On June 7, 2022, Richard Stephenson, director of Information Technology Services (ITS) for the North American Division, was voted associate treasurer, technology operations and strategy, by the General Conference in session.
He joins eight incumbents and is one of two newly elected individuals in the General Conference Treasury department. Josue Pierre, from the GC’s Office of General Counsel, is the other new associate treasurer for the General Conference. The incumbents include treasurer Paul Douglas; undertreasurer J. Raymond Wahlen II; associate treasurer George Egwakhe; associate treasurer Daisy Orion; associate treasurer, investments Timothy Hiroki Aka; and associate treasurer, IPRS German Lust.
“I am overwhelmed, partly terrified, partly excited, and partly heartbroken for leaving my family at the North American Division,” said Stephenson. “It has been a dream come true serving beside our fellow workers at the NAD. My team has been amazing. I'm very excited about the challenge ahead. But I'm sorry to leave as well.”
Stephenson shared that he is looking forward to this next role. “The pandemic has taught us that technology plays a critical role in the ministry and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I'm excited about the church embracing technology, creating points of connection within our communities and abroad — and taking the message of Jesus online to a world that needs a Savior.”
He added, “We need to be about our Father’s business. Jesus is coming soon. We need to be intentional about what we're doing — intentional about ministry, intentional about reaching the communities around us, making connections one on one.”
Stephenson accepted the call to serve as ITS director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America in 2018. Since that time, he has overseen the launch of the NAD Private Cloud, a colocation hosting service for Adventist organizations.
In 2009 Stephenson accepted the call to serve as associate director of IT for the Southern Union Conference, where he oversaw the launch of the union’s first hosting environment for their eight conferences. Under Richard’s direction, the Southern Union began to host centralized payroll and accounting at the union office, as well as many other services, on behalf of their conferences. Stephenson was asked to take charge of IT operations at the Southern Union in 2013, and served there as the director of IT Services for the next five years. During this period Stephenson pushed for centralization and standardization of services provided to the denomination.
In 2008, Richard transitioned to IT director for the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference. He was the conference’s first full-time IT director. Stephenson placed a significant emphasis on educational technology for the dozens of schools in the conference.
In 2005, while serving as chaplain, Stephenson became IT director for Madison Academy in Tennessee. Before that, he began working for the denomination in 1998, serving as chaplain and campus pastor for Madison Academy.
Stephenson graduated from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee with a degree in religion and education. He married Desiree Stephenson, and the couple has two boys.