New director for Ellen G White Research Centre

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Pastor Mark Pearce.

A new director has been announced for the Ellen G White Research Centre at Avondale University College (Cooranbong, NSW).

Pastor Mark Pearce has been appointed to the role which is soon to be vacated by Dr John Skrzypaszek, who is retiring at the beginning of August. Dr Skrzypaszek has held the position since 2005.

Pastor Pearce is currently the director of the Pacific Adventist Research Centre and a lecturer in the School of Humanities, Education and Theology at Pacific Adventist University (PAU), Papua New Guinea. Prior to his appointment to PAU, he served in local church ministry in the Northern Australian and South Queensland conferences for 34 years. He is currently working towards his PhD through Avondale, with a focus on hermeneutics and Ellen White.

Pastor Pearce’s vision for the Ellen G White Research Centre is that it “is known as the place where Ellen White is portrayed as the Adventist founder who loved Jesus and pointed people to Jesus”.

“That is grounded in the Bible—and these are her twin emphases throughout her ministry,” he said. “I would like to see her understood as a person for who she was.

“Because the centre also has responsibility toward the South Pacific islands, I would like to see the centre have a more positive impact there in order to help facilitate balanced perspectives on Ellen White’s ministry. I would also like to see more of an uptake of modern technologies to spread a factual understanding of her ministry to all ages—especially the young.”

Pastor Pearce and his wife Paulene.

In accordance with protocol, the appointment of Pastor Pearce was officially ratified by the White Estate Board in Silver Spring, United States.

South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend welcomed Pastor Pearce to the role while also thanking Dr Skrzypaszek for his 15 years of service to the research centre.

“John was known for giving people ideas and a framework in understanding how to apply Ellen White’s writing to this current and very different world in which she wrote,” Pastor Townend said.

Meanwhile, tours of Ellen White’s former home, Sunnyside, have been temporarily halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and visitors in accordance with government restrictions around social distancing. For inquiries about Sunnyside, please email sunnyside@adventist.org.au.