Ted Wilson 101

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Ted Wilson has been president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since 2010. He’s loved by many and loathed by some. Here’s a primer on someone who will likely be the longest-serving GC president in Adventist history.

Wilson’s been GC President for longer than the current pope has been in office.

Wilson was voted in as GC president in 2010, so has served as head of the church for longer than Pope Francis has been pope and longer than Pope Benedict XVI before him was in office.

Wilson’s dad was also GC president.
Neal C. Wilson
Image: ANN
Wilson’s dad, Neal C. Wilson, was GC president from 1979–1990.

Wilson is against women’s ordination.
Wilson at the 2015 San Antonio General Conference Session where delegates voted not to allow regions of the church to decide for themselves on whether to ordain women as pastors.
Image: ANN
Wilson is vehemently opposed to women’s ordination. He has attempted to punish Adventist unions that have ordained female ministers.

He likes this look
Wilson at the Battle Creek-based 2018 Annual Council.
Ted Wilson urged GC Executive Committee members to grow beards for Annual Council (the main annual denominational administrative meeting) in 2018. The look was supposed to pay tribute to the pioneers on the 155th anniversary of the founding of the Adventist Church in Battle Creek in 1863

Doesn’t mind having pictures TAKEN with politicians
Wilson with former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Image: Adventist Review
Ted Wilson and his wife Nancy with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Image: Newz Post
Some object to Wilson’s practice of meeting heads of state because of their political history. Others feel it’s part of the job and Wilson is building helpful bridges.

Big on evangelism and revival

Employing a variety of slogans like “Total Member Involvement” and “I Will Go”, Wilson has championed massive public evangelism efforts around the world. Membership is currently at about 22 million globally.

Ted Wilson with tribal gifts he got visiting Mangosuthu Buthelezi, prince of the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa.
Image: Facebook/Ted Wilson
It’s no secret that the Adventist Church is very divided on how to feel about Wilson as GC President. Adventists in the Global North often complain that Wilson is too conservative, too opposed to women in ministry, too bent on having his way. Meanwhile, Wilson’s traditional stances on Ellen White, prophecy, Adventist lifestyle and LGBTQ issues are widely appreciated in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Wilson was re-elected for a third term as GC presidential term by a substantial majority of delegates at the 2022 GC Session.

He’s big on distributing copies of the Great Controversy to the public –
Wilson praying by a stack of Great Controversy books.
Image: Spectrum
The Great Controversy is a marvelous book. I believe every word in this book. I support it and I promote it—the full and complete book,” said Wilson in remarks that were also posted to his Twitter account as he promoted the distribution of the Ellen White classic.

“We’re planning two years of massive distribution of millions upon millions of the full, large Great Controversy in 2023 and 2024. It has already been voted and is called, The Great Controversy Project 2.0. We are talking about distributing up to 1 billion copies,” said Wilson.

He appeared to be in favor of COVID-19 vaccines

Wilson may be seen by Adventist liberals as a conservative but he upset many Adventist conservatives by not-so-subtly promoting the use of COVID-19 vaccines. What’s that line about not being able to please everyone all the time??

We are all grateful he styles his hair differently now. This look was wisely abandoned.



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