Ohio Welcomes New Conference President
By Heidi Shoemaker
Despite several delays due to travel and social distancing restrictions amidst the Covid-19 crisis, members of the Ohio Conference Presidential Selection Committee voted overwhelmingly to extend a call to Bob Cundiff to be president of the Ohio Conference.
“I’m excited for Ohio in calling Bob Cundiff. He brings a deep passion for soul-winning and engaging young adults in the mission of the church,” says Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president and chairman of the Selection Committee.
Cundiff has served the past seven years as president of the Northern New England Conference (NECC), where he helped stabilize finances, strengthened relationships within conference constituency and personnel, and renewed evangelism and church planting programs throughout the territory.
Born in Los Angeles, Cundiff moved to Louisville, Kentucky at age 6. Raised in the south, his mother was a loyal Seventh-day Adventist and his father an atheist. At the age of 17 he experienced a radical conversion that later led him into the ministry. Speaking to the committee Thursday evening via Zoom, Cundiff shares, “It’s important to me to remember my roots, remember where I came from.”
Cundiff has decades of ministry experience and continues to enjoy preaching in the pulpit up to 30 times a year and is a frequent speaker at summer camps, camp meetings, weeks of prayer and college chapel services. His passion for Adventist Education and young adults was evident during the virtual gathering, as he told the selection committee about a church planting initiative in NECC focusing on native New England young adults, “Young adults have the power to change this church,” he says.
“[My wife] Tanique and I are so touched to be invited to serve in the Ohio Conference. These recent weeks of prayer and searching for God’s heart in this matter have led us to a strong conviction that God is indeed calling,” says Cundiff. “Our experience during the presidential search committee interview demonstrates that Ohio is anxious to move forward in growth, unity and discovery of the next phase of God’s will for this great territory. Join us now in praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we seek to press together and share Christ with a world that is confused and hurting by the COVID-19 crisis. We move forward remembering that If God is for us who can be against us. Romans 8:31”
Cundiff is married to Tanique, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, and have three young adult children—Joshua, Lauren and Rachel. He plans to begin the transition to Ohio in mid-April, utilizing videoconferencing and other technology to remain connected until the pandemic crisis abates and social restrictions are lifted later this year.
Cundiff replaces Ron Halvorsen Jr, who left Ohio to return to pastoral ministry in December 2019.