The South Pacific Division (SPD) Executive Committee has appointed Kenton Ghona, 49, as Papua New Guinea Union Mission’s (PNGUM) new chief financial officer. Previously serving as under-treasurer, Mr Ghona replaces the outgoing CFO, Russell Strahan.
After serving the PNGUM from 2019 to 2023, Mr Strahan was recalled to Australia by the SPD due to personal and work-related reasons, as announced by PNGUM president Pastor Malachi Yani.
Expressing gratitude for his appointment, Mr Ghona commented, “I’m humbled and honoured to be chosen for this role. Many church members are praying and I am confident God has a plan for His Church in PNG.”
With PNGUM constituting over 60 per cent of the SPD’s membership, Mr Ghona’s primary goal is to enhance the governance of finance within PNGUM, its local missions and institutions. He is keen on continuing to build on the work left by his predecessor, to whom Mr Ghona paid tribute for his contributions.
“Mr Strahan has contributed immensely to the business system of the Church. He has done some mentoring too,” Mr Ghona said.
Mr Ghona held the position of under treasurer for PNGUM from 2015 to 2023. He completed his schooling at the Betikama Adventist High School, Solomon Islands, before obtaining a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Sciences from Fulton College in 1997.
Following a stint as a teacher at the Kukudu Adventist College, Mr Ghona earned a diploma in finance from the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education. He expanded his qualifications with a Bachelor in Business and Information Technology from Avondale University, Australia, in 2001.
Despite initial visa issues delaying his move to PNGUM, Mr Ghona served as a financial controller for Antek, a Solomon Islands computing company. He then began his tenure at PNGUM as an assistant accountant in September 2005. He later served as senior accountant, system administrator, assistant to the CFO and under-treasurer.
In his career, Mr Ghona has had “the opportunity to work under three CFOs at PNGUM”—Solomon Agdon, Robert (Bob) Butler and Russell Strahan.
He is married to Lorraine Ghona from East New Britain (PNG) and they have a son named Kelthon.