In the 2014-2017 Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, the General Conference has refused to publish the name of “Elder” Dr. Sandra Roberts as President of the Southeastern California Conference. Not only has her name been excluded from the official yearbook, but Sandra Roberts has not received her “credentials” that the General Conference usually grants to conference presidents.
Those credentials are reserved for “ordained” ministers and because the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not officially ordain women into the ministry the General Conference hasn’t issued any to Sandra Roberts. In addition, the General Conference (GC) has refused to issue Sandra Roberts her ID badge that would allow her to attend the Annual Council Meetings, a right given to all the other conference presidents. By not being able to attend the Annual Council, Sandra Roberts, by default, is also excluded from participating in the General Conference Executive Committee sessions.
Below is the actual listing of the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) found in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. The yearbook lists the names of the SECC secretary, treasurer, assistants and vice-presidents, but it does not list the name of the president – Sandra Roberts.
This refusal by the GC to acknowledge one of its “duly elected” conference presidents has resulted in many other officers at the union level to protest the GC’s action. On Tuesday November 7, 2017, the Pacific Union President’s Council voted not to submit any of their names to be included in the Seventh-Day Adventist Yearbook in an act of protest. Three days later on November 10, 2017 the union office posted the following on their Twitter account:
Tweet 11/10/17 7:08 p.m.
This conflict over the yearbook is based upon the fact that the General Conference does not recognize women’s ordination. And because they will not recognize Sandra Roberts’ ordination, they also do not recognize her presidency. To acknowledge one is to affirm the other. Now it appears that other leaders within the church are refusing to have their names published in the Adventist yearbook as an act of solidarity with Sandra Roberts.
The entire issue of women’s ordination was decided at the 1990, 2005 and 2015 GC Sessions. On three different occasions women’s ordination was defeated. In 2015, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a world session voted 1,381 to 977 to not allow a measure that would have permitted the different world divisions to ordain women into the ministry.
This 2015 vote took place during the world session which only occurs once every five years. The decisions made during the world sessions in a general conference are considered the highest authority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Again, women’s ordination failed to pass for the third time.
What is complicating the relationship between the Southeastern California Conference and the General Conference is that Sandra Roberts has ordained women into the ministry AFTER the 2015 GC Session “No” vote on women’s ordination in San Antonio, TX.
She did this with the full knowledge and support of the union and division offices. The General Conference sees this as an act of defiance to the wishes and the unity of the world church. Below is a video of that shows “Elder” Sandra Roberts ordaining women into the ministry as an act of non-compliance to the 1990, 2005, and 2015 GC Session vote.