Jackson to Retire as President of the Adventist Denomination in North America
1 November 2019 | Pastor Daniel R. Jackson told the members of the North American Division (NAD) governing committee this morning that he will retire as NAD president at the General Conference (GC) Session next summer. He will have served for two terms since he was elected in 2010 during a time of increasing tensions between the NAD and the GC.
Debra Brill, one of the vice presidents of the NAD, is retiring at the end of this year and her successor was elected this morning. Pastor Bonita Shields, stewardship director for the NAD, will take over Brill’s role as vice president for ministries.
Jackson was president of the Adventist denomination in Canada when he was first elected NAD president. Prior to that he had been conference president in British Columbia and the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference. He was a pastor in Canada for many years and served five years as a missionary in India as pastor of the college church and a religion professor at Spicer Memorial College.
An outspoken supporter of including women in the ministry of the Adventist Church and a staunch advocate for the independence of denominational units to meet the needs within their territories, Jackson is above all a believer in the love of Jesus Christ. He had a rocky upbringing with an Adventist mother and an atheist father, but made a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus when he met Donna, who became his wife. They are the parents of three and grandparents of four. He is age 71.
Brill has served the NAD since 1998, providing administrative oversight for 15 ministries in Bermuda, Canada, Guam, Micronesia and the United States. These include Adventist Community Services, Adult Ministries, Children’s Ministries, Deaf Ministries, Disabilities Ministries, Family Ministries, Health Ministries, Hope for Humanity, Philanthropic Services for Institutions, Prayer Ministries, Resource Development, Special Projects, Stewardship, Women’s Ministries and Youth & Young Adult Ministries.
Before joining the NAD officer group, Brill was a department director in the Pacific Union Conference and executive director for research and development for the Church Resources Consortium. Earlier she served as associate director of church ministries in the Potomac Conference, as well as an assistant to the conference president for special projects. She is married to George, associate director of IT for the NAD, and they have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Shields has been part of the NAD staff since February 2016. Prior to that she was a pastor, an assistant director in the GC Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department, and an editor for a number of denominational publications, including the Collegiate Quarterly, the Adventist Review and Adventist World.