Breaking news Church governance Church Manual Commissioned minister Commissioned Minister Crisis Council of Adventist Pastors (CAP) GC session vote results General Conference General Conference Session 2015 San Antonio John Freedman North American Division (NAD) North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Upper Columbia Conference Washington Conference

John Freedman Elected NPUC President

Today (September 25, 2016), a majority of delegates to the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) constituency session, elected Washington Conference president John Freedman to be president of the NPUC. Freedman’s nomination, uncontested as the practice in all such elections, was accomplished by a vote of only 72 percent Yes. An unusually high margin of 28 percent of delegates voted No.
Freedman’s Washington Conference executive committee, just three months after the 2015 General Conference session decision in San Antonio, Texas, had voted into being a commissioned minister policy contradicting the voted policies of the world church. A similar policy voted by the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) executive committee had aroused several constituent churches of that Conference to vote a call for a special constituency session to reverse the policy there. Conference leaders there rescinded their policy in August, circumventing the special session.
Churches in Washington Conference had called on that Conference to rescind its errant policy. But the NPUC nominating committee, chaired by NAD president Dan Jackson, had nominated Freedman to be the next NPUC president on August 17. When Freedman’s executive committee met to consider the Washington Conference church’s request on August 23, it rejected the call to rescind. After Washington Conference leadership refused to meet with the churches which called for the policy to be rescinded, scores of members from those churches sent a letter to all the elders in the NPUC territory informing them about the policy and suggesting they contact delegates to urge them to learn about the Washington policy and its opposition to the General Conference.
In the subsequent two weeks before the Union constituency session, about a dozen constituent churches across the NPUC voted a respectful letter which they sent to their own delegates, urging them to refer the nomination back to nominating committee.
The segment of the constituency meeting dealing with the nomination for the presidency was chaired by NAD president Dan Jackson. The parliamentary authority for the meeting is the General Conference Rules of Order (GCRoR). These rules state that

“6. If there is objection to a part or the whole of the Nominating Committee report, the objector(s) may request that the report (not an individual name) be referred back to the Nominating Committee for further consideration. It is the usual procedure for the chair to accept the referral; however, if the request becomes a motion, it is nondebatable and is decided by simple majority vote” (General Conference Rules of Order, sixth ed., Elections, p. 5).

Thus, a delegate who has the floor may request that the nominating committee report be referred back to the committee, and the chair, if he followed “the usual procedure,” would be obliged to accept the referral. Jackson, doubtless aware that objection would be made, preempted this option by asking the assembled delegates whether they wished any referral to happen without a motion, or any referral to be processed as a motion. This request surprised the delegates and for several seconds the hundreds assembled said nothing. In effect Jackson was preempting the option to simply refer. (To turn the referral into a motion would almost certainly guarantee its defeat, since 50+% would have to vote yes on the motion without understanding the reason for the referral.) At this point, delegate Jim Brackett stood and moved that the first option (simple referral) be used. This was seconded and then voted upon. The motion was defeated.
Multiple motions to refer the report back were made, but each defeated. The votes were in the 30-40 versus 60-70 percent range. One delegate on the floor stated to the assembled delegates that more than fifty pastors in the Union had objections to the nomination and sought again to refer it to committee. (There are around 200 church-employed pastors in the whole Union.) A majority of delegates, aware they were nominating a candidate whose conference’s policy rejects compliance with the world church, refused to let the nomination go back to committee. Concerns of delegates were blocked from being heard. In the end, Freedman was elected. Upon Freedman’s return to the room, as is customary, many stood to applaud his election, but half and perhaps more, remained quietly seated.
Freedman takes the helm during a time of crisis in the Adventist Church which has arisen because of the ill-advised actions of Conferences including Washington Conference, Unions, and Unions of Churches which have risen to oppose the decisions of the world church.
General Conference Annual Council 2016 comes in October.
NOTE: This article was edited September 27 and the sequence of events corrected and clarified. Information about the correction is posted in the comments that follow the article, as well as comments that have been sent to be posted.

27 replies on “John Freedman Elected NPUC President”

sad to see leadership and majority voting members working hard to destroy the NPUC by giving green light to people and practices that will likely rip our church into separate conferences and or independent churches by in effect giving middle finger to General conference vote .

