28 April 2021 | The General Conference Executive Committee voted Stanley Arco to the position of South American Division President on April 22, 2021. The vote took place after the executive committee of the South American Division (SAD) recommended Arco for the role.

Arco, a Brazilian, replaces former SAD President Erton Köhler (another Brazilian), who was voted to the position of General Conference Executive Secretary at the General Conference Spring Meeting on April 14.

According to an SAD news report, Edward Heidinger, executive secretary of the SAD, said there was unanimous executive committee support for Stanley Arco as the new president of the division.

According to the Adventist Review, Arco served as pastor in Brazil and then worked as youth ministries leader across several church regions for 17 years. Additionally he served as secretary of the South Parana Conference in southern Brazil and later as assistant to the SAD president.

“In 2011, Arco was elected president of the Bolivia Union, and in 2015, he became president of the Chile Union Mission. From 2019 through 2020, Arco served as president of the East Brazilian Union Mission. In August 2020, he was elected vice president of SAD,” said the profile of Arco in the Adventist Review.

The week before his selection as SAD President, Adventist South American News Agency (ASN) spoke to Arco about the challenges and opportunities for the denomination’s work in the future. Arco stressed the importance of study and teaching of the Bible, as well as digital media outreach and service to humanity.

According to June 30, 2020, data from the denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, the SAD has 14,382 churches and a membership of 2,542,834. The division’s territory includes Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Image credit: Gustavo Leighton / South American Division News

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