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Christian broadcaster sued in child-sex case
Pastor affiliated with southern Illinois network accused of abusing teen in 2001

Posted June 24, 2011

By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune reporter

An international Christian radio and television network based in West Frankfort in southern Illinois and the brother of the network's founder were named in a federal child-sex-abuse lawsuit filed in Chicago on Monday.

Three Angels Broadcasting Network, or 3ABN, and the Rev. Tommy Shelton, the brother of the network's founder Danny Shelton, were named in the complaint filed by plaintiff Alex Walker, of Mattoon.

Walker, now 25, alleges that Tommy Shelton sexually abused him when he worked as a production assistant at 3ABN in 2001. Walker's lawyer, Jeff Herman, of Miami, said Shelton commuted to 3ABN from his home in Kentucky for the purpose of abusing Walker, which Herman believes makes the civil suit a federal case. read more

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Release Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Director Named for MDiv Program at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Berrien Springs, Mich.—Luis Fernando Ortiz is the new director of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He is replacing J. Michael Harris.

Ortiz says his goal is to equip, encourage and empower Andrews University students to pursue their academic and ministerial goals while experiencing a deeper relationship with Jesus. “We have almost 400 students in the MDiv program representing virtually every division of the world church. What a solemn opportunity and responsibility to impact the world for Christ as we train pastors and missionaries to finish His work,” says Ortiz

Ortiz himself is a graduate of the MDiv program. Following completion of his Bachelor of Theology from Central American Adventist University in 1989, Ortiz studied for a period of time at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before coming to Andrews University. In 1995, he completed his Master of Divinity at Andrews and in 1997, his Doctor of Ministry.

“The Seminary community is delighted to welcome Pastor Fernando Ortiz as the new director for the Master of Divinity program. He brings vast experience as a district pastor to this crucial function in the Seminary and his experience will also serve him well as he mentors and guides students who are preparing themselves for various aspects of ministry,” says Denis Fortin, dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.

During his 21 years of ministry, Ortiz has worked in a variety of pastoral roles in Honduras and Brazil in addition to the many years spent in Berrien Springs,Mich. From 1995–2000, he served first as the youth pastor and then as senior pastor at the Berrien Springs Spanish Church. In 2000, he relocated to serve as youth pastor and later interim senior pastor at the Battle Creek Tabernacle in Battle Creek, Mich. Since 2004, Ortiz has served as a district pastor for Bloomington and Bedford, Ind.

Ortiz has a wealth of experience in creating and growing new initiatives in a ministry setting. Most recently, Ortiz developed a church-led campus ministries program at Indiana University and established a senior youth ministry. His work as a youth and young adult pastor led to the creation of several new programs, including "Sabado Joven" (Youth Sabbath) a young adult ministry initiative geared to attract and retain youth in the local church. Later, Ortiz authored a published book by the same title.

Ortiz and his wife, Daniela, have a son, Daniel, and are expecting their second child this summer. They enjoy organizing mission trips to different parts of the world, combining their love for travel, languages, preaching and serving God.

Contact info: Keri Suarez, media relations specialist
Office: 269-471-3348; Cell: 574-210-3559; Email: ksuarez@andrews.edu

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Andrews University News Release:

Andrews Purchases Lake Union Conference Building

Berrien Springs, Mich.— In preparation for the July relocation of Griggs University & International Academy to the campus of Andrews University, Andrews has purchased the Lake Union Conference building, located adjacent to the University’s main entrance on Old U.S. 31. Ownership of Griggs University & International Academy was transferred to Andrews University in November, 2010. The physical move of Griggs to Andrews will take place next month, July 2011.

            According to Elder Don Livesay, president of the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Lake Union Conference building is far larger than is needed to carry out the current functions of their organization. “The Lake Union Conference is looking to establish a new headquarters more suitable and efficient to the size of ourstaff, but still in the Berrien Springs area,” says Livesay.

            When it was first announced that Griggs was moving to the campus of Andrews University, the Lake Union Conference offered to help with office space needs by leasing half of its building to the University, but eventually offered to sell the entire building. The purchase will be implemented over a period of a year and a half. During this time, Andrews University and Griggs Universitywill share the building with the Lake Union Conference. In time, the Lake Union Conference will move into a new building and Andrews/Griggs will then occupy the entire Lake Union Conference building.

            During the month of June, several University offices will relocate to the Lake Union building including the Office of Development, the Center for Distance Learning and Instructional Technology and Affiliations & Extension Programs. In July, new and existing employees of Griggs University will also move into the building.

            When fully implemented, this new facility will house the functions at Andrews University that are particularly are directed toward the University's external relations. Plans are also in place to more physically and aesthetically integrate the Lake Union building into the rest of the campus.

            “Although we will miss our good neighbors in the Lake Union Conference on our front lawn, as it were, I am pleased that in the long run the entire front of the campus will be University land and University facilities,” says Andreasen.

Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist church, located one-half mile east of the U.S. 31 Bypass in Berrien Springs, Mich.

Release Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Contact info: Keri Suarez, media relations specialist
Office: 269-471-3348; Cell: 574-210-3559; Email: ksuarez@andrews.edu