“..and there were given to the woman two wings of the great eagle, that she may fly to the wilderness, to her place, where she is nourished a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent;
and the serpent did cast forth after the woman, out of his mouth, water as a river, that he may cause her to be carried away by the river..”

It was predicted.
If you read ch.12 chronologically you will notice that woman escaped two (!!!) times.
First time when papal Rome began to govern, and the second time when NWO with one world religion will come to power.

Dear – whoever wrote this article,
1st, I think if you hold a strong conviction to this topic, please own it and be willing to put your name to it. Take ownership of your belief.
I am not writing to challenge your thoughts on the outcome of the NPUC Constituency session, however I am writing to correct error in the report. I do not know if the person who wrote this attended the session Sept 25, but the information given to you, if you were not present, is inaccurate. This is unfortunate and casts a negative shadow that isn’t necessary.
Here are corrections. I clarify, I was present.
“when the delegate who made the referral (back to the nominating committee) Dan Jackson turned to the assembled delegates and anthem how to process the request”
BEFORE any nominated name was announced, President Dan Jackson came to the assembly and gave two options, the options used by the General Conference, on how to proceed should any delegate wish to refer the name back to the nominating committee.
a. Delegate stands at mic and requests referral. This person meets outside the room with Pres and Sec of NPUC and shares his concern. Then Pres and Sec decide if the point is valid and refers that person to meet with the Nominating Committee.
B. Delegate stands at mic and requests referral. With no further discussion this requests is voted by all the delegates as to whether it should be referred.
Dan Jackson went over this several times – to be sure, and asked us several times, if it was clear on the vote for the process of how to deal with referral requests. This is GC policy he was following.
He also reminded us that also from GC rules, is that no NAME was to be discussed at the mic and no issue to be said.
I felt as though Dan Jackson gave, in not so many words, encouragement for the body to allow people to share their concerns – either through A or B. Again, he reminded us what these votes meant.
We took a vote. Option B took the vote. So this meant the body of delegates would decide if there would be a referral back to the nominating committee.
Actually, the delegate, J.B. was the first to his feet and began by say that over 50 pastors shared his concern. Dan Jackson asked that he not commentate, but to simply state his point…which was to refer back to the committee. We voted. It failed.
There were point of order questions that kept coming up during the vote and someone suggested that this was a distraction and we should vote again. Elder Jackson thought that was reasonable – reminded us – asked us – if we understood the vote. We voted. It failed.
Someone else stood and asked again for this to be referred to the Nominating committee. Dan Jackson allowed another vote. We voted. It failed.
Then the pastor from Sandpoint stood and stated his disappointment that we as a body would not allow full transparency and that with so many concerned, we would not allow them to be heard. He asked if the vote could be taken yet again.
Dan Jackson said that perhaps Alvaro’s speech may have an affect on some and yes, he would allow the vote again. We voted and while the percentage shifted to a slightly higher percentage for “yes” to go to the NC, the “no” still failed the motion.
I am concerned that the error in the report casts the shadow on how Dan Jackson led this vote. He could not have been more clear, more fair, while still abiding by the GC rules of order. I am proud he is our president.
As to the standing ovation. I don’t know if it is customary or not to stand and applaud the election of a president. You state that many remained seated, “half and perhaps more” alluding that they were disappointed or did not agree. I will speak for myself and my family and would suggest that others may be with me on this.
I did not stand because:
a. I don’t think a standing ovation is called for for someone who has not done a job yet. It seems out of place to me. I would stand for an exiting President in appreciation.
But B: My vote helped to carry the “yes”, but I did not stand because of you. I thought it seemed disrespectful to stand when I knew there were disappointed people in the room. Just let the vote be announced without a “winners” fanfare. So don’t view my no-stand as a disappointed delegate. But one with some heart.
However, I am disappointed. I am disappointed in the great divide in our church and how this is being viewed by and how this affects our next generation.
In the Old Testament, Eldad and Medad begin to prophesy, prompting Joshua to ask Moses to stop them because these two former prophets had not been a part of the meeting of the seventy elders. They were not qualified, Joshua believed. Moses rebukes Joshua and says “would that all the Lord’s people were prophets…”
Meanwhile, in the New Testament, John expresses righteous indignation that a man who was “not following” them had the audacity to cast out demons in Jesus’ name. He didn’t have the requisite authority according to John’s way of thinking. Jesus tells John, “whoever is not against us is for us.”
The message for us today could hardly be more clear. God will use and does use people that perhaps are different than our tradition of our opinion would seem to allow.
For each person with their heart humbled and committed to the call of God on their life, may God bless and lead and empower with His Spirit. If we spent more time considering how God calls “ME” and get busy working within that calling…we would find ourselves uniting in His cause and fitting together like this body Christ calls us to be.
In a world gone crazy, we need us all. Children, men, women, youth.
God bless each one – and remember…God’s faithfulness to give us His guiding Presence is truth. I just need to get me, myself and I out of the way.
I’ll sign my name,
Patti Schultz – delegate, district 5

