by Monte Sahlin
From TED News, July 10, 2014
Pastor Raafat Kamal has been elected president of the Seventh-day Adventists denomination’s Trans-European Division (TED). He was nominated by the TED executive committee on June 27 and confirmed by the General Conference (GC) executive committee this morning.
“I am honored to be selected for this position and I accept it with sincere gratitude,” said Kamal. “I look forward to working with the TED team, union conferences and fields, and institutional leaders to make God known among our communities in Europe and bring glory to His name. I approach this new task prayerfully.”
Kamal’s appointment follows the 19-year tenure by Dr. Bertil Wiklander, the longest serving president of the TED. He decided to retire effective the end of this month and will return to Sweden where he was born and served as president of the Adventist denomination for a number of years.
Wiklander commented, “I am delighted with the choice of my successor, Pastor Raafat Kamal. We have worked closely together for several years, and I know him as deeply committed to the church, its message and mission. He has a broad education and a wide international experience. Rarely has a division president come to his position with such deep knowledge of the division he will serve. He combines a brilliant mind with extraordinary humility. I know his great burden is to see the church grow in Europe. I will give him all my support in the future. I wish him and Heidi, his wife, God's abundant blessings.”
Kamal is 50 years of age and originally from Lebanon. He has lived and worked in England, Norway, Pakistan and Iran. He married Heidi Kamal Kendel, from Norway, a registered nurse, in 1987. The couple have two daughters.
Kamal holds university degrees in business and theology and four graduate degrees in Christian theology; educational administration and curriculum; Islamic philosophy and theology; and business administration. Kamal spent four years as an educator in Adventist schools and 18 years in church administration. He served the last seven years was assistant to the president in the TED. He also directed the TED departments of Adventist mission, public affairs and stewardship.
Pastor Ted Wilson, GC president, chaired both the meeting where Kamal was nominated and the meeting where he was confirmed. "It is a privilege to have Pastor Raafat Kamal as the new president,” Wilson stated. “We welcome Pastor Kamal to the senior leadership team. … We also take this opportunity to thank Pastor Bertil Wiklander … for his many years of service and leadership.”
The TED includes Adventist churches and institutions in 23 European countries with a population of 202 million people and a membership of 84,000. There are 11 union conferences and three mission fields. The TED office is located in St. Albans, United Kingdom, and outer suburb of London.
TED News is the official news service of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination's Trans European Division.