World Fed names new General Secretary

World Fed names new General Secretary

Feb 21, 2014

World Fed names new General Secretary

by Janet Thorngate


Pastor Andrew Samuels, World Federation Vice President for North America and pastor of the Miami, Florida, Seventh Day Baptist Church, was elected General Secretary by majority vote of the World Federation member conferences in December 2013. As required by WFed bylaws, the vote was by mail/email ballot following recommendation of the full executive committee.

In October the executive committee accepted with regret the resignation of General Secretary Jan Lek who had served in the office since election at the 2008 sessions. His resignation, mainly for health reasons, was effective January 1.

“We have been fortunate,” says President Dale Thorngate, “in having Pastor Lek’s service for the past five years because of his long-term relationship with the Federation and his international experience. We are equally fortunate to secure the committment of Pastor Samuels, who brings Federation experience and valuable cross-cultural skills to our work.”


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Andrew Samuels has been serving as pastor of the Miami SDB Church since June 1988. Born on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean, he grew up as a third-generation Seventh Day Baptist and migrated to the United States when he was 20 years old. He made his first public profession of faith at age 11 and was baptized a few months later at his home church, Mountain View SDB.

His very first experience with the SDB World Federation was in 1986 when the Sessions were held in Rhode Island in the U.S. He was living in New York City and working as part of the diplomatic delegation of the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations. He was able to borrow a flag from each WFed country’s Mission located in New York City and that enhanced a beautiful parade of flags at the Sessions.

He also attended the World Federation Sessions in 1997 as an Observer, in his native land of Jamaica. Three years prior to that, his local congregation in Miami seized the opportunity to nurture a church in Haiti which had recently decided to become Seventh Day Baptist. Since then, he has made about 10 trips to that country.

In 2003, he regards it as an absolute privilege to travel to Brazil for the World Federation Sessions there, and his passion to become a world-class Seventh Day Baptist was greatly enriched. At that Session, he was elected as Vice-President for North America. He was re-elected to that office in 2008, the year when he also served as President for the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of USA and Canada.

In addition to 25 years of pastoring the Miami Church, he has done a short-term pastorate at the Mill Yard SDB Church in London, England, as well as pastoring SDB Churches in New York City, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

He believes that his international experience at the United Nations, his relationships with the SDB Churches in the U.S. & Canada, England, Brazil, Malawi, Jamaica, and Haiti, plus his attendance at the past three Sessions of the SDB World Federation, have prepared him well to serve as General Secretary for this fraternal organization. He aims to help the Federation to achieve its vision of quality communication services, meaningful fellowship, the coordination of mutual endeavors, and the promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Samuels has a Bachelor’s degree from Miami Christian College, and has done graduate studies at Knox Theological Seminary. He is also a graduate of the SDB T.I.M.E. Program, and has served as an Instructor at both the Florida Leadership Training Institute and the South Atlantic Leadership Training (SALT) Institute, ministries of the South Atlantic Association.

He was the author of the 2007 World Federation-sponsored SDB Week of Prayer booklet, and has also authored one book, From The Foundation To The Pinnacle, which chronicles three decades of history of the Miami Seventh Day Baptist Church (1981-2011). He has been married to Kay, an educator, for 30 years, and they have two daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren.

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