SDA elects new president

Pastor Wilton G. McDonald has been elected president of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Elected as executive secretary was Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, who has served in the conference for 19 years. The executive secretary position was previously held by Pastor McDonald.

As president, Pastor McDonald has committed himself to fostering spiritual excellence, civic and cultural interactive development, and in particular, to lead others to know Jesus Christ, who to know is life eternal.

He also has pledged to preserve and perpetuate the heritage of the pioneers of the church, and this country; and to accentuate genuine love for God and love for our fellowmen, without any semblance of denominational prejudice or racial creed.

The elections were held during a specially convened Executive Committee meeting of the conference, held in Grand Cayman on September 20. The elections were necessary as a result of the departure of Pastor Jeffrey K. Thompson, who served as president for the past 17 years. Pastor Thompson is now serving in the Florida Seventh-day Adventist Conference.

With the elections, the conference’s administration now consists of Pastor McDonald; Pastor Dracket; and Mrs. Sheila Woods, as treasurer. The next conference elections will be held on June 10, 2008 and is constituted for a cycle of four years.

The nucleus of the Seventh-day Adventist church as a denomination was started in these Islands in 1894, by Capt. Gilbert McLaughlin. The churches were incorporated into a mission organization by the Legislative Assembly on August 5, 1974.

The mission continued its growth, and on June 6, 2004, it was elevated to the higher status of conference. The conference continues to maintain its tenets of faith, and the divine mandate of service to God and mankind, Pastor McDonald said.

Since arriving in Grand Cayman in 1979 as an administrator for the mission, Pastor McDonald has faithfully demonstrated the philosophy of this commission. He has built churches and spiritually supported members, as well as the public, in West Bay, East End, North Side and Savannah. Pastor McDonald is now the pastor in charge at the Adventist church in Bodden Town.

He has rendered sterling services through the years to the spiritual, socioeconomic growth and development of the organization at all levels. His work includes marriage counselling; family finance seminars; anti-drug marches and campaigns; and assisting and establishing scholarship programs.

As manager of the Adventist Book and Nutrition Center in the conference headquarters at 209 Walkers Road, Pastor McDonald supervises the provision of Bibles and other materials for children and adults, as well as vegetarian supplies. He also is the conference’s ministerial, stewardship, and publishing director.

In his position as president, Pastor McDonald is chairman of the Cayman Islands Conference Executive Committee, and of the board of Cayman Academy, the local Adventist school.

Pastor McDonald also has leadership responsibilities in Jamaica. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the West Indies Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; and a member of the Board of Governors of Northern Caribbean University, in Mandeville.

Pastor McDonald is married to Mrs. Cereta McDonald, (née Ramlal). She is a teacher and the vice-principal at Cayman Academy; and the conference’s Sabbath School and Children’s Ministries director.

Their son, Wilton G. McDonald II, is an attorney. He is married to Ewelina Sadurska-McDonald. The McDonalds’ daughter, Khichala A. McDonald-Carey, is a registered nurse. She and her husband, Gerald J.F. Carey, have a son, Khalil John Wilton Carey.