Time Zone Change

Written by Carl Greene

February 22, 2023

Times change . . . in more ways than you might initially consider. Did you know . . . prior to 1883, there were over 144 local times in North America? The challenge of keeping track of your time was mighty complicated with the speed offered by modern railroads, but no access to a handy smart watch to automatically provide updates. Hence, the railroads set up four time zones in 1883, and the Interstate Commerce Commission made an official five time zones in 1918.[1]

Funny how times keep changing. A full 140 years after time zones became a thing, there is another time zone change underway of SDB proportions.  Conference Director John Pethtel and his family are changing from the Mountain Time Zone to the Central Time Zone. Director Pethtel has accepted the part-time role of Operations Pastor at the Milton SDB Church in Milton, WI while continuing in his role with the SDB General Conference. This means that Director Pethtel will no longer be working remotely for the General Conference, but will now be collaborating with other Directors from the SDB Center in Janesville, WI.

Director Pethtel’s move to the Southern WI area provides an opportunity for the General Conference to freshly identify ways to allocate human resources as we implement prioritized Conference-wide initiatives. We want to wisely steward our team’s gifts in alignment with our mission to “actively advance God’s Kingdom.”[2] In order to continue living out this core value of being wise stewards, responsibility for leadership in some areas of existing Conference ministry will be redistributed among Directors and staff. To begin this transition, Director Pethtel will help to take the lead on launching or relaunching a number of priorities as conference initiatives.

This shift in responsibilities also includes Executive Director Carl Greene handling the oversight of our church planting efforts being led by Church Planting Coordinator David Stall and the implementation of the church planting funnel process. For any questions regarding this transition, please feel free to contact Executive Director Carl Greene and/or the General Council.

Times change. Changing the time 144 times is a bit excessive. With intentionality, we are prayerfully seeking ways to make the most of our changing times.


[1] bts.gov

This information is drawn from: Clark, Corrie E., and Lynn J. Cunningham. 2018. Daylight Saving Time. CRS Reports (Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service). Available at https://purl.fdlp.gov/ as of October 2019.

Phillips, Charles. A Day To Remember: November 18, 1883. American History, Dec. 2004, pp. 16-18.

United States. 1966. Department of transportation act: report to accompany H.R. 15963. Washington, DC: U.S. GPO.

[2] https://www.seventhdaybaptist.org/vision-map/

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