Elder Van Bledsoe has accepted the appointment to become ministerial director for the Arizona Conference. This is a “new” position, having been created when the Arizona Conference Executive Committee divided the responsibilities of the executive secretary and the ministerial director. For many years the two roles were encompassed in one position.
Bledsoe has spent the past 16 years as the senior pastor of the Apache Junction church and prior to that several years as associate pastor at the Glendale church in Glendale, Arizona. He not only has a long history of service in the Arizona Conference but spent much of his youth in the state as well while attending Thunderbird Adventist Academy. It was while a student at the academy that he felt the call to serve the Lord.
“It was during my Junior year at Thunderbird Adventist Academy,” said Bledsoe. “I did not go to the extreme Jonah did in running from God’s call, but I did wrestle with what God was calling me to do. I will say there is great peace and joy when one finally accepts the plan God has for our lives.”
As an advocate of Adventist education and evangelism, he sees a major role in the one-on-one ministry that happens in church. “Ministry is about service,” Bledsoe said. “Service to God and service to man.” His greatest joy is to see someone accept God’s love, grace, and forgiveness while at the same time recognizing that “God can use a broken, dysfunctional sinner like me to share His grace.”
Reflecting on his journey in ministry, he said, “I think the most important thing I have learned is God uses ministry to save us as much as He uses ministry to save others.”
Service is the foundation of his goals as ministerial director. “I want to serve the pastors and families in the conference and find ways to help each other grow professionally and grow together in a personal relationship with Jesus and their families,” he said.
By Jeff Rogers