Torkelsen Accepts Position as NPUC President

Max C. Torkelsen II

Max C. Torkelsen II

[Ridgefield, WA] November 23, 2008, Source: Gleaner Online

The North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) is pleased to announce that Max Torkelsen II, has accepted the invitation to become the next NPUC president.

His acceptance comes in response to the NPUC executive committee's vote November 19 during its regular quarterly meeting to elect Torkelsen to fill the position left vacant by the recent death of former president, Jere Patzer. Torkelsen hopes to begin his new role at the NPUC early in 2009.

Torkelsen is uniquely qualified to follow Patzer in this position. He worked closely with Patzer for six years in the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) based in Spokane, Wash., and succeeded him there as president when Patzer left for the NPUC in 1996. Now Torkelsen replaces Patzer once again, after serving as UCC president for the past 12 years. He is not the first Torkelsen to fill this position. His father, Max C. Torkelsen, served as NPUC president from 1976 to 1980.

Torkelsen brings extensive pastoral and church administrative experience to his new role. Following graduation from Pacific Union College in 1972 with a bachelor of arts degree in theology, he pastored in the Oregon Conference for two years before taking a two-year break to acquire a master of arts degree in church administration from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. and then a master of public health degree from Loma Linda University.

He returned to pastoring in Oregon from 1975 to 1979, and then moved his family to Hawaii, where he served as pastor for eight years. In 1987, he returned to the Northwest, pastoring in Sandpoint, Idaho until 1989, when he accepted the position of communication director for the Upper Columbia Conference.

Torkelsen and his wife, Linnea, have two grown, married daughters, Analisa and Kirsten, who make their homes in Portland, Ore. His brother, Monte, serves the Oregon Conference as youth director.

"Unusually challenging times require a leader of faith and courage," says Bryce Pascoe, NPUC executive secretary. "Under God's leading the NPUC executive committee believes that in Max Torkelsen we have a man of prayer and experienced leadership."

"Linnea and I look forward to this new responsibility with a sense of gratitude and great humility," says Torkelsen. "We have seen God's divine plan at work through our Adventist members and churches in the Northwest, and we look forward to making continued strides for Him in the exciting days ahead."

The selection process involved the NPUC personnel selection committee which includes NPUC executives -- secretary Bryce Pascoe, treasurer Mark Remboldt, vice president for Hispanic ministries Ramon Canals, and vice president for regional affairs Alphonso McCarthy -- two conference presidents -- currently John Freedman from Washington and Ken Crawford from Alaska -- and two lay members from the executive committee. This standing committee is normally chaired by the NPUC president, but, in this case -- a presidential search -- it was chaired by the North American Division president, Don Schneider.

The committee considered a variety of candidates and narrowed the field to a "short list" which was presented to the executive committee on November 19. From that list, the committee voted to extend the official invitation to Max Torkelsen, II.