Since Ordination Truth is not known for putting names on their articles, I’m not sure if the person who wrote this was at the NPUC Constituency Meeting or not, but I do see some glaring inaccuracies in this report that I believe ought to be corrected.
1. It is stated that Freedman’s nomination went uncontested. That is obviously not true since three different delegates asked for the nomination to be referred back to committee. That would be blatantly contesting the nomination. It just turns out that the majority of the delegates disagreed with that referral. And we all knew why CAP wanted the nomination referred back to committee since each delegate received a letter stating your objections to his nomination. That, too, is a significant form of contesting a nomination. To suggest his nomination was uncontested is simply false.
2. This article states, “…when the delegate who made the referral had the floor, chair Dan Jackson turned to the assembled delegates and asked them how to process the request. This, too, is false. Before anyone made any referral – even before any nomination was formally brought to the floor – the chair, Dan Jackson, explained that GC Rules of Order allowed for two procedures for referring nominations back to committee and invited this body to vote on which procedure would be used. Again, the majority of the body chose one way and, while CAP may not like the procedure chosen, it was perfectly within the Rules of Order and was the preference of the majority. That’s how the democratic process works.
3. The article also states, “What General Conference rules of order declare would normally have been an automatic referral was soon transformed into a motion.” Again, like I said before, this statement is completely misleading. The GC Rules of Order allow for two different procedures. One of them declares a request for referral to be decided on by the chair and secretary. The other says the delegates as a voting body decide by voting on the request as a motion. And the delegates chose for referrals to be made as a motion. This did not “transform” into a motion; it was decided by the delegates that referrals would come in the form of a motion for the body to vote on.
4. The article states that, “Concerns of delegates were blocked from being heard.” This is only slightly true; referrals to committee were voted down. But that is different than saying that the concerns of the delegates were not heard. We ALL received letters expressing your concerns and were well aware of them. Your concerns were heard loud and clear.
5. The article reports that, after Freedman’s election, and during a standing ovation, “half and perhaps more, remained quietly seated.” The obvious insinuation is that at least 50%, maybe even a majority, were unhappy with the decision. I know for a fact, having talked to one delegate who did not stand, that they chose to remain seated out of respect for those who did not want Freedman elected. That person, however, is fully supportive of Freedman’s election and to suggest that their choice to remain seated indicates disapproval of his election is poor and false “reporting.” Besides, you still have the fact that a large majority voted in favor of his election.
Obviously you, whoever it is who wrote the article, are welcome to report and even interject commentary of disappointment with what happened at the NPUC Constituency Meeting. But it should be of utmost importance to you to report truthfully and accurately. This report has failed to do that several times and that’s unfortunate.

