On May 4, 2021, Elder Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, announced his intention to retire from church employment. A new president will be elected at the union constituency meeting, August 15-16, in Tucson, Arizona.
For nearly 47 years, Elder Graham has been working in ministry for Jesus Christ as a pastor and leader within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
Fifteen of those years were devoted to the Pacific Union Conference, and for the past 13 years he has been its president.
Elder Graham has announced that he will conclude his service as president on August 16, 2021, at the election of the next president, and will officially retire on October 1, 2021. With gratitude for his servant leadership, compassion, friendship, and wisdom, we pray for God’s blessings for the Graham family in the coming years. We invite your prayers for the election process that is now underway and for the upcoming constituency session.
His letter to members of the Pacific Union Conference is published below:
Dear Members of Pacific Union Conference,
Solomon wrote, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, KJV).
For the last 46.7 years, I have been continuously employed in ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
For the last 15 years of that time period, I have been an employee of the great Pacific Union Conference, including the last 13 years as president of this wonderful field.
During this time, our team at the union has worked together to provide mission alignment, spiritual synergy with the seven local conferences, the Higher Education Entities (HEI), support for “creative” approaches, and more. (The space is too limited for a complete or detailed listing of all that is done.)
Particularly during the horrible pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, this team has worked to continuously provide financial support by re-directing the manner in which funds have been returned to the local fields.
I have been blessed by God to unexpectedly serve as the president of this union. While it was never my plan to serve as a union president, I recognize the truth of the Scriptures: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NLT).
However, as Solomon said, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
After much prayerful thought and consultation with others, especially my wonderful wife, Audrey, and our adult children, I have decided that it is time to close this chapter of my life.
Therefore, I will not be available for nomination to another term as president of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
I will conclude my full-time service to this great union on August 16, 2021, at the election of the next president. I will be available for a short time after that, if there is need of my services in transition to the next administration. I will take my accrued vacation time and officially retire on October 1, 2021.
My trust in the Great God of Heaven and His people leads me to believe that our constituents will follow God’s guidance in selecting those who will continue to lead the Pacific Union Conference.
May God bless the Pacific Union Conference!
Ricardo Graham, DMin