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8-12-15 Gary Thurber Selected as New President for Mid-America Union
by Brenda Dickerson
Since 2013 Thurber has served as executive secretary of the Lake Union Conference. Prior to that he was president of the Rocky Mountain Conference headquartered in Denver, Colorado. North American Division president Dan Jackson, who chaired today’s meeting, said he is delighted with the committee’s choice and believes Thurber will bring exceptional qualities to the presidential position.
“Gary is a deeply spiritual and effective leader for Christ,” said Jackson after the secret ballot votes were counted. “Mid-America Union has just voted a prince to be their president. I have every confidence in Gary.”
During the meeting, committee members were challenged to list desirable traits in a president and consider the needs of the entire union. Several times throughout the day the group paused for both small group and corporate prayer. During a phone conversation with Jackson immediately following the vote, Thurber said he was “deeply honored” to have been selected by the committee to return to Mid-America.
Union College president Vinita Sauder said, “I look forward to working with Elder Thurber as the chair of the Union College Board of Trustees, and I’m confident he will be a strong supporter as we build the future of Union and continue to provide an extraordinary environment for the education for our students.”
Brad Forbes, director of AdventSource said, “Gary’s wide range of ministry experience will be a blessing to AdventSource. I am looking forward to working with him.”
Thurber began his ministry as a teacher at Redwood Academy in the Northern California Conference. From there, he served as an associate pastor and assistant director of Northwest Ministries Training Center at the Kent Church in the Washington Conference.
Ordained in 1987, Thurber has served as a pastor in the Kansas-Nebraska, Florida and Michigan Conferences. His assignments in the Michigan Conference also included director of Youth, Camp and Family ministries and, later, assistant to the president for administration. He has also served as president of the Indiana and Northern New England conferences.
Born in Stoneham, Massachusetts Thurber completed his bachelor’s degree at Southern Adventist University and earned his master’s degree in religion at Andrews University. He currently is enrolled in the PhD Leadership program at Andrews University.
Thurber is married to the former Diane Wynn. They have two adult sons.
Brenda Thurber is communication director for the Mid-America Union and editor of OUTLOOK magazine.