Patti, and Tye, we share your concern for accuracy. We have been in discussion internally to more correctly understand the facts and to correct errors in the initial report. Some have been traveling. Several CAP pastors were present in the hall during the constituency session. Because our articles and posts are almost always the result of the collaboration of several people, we rarely post author names. We do stand behind what we publish however, and you will find the names of current CAP pastors at this link:
CAP commented and reported on various actions leading up to this event. The letters from laypeople and churches that have circulated with concerns and objections are the product of those persons and not of CAP. CAP neither authored no published these documents. Links to URLs have been provided to one or both documents. Also, some individuals involved are also part of CAP.
Back to the session. Actually, even if the chair had not preempted the option to refer, which we think violated the goals of the rules of order to facilitate participation for informed decision-making by the delegates, it seems unlikely that the nominating committee would have done other than return the same name back to be voted on by delegates. In other words, those involved have told us they anticipated likely failure to defeat the nomination, but they acted anyway because they believed the nomination of this individual to be a grave mistake that would jeopardize the mission of the Church in the NPUC.
In the interests of transparency, the original paragraph that was in the article is included below:
“During the constituency meeting, several delegates sought to refer the nomination back to the nominating committee, but when the delegate who made the referral had the floor, chair Dan Jackson turned to the assembled delegates and asked them how to process the request. The result was predictable. What General Conference rules of order declare would normally have been an automatic referral was soon transformed into a motion. (Unlike a request to refer, a motion to refer would require 50 percent plus to pass, and with no debate.) One delegate on the floor stated to the assembled delegates that more than fifty pastors in the Union had objections to the nomination and sought again to refer it to committee. (There are around 200 church-employed pastors in the whole Union.) Repeated votes were taken. Delegates, aware they were nominating a candidate whose conference’s policy rejects compliance with the world church, refused to let the nomination go back to committee. Concerns of delegates were blocked from being heard. In the end, Freedman was elected. Upon Freedman’s return to the room, as is customary, many stood to applaud his election, but half and perhaps more, remained quietly seated.”

Adventist Today published a report, too, about the NPUC Constituency meeting, yet they named their major source for the content of that report. Why can’t Ordination Truth put a name or two or more on their articles to let us know who is contributing? Ordination Truth claims to be interested in transparency; let’s see it.
It’s interesting, by the way, that you point us to the list of CAP pastors which, interestingly, are not actually all pastors, at least currently. But perhaps even more concerning, not all those listed as CAP pastors were aware their name had been added to this list and some specifically do not want their name on this list or to be associated with the ideas presented by CAP. I do notice that one name has finally been removed in the last month or two, but there still remains at least one name with whom I have spoken who does not wish their name to be listed, doesn’t know how it ever got listed in the first place, and, unfortunately, cannot figure out how to get you to remove his name from your list. Though I only have immediate knowledge of one such individual, it does make me question the legitimacy of your list and the claim that “fifty” NPUC pastors were opposed to Freedman’s nomination.

Despite what you claim, not a single pastor has ever been added to the list of CAP pastors without their explicit consent. Generally speaking CAP has not actively sought pastors but they have contacted us. When they contact us we do our best to vet them before adding them. Every person on the list has served as a denominational employee carrying responsibilities as an elder, a pastor, or an ordained minister. We modify the list as persons ask to be added or subtracted. Many laypeople have asked how they could be added to the list but because it is a list of persons who have served in a specific capacity we have declined to include them. When pressure is applied externally and in consequence one asks to be removed, we immediately remove that name at their request. If you know of an individual who wants to be removed by all means have him contact us.
You might be interested to know that your own article has misrepresentations. For example, I don’t know of a single CAP pastor who is opposed to women serving as pastors. I don’t believe there is a single article on the website that advocates women not serving as pastors. But we are used to having our views misrepresented.

The article does not state that CAP pastors are opposed to women serving as pastors; it doesn’t even mention CAP, so therefore does not misrepresent CAP. Yet, it is not false to say that many in “the network” that opposed Freedman’s nomination are opposed to women serving as pastors because that inherently is a spiritual leadership position.
You say there are misrepresentations – plural. Perhaps you can help me know where else I have misrepresented. I certainly would not want to be responsible for inaccurate information.
Despite your claims that each CAP member has explicitly consented to their name being included in your list, there is one with whom I have spoken that was not aware even of the existence of such a list until I pointed it out and certainly does not wish for it to be on there since CAP views are not inline with his own.
Another pastor with whom I just connected with had his name on the list and asked for it to be removed. He confirmed to me today that his name had appeared on this list without his consent or knowledge and that he only became aware of it recently because someone who was concerned about it asked him about it. This was the first time he had been alerted to his name being on any such list. To CAP’s credit, his name was removed.
What I find interesting in your response is that you imply the only reason one would want their name removed is because of external pressure to do so.

