from the individual believer to the worldwide Church organization:

The levels are:

  1. The Individual Members.
  2. The Church, consisting of its Members.
  3. The Conference, consisting of a number of local Churches in a given area.
  4. The Union Conference, consisting of a number of local Conferences.
  5. The Division, consisting of a number of Conferences.
  6. The General Conference, consisting of all the Divisions in the world. However, when a General Conference Session is held to determine major policy stances of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and elect its leaders, delegates from a number of the levels beneath the GC are usually sent to take part in the process.

The General Conference is overseen by an executive committee, headed by a President. The General Conference Session is a meeting held every five years, during which the executive committee and officers are elected by the use of nominating committees.[2] The most recent General Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States in 2010 and the next General Conference (the 60th) will be held in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2015.

Major entities[edit]

Divisions and Attached Unions/Fields[edit]

Educational institutions[edit]

The Seventh-day Adventist educational system is extensive worldwide, however only a few institutions are structured directly under General Conference oversight[3]


Official Meetings[edit]

The General Conference Auditorium is part of the headquarters building in Silver Spring

The General Conference holds three official meetings in which leaders from around the world meet to discuss the church's finances and resolve issues within the church.

The Spring Meeting is held every April at the World Headquarters to review the church's budget and finances.

The Annual Council is held the 2nd weekend of October at the World Headquarters to review policy items.

The General Conference Session is held every 5 years in a selected city to elect the world leaders and discuss and vote on the Church's doctrines and policies.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 39°3′40″N 76°57′58″W / 39.06111°N 76.96611°W / 39.06111; -76.96611