New Northwest Leadership Roles
Dick Duerksen is the new Oregon Conference assistant to the president for creative ministries. In this role he will focus on new ways of telling the stories of grace-driven Adventistism within the conference.
Duerksen and his wife, Brenda, retired in January 2015 from their respective roles as host for Maranatha Mission Stories and clinical coordinator for Maranatha Volunteers International mission trips. However, for them, “retirement” did not mean moving into a retirement home and raising orchids. Instead, they have spent the past year speaking for camp meetings and weekend spiritual retreats, serving as photographers and story catchers for the Adventist Review, and editing a new book: Stories That Will Set Your Life on Fire.
Duerksen describes himself as an “itinerant pollinator of grace.” During 45 years as a Seventh-day Adventist preacher, pastor, and administrator he has carried the Good News around the world. He is also a professional photographer whose photos help bring calm, peace, and healing into many hospitals and clinical offices.
Brenda is a registered nurse and alto musician. Their three children are married and living in Colorado, New Zealand, and California.
Randy Hill has transitioned from his role as Medford (Ore.) Church to be the associate youth director for the Oregon Conference, overseeing Pathfinders. Hill and his wife, Gayle, have been involved in youth ministry for years.
“I’m a lifelong youth enthusiast,” he says. After seven years as a youth pastor at the Medford Adventist church, Hill spent almost five years in other pastoral roles. While he enjoyed all his time at Medford, Hill says stepping away from youth work wasn’t easy.
“He’s someone that has a deep heart for youth ministry,” says Oregon Conference youth director Les Zollbrecht. “We’ve worked together in youth ministry for many years.”
Hill is delighted to work with kids and teens again. “My heart just jumped,” he says. “Oh boy, can I have this opportunity? I’m stoked,” Zollbrecht says. “I think he’s exactly the right person.”
“We are strongly emphasizing leadership training in Pathfinders,” says vice president for administration Dave Allen. “Tracy [Wood, former director] made significant inroads in leadership training, and we want to continue that.”
“I’m probably going to take some cues from the [Pathfinder area] coordinators to get started,” Hill says. “They are all just amazing.” And Zollbrecht says the coordinators recommended Hill as well.
Hill shares plenty of interests with the Pathfinders he’ll soon be leading. “I’ve always enjoyed camping, canoeing, and playing in the water,” Hill says. But for Hill, the core of Pathfindering runs much deeper than outdoor fun and games. “I think the Pathfinder program helps us all to find our ministry voice,” Hill says. “And it enables and empowers us to use that voice.”
Benjamin Lundquist, currently the young adult director in the Arizona Conference and young adult coordinator for the North American Division, will be joining the Oregon Conference in March 2016 as director of young adult ministry. This is a new department for the conference which seeks to improve how it connects young adults with the mission of the church.
Lundquist completed his undergraduate degree at Southern Adventist University and graduate work at Andrews University. He started full-time ministry in the Arizona Conference as a youth pastor at the Camelback Church in Phoenix where he served for eight years before accepting his current role, which he has held for the past 5 years.
In this new role for the Oregon Conference, Lundquist will focus on training leaders, expanding public campus ministries, and partnering with local churches to engage young adults more effectively.
When Lundquist is not working or spending time with his wife Kimberly and young son and daughter, he enjoys surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding, fly fishing, and eating Thai food.
Upper Columbia Conference is pleased to welcome Stephanie Bailey as the new human resources director for the Adventist church in the Inland Northwest.
Bailey brings a broad range of human resource experience that includes work at Loma Linda University Health, Walla Walla University and the legal and banking sectors. Since 2013, she has been working as the UCC human resource specialist, helping to serve the church’s more than 1,600 employees.
Bailey is a graduate of Walla Walla University and hails from Sandpoint, Idaho, with extensive family roots here in the Inland Northwest.
When asked about her new role, she said, “I look forward to working with the individuals in our churches and schools to equip them with what they need to help our employees and their ministries thrive.”
Paul Hoover, UCC president said, “I am excited to welcome Stephanie to our team in this new capacity. I look forward to seeing her unique talents and passion bless and grow the gospel work here in Upper Columbia Conference.”