Children from Iakina Adventist Academy (IAA) cheerfully waved and held posters to welcome the new president of the American Samoa Mission.
Pastor Kenneth Fuliese was appointed Mission president at the Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) quinquennial session in November 2020, but COVID-19 travel restrictions had prevented him from travelling to the eastern Samoan island.
On April 27, Pastor Fuliese and his family were finally allowed to travel to American Samoa, however pandemic restrictions prevented church members welcoming the president at the airport as is the customary practice.
Instead, the ministerial staff of pastors under the leadership of district director Pastor Uili Solofa, American Samoa Adventist Media staff, and some teachers and 25 students from IAA formed a line along the driveway from the airport to the main road with posters and banners to welcome the president and his family who were then transported to a quarantine facility for three days.
Pastor Fuliese is the first president of American Samoa in its new status as a mission. It was previously an attached field. The change of status was approved at the Division Executive Committee meetings in November 2020.
The IAA faculty, staff and administration say they are looking forward to what God has in store under the leadership of Pastor Fuliese and his family.