SDB World Federation 2017 Sessions    
Curitiba - PR - Brazil
Jan 22-28, 2017


Dale Thorngate is President of the SDB World Federation (WF), elected 2008, and a member of the General Council, USA & Canada Conference. He previously served as WF General Secretary (1981-2003) and Executive Director of the USA & Canada Conference (1981-1990). An ordained minister for 40 years, he pastored SDB churches following retirement as a personnel officer in the US Army. He is married to Janet Thorngate and they have three children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. His college degrees are in administration and counseling plus Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. Dale shares his ministry vision statement for the World Federation: “That God’s Holy Spirit will work through us to bring the Sabbath message along with forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. That as we share that message, Seventh Day Baptists will become world leaders in the growth of God’s kingdom here on earth.”

Born on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean, he grew up as a third-generation Seventh Day Baptist and migrated to the United States when he was 20 years old. Pastor Andrew Samuels has been serving as the Pastor of the Miami Seventh Day Baptist Church in Florida in the United States since June, 1988 and is currently the Seventh-Day Baptist World Federation General Secretary.

After pastoring SDB churches for over 10 years, John now serves SDBs in the USA & Canada as the Director of Church Development & Pastoral Services. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior after the gospel was presented to him at a summer camp at the age of 13.

Read more: Rev. John J. Pethtel

Janet Thorngate is President of the Seventh Day Baptist Council on History, USA & Canada Conference, and former Librarian of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Library and Archives. She is editor of Seventh Day Baptist World, 2009-present and 1984-2002. Active in SDB churches since her baptism at age 12, she is currently a member in Salem, West Virginia, USA. She has has taught Church History at the SDB School of Ministry and English at several different colleges. Her book containing history and records of the Newport, Rhode Island, SDB Church will be published in January 2017. She is married to Dale Thorngate and shares the joy of their three children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Pastor Jonas Sommer got married with Clarice Kollenberg in 2005 right after they graduated in Theology at Baptist Bible College in Curitiba. They now have two children: Marcos Paulo and Paula Hadassa. Click on the link below to continue reading about them.

Read more: Jonas Sommer

Pastor João Teles dos Santos was born in a Catholic home. He became a Seventh Day Baptist in 1976, when his family received a visit of a SDB Pastor, who shared SDB Beliefs with his entire family. He was  baptized on September, 18, 1976. In 1981 he was consecrated to the diaconate, having served in this ministry at First SDB Church in Joinville until 1990 when he was ordained to the Sacred Ministry of the Word. As a Pastor he served the First SDB Church in Joinville and currently serves the Second SDB Church in Joinville.

Read more: Pastor João Teles dos Santos

Bernardino de Vargas Sobrinho, was born in September 12, 1954. He is married to Línia Linéia Loureiro Vargas and they have two children and three grandchildren. He is currently Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Seventh-day of São Paulo, Brazil. He is Chairman of the Disciplinary Chamber of Seventh-Day Baptist Brazilian Conference. Has a Bachelor's degree in theology from UNASP (formerly the Adventist Institute of Education), specializing in Biblical Hermeneutics. He is also a T.I.M.E teacher. Bernadino also holds a degree in Law, a graduate degree in Constitutional Law, Electoral Law and the Electoral Procedure. Professionally, exercises Counsel role at the Court of the State of São Paulo.

Minister Claudia Ferguson was baptised at the age of 9 years and has been involved in Christian ministry since then. She is World Federation Vice President for the Caribbean and, with the support of the Jamaica SDB Conference Missions Committee, led out in founding the Cayman Islands SDB Group for which she provides pastoral oversight.In the Jamaica Conference she is a past-President and serves as Chairman of the Evangelism Committee, President of the National Intercessory Prayer Force, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Jamaica SDB Bible Institute. She is a Conference Bible teacher, trainer, and church planter. In the wider Jamaican society, she is Vice President of the Jamaica Evangelical Alliance, a Director and Past Chairman of the National Religious Media Commission, and a member of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee. Claudia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s in Business Administration. She and her husband Rev. Carlton Ferguson have three girls and six grandchildren.