The vote was 60% no referral back to committee and 40% yes. Although the issue failed there were a fair amount of people who are not happy with Brother Freedman. He should find out these concerns and address them. He has work to do in order to insure unity.

To say that 40% voting for the nomination to be referred back to committee indicates “a fair amount of people who are not happy with Brother Freedman” is an inaccurate and misleading statement. It simply means that 40% were willing for the objectors to state their objection.
Remember, only 28% actually voted against Freedman’s nomination. It’s a clear minority of those who are actually opposed to Freedman being NPUC president. (AND, there’s a chance that of those 28%, not all share the same objection to Freedman’s stance on women in ministry.)

Say what you will but I was also there as an observer. To me, it was confusing, to say the least. No matter which option would have been chosen it appears to me that no discussion of Freedman would have been allowed from the floor. Either option, as it was obvious to me, gave only a referral back to the committee but no discussion of Freedman’s name. Obviously transparency was not to be observed. Option one was to let Jackson and one other decide if the nomination was to be referred back. Option two allowed the referral back by the floor’s majority vote. Yet, neither allowed open discussion of Freedman’s name. That is not transparency!
Given Freedman’s history of going against the GC vote (three times now) Jackson capitalized on rules to keep people quiet because he (Jackson) tried to do the same against the GC vote himself. It all resolves around the issue of Women’s Ordination. It has nothing to do with abilities or cultural qualifications but everything to do with Biblical fidelity. What part of “The husband of one wife” in 1 Tim 3:2 is so difficult to understand. Most 3rd graders understand this principle.

The only clear defense for WO that has ever been offered by anyone was offered by Torkelson. “There are no barriers to prevent WO” (para). Every doctrine we hold can be substantiated by illustrations and commands but WO has neither. In my estimation that is a Biblical “barrier” to WO. I was dismayed by so many who clapped their approval after this statement was made by Torkelson in Rebellion against the God of Heaven and the GC.

You are correct. There is no allowance by the General Conference Rules of Order to discuss the name of someone who has been nominated to a position. But this is not something you can blame Dan Jackson or the NPUC for. It is the parliamentary procedure of our world church’s General Conference.
Dan Jackson did not capitalize on parliamentary procedure. He simply followed it, just as he and the chairpersons of any church meeting ought to.

Would not a literal reading of 1 Tim 3:2 preclude unmarried pastors? Where is the outcry on that front? Surely there is ample evidence from the Catholic church that an unmarried clergy presents potential for abuse.

In this article it is said, regarding the GC Rules of Order on referring a nomination back to committee, “Thus, a delegate who has the floor may request that the nominating committee report be referred back to the committee, and the chair, if he followed ‘the usual procedure,’ would be obliged to accept the referral.” This is, again, an incomplete and misleading “report.”
It is accurate to say that the chair of a meeting like this typically accepts any requests for referral back to committee. However, the parliamentary procedure being used at NPUC Constituency Meeting also states, “7. A request or motion to refer should be based on information which the objector(s) may have and which could be helpful to the Nominating Committee. When referral is granted, all objections must then be made known to the Nominating Committee chair and secretary. In counsel with the chair and secretary, the Nominating Committee shall determine the procedure for hearing the objection(s) to the report.” (General Conference Rules of Order, sixth ed., Elections, p. 5)
Remember, Dan Jackson was the chair of both the NPUC Constituency Meeting AND the Nominating Committee that nominated Freedman. Thus, had the “usual procedure” for referring a nomination back to committee been used, Dan Jackson and the committee secretary would have been the ones deciding whether or not the objection was helpful to the committee. Almost certainly, Dan Jackson (along with EVERY OTHER DELEGATE) knew what the objections to Freedman’s nomination were and would have told the delegate(s) making the referral, when they stepped out of the room to allow the delegate to share their objection with the nominating committee chair (Dan), that the objection was already known by the committee and had been discussed and would therefore be unhelpful and the referral would have died there.
You may recall this being nearly identical to the referrals of TNCW’s nomination back to committee at GC last year. Neither delegate, if I recall correctly, was given the opportunity to voice their concerns to the nominating committee. The referral was allowed by the meeting chair which meant the delegates got to talk to the nominating committee chair and secretary who told the delegates their information was not new and would not be helpful to the nominating committee.
What Dan Jackson did was allow the entire body to decide whether or not a nomination should be referred back to committee through a vote of the body rather than by a decision made by himself and the secretary. Had Dan Jackson used the “usual procedure,” Ordination Truth would certainly be declaring that Dan Jackson had, as nominating committee chair, personally disallowed the referral to go back to committee.
Seems to me that CAP is giving no option where Dan Jackson could have done the “right thing,” as CAP sees it. Either, Dan Jackson, as nominating committee chair, would be personally responsible for the referral going back to committee or, as NPUC Constituency Meeting chair, would be responsible for allowing the delegates to decide which parliamentary procedure to use which resulted in the body disallowing the referral to go back to committee.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. CAP must really have a passionate dislike for Dan Jackson.

