Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”—Luke 18:27
Carl received his BA from Houghton College, his MDiv with a concentration in Transformational Leadership from Bethel Seminary of St. Paul, MN, and is currently a PhD candidate at Trinity International University. When it comes to previous experience, Carl has enjoyed 15 years of family business life alongside his brother, father, and grandfather; served as a pastor of the Hebron SDB Church; worked as a Hospice Chaplain for a Health System in Pennsylvania; and engaged in public service as an elected municipality official. Carl currently thrives through opportunities to serve as an adjunct professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Evangelism.
Director, Church Development & Pastoral Services
Rev. John Pethtel currently serves in multiple roles for the SDB General Conference. His titles include Director of Church Development, Director of Pastoral Services, Conferences Coordinator, and Crisis Management Officer. He is also currently serving as the Vice President for North America for the SDB World Federation.
Pastor John has served in pastoral ministry for almost 20 years with service in WV, MD, MI, GA, and CO as well as trips to Brazil, Jamaica, and Ethiopia.
He is a graduate of Salem International University (formerly Salem College) in Salem, WV with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management of Not-for-Profit Organizations (and multiple minors); Capital Bible Seminary (now part of Lancaster Bible College) in Greenbelt, MD with a Graduate Certificate in Theology; Denver Seminary in Littleton, CO with a Master of Divinity degree (emphasis in Philosophy of Religion & Theology); and is currently ABD in his pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry from Denver Seminary in Executive Leadership of Church and Parachurch Organizations.
John lives in Colorado Springs, CO. He and his wife Tabatha have two children.
Director, Education & History
Nick Kersten is the Director of Education and History for the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of the United States and Canada. He also serves as an elected elder at the Milton Seventh Day Baptist church. Prior to his current role, he served as Librarian-Historian of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society for nearly ten years from 2005-2014. Nick and his wife Brittany have four young children. Nick is passionate for equipping the church to make fully formed disciples who take their kingdom advancement responsibilities thoughtfully and seriously in this generation, and in light of the lessons that history teaches.
Nick received a Bachelors of Science in Education, with specialization in Secondary Education in the areas of English and Political Science, from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2003, and a Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2014. He was ordained by his home church in Milton, WI in 2014, and first accredited by the SDB General Conference of the USA & Canada in 2015. He is a member of the Association of Librarians at Baptist Institutions (ALABI).
Chief Executive Director, SDB Missionary Society
His very first personal experience with the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation was in 1986 when the Sessions were held in Rhode Island in the United States. He was living then in New York City and working as part of the diplomatic delegation of the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations. He remembers being asked by then World Federation Executive Secretary, Pastor Dale Thorngate, to obtain flags for each of the countries represented by the World Federation membership. He was able to borrow a flag from each country’s Mission located in New York City and that enhanced a beautiful parade of flags at both World Federation and the USA and Canada General Conference in Massachusetts that year.
Pastor Andy’s desire to fulfill the Great Commission has led him to engage in mission trips to Malawi, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Haiti, England, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Bangladesh, India, and Jamaica. He lists his primary spiritual gifts as Leadership, Teaching, and Shepherding, with a secondary gift of Evangelism. As of March 2019, he undertook a new role as Chief Executive Director of the Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society, giving him oversight responsibility for Seventh Day Baptist missions in approximately 45 countries of the world.
He believes that his international experience at the United Nations community in New York City, his relationships with the SDB Churches in the United States & Canada, England, Brazil, Malawi, Jamaica, and Haiti, plus his attendance at the past three consecutive Sessions of the SDB World Federation, have prepared him well to serve as General Secretary for this fraternal organization of God’s people called Seventh Day Baptists. He aims to play his role in helping the Federation to achieve among member Conferences, its vision of quality communication services, meaningful fellowship, the coordination of mutual endeavors, and the promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Samuels has a Bachelor’s degree from Miami Christian College, and has done graduate studies at Knox Theological Seminary. He is also a graduate of the SDB TIME Program, and has served as an Instructor at both the Florida Leadership Training Institute and the South Atlantic Leadership Training (SALT) Institute, ministries of the South Atlantic Association of Seventh Day Baptist Churches in the United States of America. He was the author of the 2007 World-Federation sponsored SDB Week Of Prayer booklet, and has also authored one book, “From The Foundation To The Pinnacle”, which is a chronicling of three decades of history of the Miami Seventh Day Baptist Church (1981-2011).
He has been married to Kay, an Educator, for 37 years, and they have two daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Jeremiah Owen is the Director of Communications for the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of the United States and Canada, serves as Moderator and Deacon at the Foothill Community Church, and serves as President of the Acton Town Council in Acton, CA. Jeremiah and his wife Sarah have been married for over 16 years and have three children ranging from elementary school to high school. Jeremiah is a passionate Jesus follower since his acceptance of Christ as his savior while in elementary school.
Jeremiah received his BS in Telecommunications Engineering from Mt. Sierra College. With over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology space as a leader and over a decade of experience in managing Social and New Media, Jeremiah brings a unique blend of technology and passionate love for Seventh Day Baptists’ mission to his ministries work. When not serving his community or Seventh Day Baptists, he can be found tending to his alpacas, chickens, and goats on his ranch just outside Los Angeles.
President, Women's Society
Jenni (Osborn) Wangsness has lived, worshipped, and served with Seventh Day Baptist Churches in Fort Worth, Texas (Remembrance SDB), Milton, Wisconsin (The Connecting Church), and Dodge Center, Minnesota (Anchor of Hope). She has served in various roles to help meet the needs of each church, and many centered on children’s ministries including Sabbath School, Vacation Bible School, and AWANA. She has also served as Treasurer and on the Finance Committee.
Jenni has been an active part of the Women’s Society Board of Directors since 2010, when she moved to Minnesota. She served first on the Women in Ministry Tuition Fund committee, and then on the Stained Glass committee. She has been President of the Board since 2015.
Jenni’s passion for children to know God’s love spills over to her career as well. Her focus has been in Early Childhood, where she currently works for a Head Start program as their Professional Development Coordinator, along with supervising and coaching classroom team members. Her husband, Erik, is an organic crop farmer and a proud Norwegian. They married in the Fall of 2012, and reside on the family farm in Northeast Iowa.
From Our Executive Director
“As ministry leaders, we are called to continuously grow and utilize the tools God has blessed us with. Please check in with the SDB Director Team about opportunities to grow deeper and stronger together! Indeed, as a Conference we are committed to our Vision Map directed focus of Healthy Leaders, Healthy Churches—an ongoing endeavor that we are especially passionate about.”
– Carl Greene