On December 6, 2020, Elder Titus Naftanaila accepted the call to be president for the Wisconsin Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. During his years in ministry, Elder Naftanaila has served in many capacities, most recently as pastor for the Green Bay district and coordinator for both Personal Ministries and the Lay Pastor Training program in Wisconsin. Upon taking this new responsibility he said, “I am humbled and privileged to pick up the mantle of servant leader for the Wisconsin Conference.”
Elder Naftanaila was born into a faithful Adventist family in the country of Romania. Although his parents raised Titus and his siblings under a dictatorial communist regime, God helped them remain faithful even though they were deprived of basic religious freedom. During his high school years, Elder Naftanaila was delayed in his studies because an important exam was scheduled on Sabbath, a normal school day in Romania. Not until five years later was he finally able to resume his education and fulfill his dream to study Theology and become a pastor.
It was during this time that Elder Naftanaila married his hometown sweetheart, Rozina. Since that time, they have served together in ministry for 25 years. Rozina currently works as a registered nurse at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, WI. They have an adult son, Sebastian, who works in the retail industry.
After earning his B.S. in Theology from Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca in Romania, Elder Naftanaila began his pastoral ministry in 1995 in the Targoviste District, pastoring 600 members. Elder Naftanaila says that his call to pastoral ministry was manifested gradually and steadily. His parents, pastor, and other mentors all encouraged him to pursue full-time ministry. He has always been passionate about studying the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, preaching, and being involved in outreach activities.
In 1998, Elder Naftanaila was elected as the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Director for the Muntenia Conference in Romania. At the same time, he served as the Senior Pastor of the Dynamis Church in Bucharest and hosted a weekly radio program at “Vocea Sperantei” (Voice of Hope). One year later he was invited to teach for the undergraduate program at the Adventist Theological Institute in Romania (Adventus University). He also, coordinated conference-wide training programs for elders and young people who wanted to pursue a career in pastoral ministry. In the spring of 2001, he was transferred to the Adventist Theological Institute as the Senior Pastor of the campus church and to continue as a teacher.
The summer of 2001, radically changed the course of Elder Naftanaila’s personal and professional path. The Romanian Church in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, obtained the approval from the Romanian Union Conference for his transfer to be their pastor. Following God’s call, he moved his family to the United States. Here, Elder Naftanaila served the local church and the Romanian community through regular pastoral services and a weekly radio program. Meanwhile, he worked toward and graduated with a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Andrews University and obtained Clinical Pastoral Education at La Grange Adventist Hospital in Illinois.
Elder Naftanaila’s ministry in Wisconsin began in 2007. After serving in the Chicago area for several years, he accepted a call from Elder Don Corkum to pastor the Superior district in the Wisconsin Conference. In Wisconsin, Elder Naftanaila also served as Senior Pastor for the Madison East and Green Bay Districts. In addition to pastoral ministry, he has been involved in many conference-wide ministries and programs including leading the Stewardship and Religious Liberty Ministries as well as coordinating the Volunteer Lay Pastor Training Program.
Elder Naftanaila has served as a member of the Executive Committees of the Wisconsin Conference and the Lake Union for several years. This has enabled him to be part of the collective leadership, assisting in visioning and executing strategic plans for mission and church administration on both the Conference and Union level.
As a pastor, Elder Naftanaila has always been passionate about preaching God’s Word and mentoring new and existing leaders. While learning the culture of every new ministry setting, he has also been passionate about promoting excellence and innovative ideas.
As the newly elected President, Elder Naftanaila is excited to promote the mission of the Wisconsin Conference: To grow passionate disciples of Jesus prepared for Christ’s soon coming. Following the legacy of those who came before him, he plans to continue to promote a positive environment for discipleship and church growth. His personal ministry statement is: Preaching the message of Elijah while performing the ministry of Elisha (Proclaim – Heal – Connect – Equip – Mentor –Affirm).
The following objectives constitute a high priority for his leadership focus:
- Christ-centered discipleship that promotes spiritual maturity for new and existing members
- Training, empowering, and mentoring new and existing church leaders
- Intentional outreach initiatives in line with the vision of the Advent Hope, and the needs of the community
- Strong emphasis on retaining and integrating youth and young families
- A guest-oriented church culture that fosters community and togetherness in Christ
- Support for teachers, students, and school projects
- Striving for excellence for every department and ministry
- Christ-like generosity that supports the mission of the church
When asked what message he would like to share with the people of Wisconsin, Elder Naftanaila referenced 2 Chronicles 7:14 and said, “I invite all pastors, teachers, lay leaders, and church members to join our leadership team to ‘humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and repent.’ Let us continue to be His ambassadors in our communities, loving and serving each and every one of His precious children, in every stage of life.”
Laurella Case, Assistant for Communications