Washington Conference Elects a New President
Conference President Election Process
So what goes into a mid-term presidential election process? Scroll through this a photo gallery infographic to learn more about how Washington Conference's new president, Doug Bing, was elected on Dec. 13!
Step 1 – Gather Names
When a presidential opening occurs mid-term, the election process happens a bit differently (but still rather similar) compared to how a leader is nominated and elected at a full constituency session held every five years in Washington Conference. In the first step, the North Pacific Union Conference gathered suggested presidential candidate names from conference constituents. Washington constituents submitted 30 names of high-quality leaders!
Step 2 – Reference Names
The North Pacific Union Conference contacted each of the 30 suggested candidates to gauge their interest in having their name considered to be Washington Conference president. Fifteen of the suggested candidates withdrew their names. The remaining 15 candidates submitted their résumés and were fully referenced.
Step 3 – Résumé Review
On the day of election, Washington Conference executive committee members (leaders elected as representatives from Adventist churches in western Washington) were invited to come two hours early to individually review candidate résumés.
Step 4 – Worship & Prayer
Special guests – usually new pastors in Washington Conference or school groups – traditionally open an Executive Committee meeting with worship and prayer. The pre-scheduled guests for December 13 were Buena Vista Elementary School’s fourth grade ukulele choir. (You’ll likely notice in photos that committee members are wearing a flower lei. This is why!)
Step 5 – Visioning Discussion
The election process was chaired by the North Pacific Union Conference president. He also brought two additional administrators to attend the meeting and provide administrative support. The election process, like all personnel matters, was a “closed door” session. Only members of the conference executive committee were involved in this meeting. NPUC leaders led a small group discussion about the perceived needs of Washington Conference and a desired vision for the future. This helped the committee to identify which leaders would likely be the best fit to serve as president. This time of visioning began around 10 am. Committee members later described this visioning time as being very open, fair and transparent. Every voice had an opportunity to speak and offer a variety of viewpoints.
Step 6 – Candidate Review
Sometimes, in some circumstances, the union leaders can shorten the list of suggested candidates. Not this time! They brought all 15 candidate names! The committee collectively reviewed candidate résumé profiles one by one. This process began just before lunch, resumed after a 45 minute lunch break and continued through the afternoon. For candidates in the room, when their name was presented, they were asked to step out of the room.
Step 7 – Prayers Before Votes
The whole day was a very methodical process filled with prayer. With the candidate review completed, the committee prayed before each round of voting. The committee wanted to seek God’s blessing in the voting process to help select the right leader.
Step 8 – Rounds of Voting
Following prayer, the list of 15 became a list of seven. The list of seven was supposed to become a list of three. There was a tie for the third candidate name, so the top four names went into the next voting round. The rounds of voting came down to the top two candidate names. This was an “up/down” vote.
Step 9 – Election of President
Washington Conference’s Executive Committee nominated and elected Douglas L. Bing to serve as president. The election came at 3:45 pm with claps of appreciation and congratulations.
Step 10 – Duties Begin
Bing’s transition was immediate. He was invited into the president’s seat at the table and immediately began chairing the remaining committee agenda of ministry matters. (The meeting was briefly paused so Bing could call his wife.) The meeting concluded with prayer around 5:45 pm and the official presidential announcement was released just after 6 pm. The next full constituency session with election of leaders will be held in 2019.