Home > About Us >

Organizational Structure

  Seventh-day Adventists can truly be regarded as a worldwide family of Christian believers reaching nearly every country of the globe. How does such a large body of believers operate in harmony to accomplish their mission? Seventh-day Adventists recognize the leadership of...

 The church is the body of Jesus Christ. He is the head and the heart. He lives in each member and is present in the entire organization. Without Christ, there is no believer and no church. When Jesus Christ enters the heart, the person feels the desire to become a ...

 One who is publicly accepted through baptism, confession of faith, Bible learning and understanding according to the Bible beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventists. The members are part the ...

 It is a group of members who help and support one another, giving spiritual encouragement and attracting new members through their testimony. It is a legal entity that belongs to the ...

 This is a group of churches of all sizes in a specific area, with leadership and support to train and prepare people in the context of Christian education. Churches in Wisconsin are a part of the Wisconsin Conference. A group of conferences/missions forms a ...

 This is a group of Conferences/Missions located in specific areas that may involve regions of one or more states. The Wisconsin Conference is a part of the Lake Union. A Union carries out projects that involve people in its entire territory, including colleges hospitals, and in all forms of evangelism. The Union connects conferences and missions, crossing over boundaries and forming the...

 This is the administrative sector of the church, which covers entire continents or a good part of them. The Division represents and reflects the Adventist Church profile in its territory. The Lake Union is a part of the North American Division. The Division carries out the mission of the church within the legislation and the needs of its continent. The Divisions are administrative regions of the ...

 It represents the world church and the collectivity of members through election processes. This level of the church oversees the unity of the church in its diversity. The General Conference is a representative group that gathers members of all cultures and nationalities. Every five years, the world church gets together in a special meeting to elect new leaders and make decisions with the participation of church delegates from around the world. The world church is committed to carrying out the Great Commission given us by ...

 He said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 29:19,20

Representative Structure

Each level described above is "representative," that is it reflects a democratic process of formation and election. Local churches elect their own officers and church boards by majority voting. Churches elect delegates to the conferences which meet "in session" every three or four years. Executive authority between sessions is exercised by the Conference Executive Committee and the executive officers (normally President, Executive Secretary and Treasurer), all of whom are elected by the session.

A similar process operates for Union sessions usually 5 years and General Conference sessions, at which times officers and committees are elected, reports given and policies decided.

Each constituent level of the church operates a variety of institutions. Seventh-day Adventists see in the gospel commission and the example of the Lord and His apostles the responsibility of followers of Christ to serve the whole person. In their world outreach they have therefore followed the pattern of their beginnings in the development of educational, health-care, publishing, and other institutions. No church organization or entity assumes responsibility for the liabilities, debts, acts, or omissions of any other church organization simply because of its church affiliation.

When differences arise in or between organizations and institutions, appeal to the next higher organization is proper until it reaches the General Conference in session, or the Executive Committee at the Annual Council. During the interim between these sessions, the Executive Committee shall constitute the body of final authority on all questions where a difference of viewpoint may develop. When organizations review decisions of other organizations, they do not assume responsibility for the liabilities of any other organization.

Administratively, the world-wide Church has 13 Divisions, which are composed of churches grouped by a collection of missions, fields, or states into unions of churches.

Although we are many, we have one mission: to spread the hope we find in Jesus Christ to everyone we meet.



Related Links

Wisconsin Conference Executive Committee

Wisconsin K-12 Board of Education

Lake Union

North American Division

General Conference

World Church Facts & Figures

Wisconsin Conference Statistics