Canaan Phiri was born to an SDB Preacher, he went to church almost every Sabbath. However he made a personal decision to follow Jesus at his first Youth Camp in 1974 in response to a sermon by Pastor David Clement Pearson then a missionary to Malawi. He was then baptized on 31st August 1974 by Pastor Absalom K Harawa. In 1979, he accepted the Lord’s calling to serve as a pastor and he started serving as an Associate Pastor for the Blantyre Churches. He qualified and was awarded a Certificate in Ministry by Makapwa Bible College in 2003 and was thereafter ordained as Pastor on 31st January, 2004.

Read more: Pastor Canaan Rabson Karonga Phiri

Al B. Paypa, was born in a Christian family in the Philippines. His father was a pioneering pastor of the SDB ministry there. At the age of 17 he accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and was baptized through immersion. After feeling God’s call to ministry, he attended and graduated from Baptist Theological College (BTC). Following his father’s death (1997) in a car accident, he assumed his father’s leadership as the president of the SDB Philippine Convention. He pastors  the Lapu Lapu City SDB Church in Cebu and for a long period of time served as Director of the Philippines TIME training program. As Philippines delegate he attended World Federation sessions in Jamaica, Brazil, and the USA (2008) where he was elected Vice President for Asia. In 2002 he completed a Master’s Degree in Theology and Pastoral Studies at BTC Cebu Graduate School of Theology. Al and his wife Lenie Gacayan have five children and two grandchildren.

“I was captivated by Christ in 1992 and was baptized in Salvador, Bahia. I attended a Presbyterian church for some years and after moving to Brasília, the Bethel Brazilian church. In 1999, I discovered the Seventh Day Baptist Church on the Fortaleza SDB church website and began to lead a small group in the home of a Seventh Day Baptist brother in Sobradinho, Federal District. I was ordained as a pastor in 2006. Since then, I have been pastor of the First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Brasília, a small group that met in my home until August of 2014 when we began renting a room in Brasília.” Pastor Moura was World Federation Vice-President for Brazil and South America from 2003 to 2005. He graduated in Economics and Law, with post-graduate work in both areas and is now a theological student at the Methodist University. He and Liane have been married for 27 years. Their son Gabriel is married to Paula, their daughter Ilara to Rafael.

Devon A. Levy, a Christian and a member of the Kingston, Jamaica SDB Church, is currently president of the Jamaica SDB Conference, Pastor of the Font Hill Church (since 2010) and Assistant Pastor of the Kingston Church (since 2006). His many roles in his home church in Kingston have particularly included work with young people leading to eight years as National Youth President and sixteen as National Senior Camp Director.

Read more: Devon A. Levy

Clinton R. Brown took on the duties as the Executive Director of the Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society in 2011. Prior to this appointment, he received graduate and undergraduate degrees in business administration and history.  His previous experiences included service overseas as a medical NCO in the US military, and US work place employment in marketing, communications technology, finance, and asset control and logistics.  He is licensed to preach and an ordained Deacon of his local SDB church in Ashaway, Rhode Island and served for more than a decade as the youth minister of the Texarkana SDB Church in Arkansas.  Including his time in this position, Director Brown has worked, visited, or ministered in over 45 countries accumulating more than 5 years of direct cross-cultural interactions with people groups all around the globe.

Claudir Oliveira is married to Ivina Katherine Vieira Rocha with whom he has two daughters: Heloisa and Isabela.  His wife introduce the gospel to him and his conversion took place in 1998. He was baptized on November 25, 2000 and became a member of Seventh Day Baptist Church in Bocaiúva-PR. He graduated in Theology from Brazilian T.I.M.E Program in 2014 and was the national youth leader from 2011 to 2014. He is currently senior pastor in Bocaiúva do sul-PR and Director of the Music Department of the Brazilian Seventh-day Baptist Conference.

He was a delegate from Jamaica to the Council of World Conferences (CoWoCo) at Salem, West Virginia in 1964, thus one of those who signed the proposed SDB World Federation Constitution which they had drafted there.

Read more: Pastor Naval Harley

Rev. Jacob Tyrrell, pastor of Faith SDB Church in Georgetown, Guyana, made a profession of faith, was baptized, and joined the Seventh Day Baptist church in Parika following his marriage at age 24. Since then he has served in many capacities in the Guyana SDB Conference. 

Read more: Rev. Jacob N. Tyrrell