Is it really fair, Tye, to predict what delegates would have done, or what CAP would have reported about Dan Jackson?
If you want facts, realize that the NPUC has elected as its leader someone who presided over his conference adopting a policy that placed it in opposition toward the General Conference. But there are numerous Adventist members within the NPUC who are absolutely and resolutely opposed to this defiance toward the world church. We are part of a world church; we would not stand by while a local Conference or Union becomes an offshoot.

Are you suggesting the delegates who tried to refer Freedman’s nomination back to the nominating committee would have been satisfied if they could have spoken privately with Dan Jackson and the secretary who would almost certainly have said that their objection had already been considered by the nominating committee? I highly doubt it.
Yes, I think my prediction is relatively fair.

By the way, you know who you are dialoguing with. I’m curious who I’m dialoguing with. Do you mind sharing your name so I know who is replying to me? We believe in transparency, right?? 🙂

Thank you, Tye, for taking the time to clarify this situation. I’m perplexed that CAP tends to want to operate anonymously.

I too was there and in the interest of transparency I felt that to vote against even letting the objection be heard was wrong. In the interest of ethics. Whether or not I agree with a view I need to let it be heard. Transparency doesn’t seem to be the order of the day with the NPUC either. To assume that others would not have been satisfied even if their voice had been heard is a poor assumption. We are a world church and things will not always go the way I want them to go because others disagree with me however as a member it is important to me to feel that someone at least listened and considered my point of view. If transparency were the case when the WO issue was being discussed initially you would have seen both sides being presented in the Gleaner. But that never happened nor will it happen. It’s not just transparency that is at stake in these things it is ethical behavior which seems to be lacking.

I wouldn’t say that the vote was to not hear the objection. The vote was, more realistically, to not hear the objection AGAIN. Every delegate received a letter from the objectors. Elders across the NPUC received letters explaining the objection with encouragement to speak to their delegates. The objection was very well known and the response of the body was, “We don’t need to hear it again.”

The article above states “Freedman’s nomination . . . .was accomplished by a vote of only 72 percent Yes. An unusually high margin of 28 percent of delegates voted No.” The author implies that John Freedman does not really have the mandate to lead the NPUC.
What about another vote more than a year ago in San Antonio: 58% to 42%? Is this a clear mandate for those who oppose women’s ordination to impose their view on the 42%. What would the author say if John Freedman was elected “by a vote of only” 58%?

Why is it that the GC vote to be followed is the demand of some – yet they are unhappy that Jackson was careful to follow the GC’s rules of order. Jackson encouraged dialogue, clarification and it seemed to me, in not so many words, that he thought we should allow people to share their concerns. So, I encourage consistency in what GC rules mean to you.

In the midst of accusations and counter-accusations and widespread distrust and division, should the leadership including Freedman have asked how best to bring about unity to fulfill our mission? Even if there are only 28% opposed to having Freedman as their leader will he be able to lead the union? Can he function as the spiritual leader when there is a sizable number who do not respect him? It seems like gaining a majority and grasping power is all Freedman is interested in. A man of God would have bowed out on moral grounds. How will he spiritually lead a divided people when he is part of the problem? I speak as an outsider watching the squabbles and political games being played in the church. Most shameful and sad.

Let us be careful of reading Elder Freedman’s heart motives. We cannot do that. He should be treated respectfully.

I have known John Freedman most of his life. Before he was baptized. He is a humble man with a heart to follow where God leads. I pray God blesses this newest phase of his ministry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.