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Roscoe J. Howard, former North American Division (NAD) executive secretary, passed away in Apopka, Florida, on Jan. 21, 2019, after a struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Howard was working as vice president for Missions for Adventist Health System (now AdventHealth) when, in 2015, he was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. He was 64.

“Roscoe was shaped in a unique way by the hand of God to become the man and the instrument God would use in many varied and diverse ways,” said G. Alexander Bryant, NAD executive secretary. “Roscoe had a special blend of spirituality, intellect, articulation, humor, and laughter that was carefully woven into every assignment he undertook. God used education to shape and mold him to be the multi-faceted and diverse leader that he would become.”

Howard - Shaping - School - Community - Harrisburg

Howard’s educational shaping started in elementary school in a humble community in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He then attended Auburn Academy in Washington, followed by Pacific Union College in Angwin, California, and then on to Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in Huntsville, Alabama, for a short stint. He earned a masters of divinity from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and a doctorate of ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Howard began his ministry as the pastor of a two-church district in Oak Harbor, Washington. An African-American pastoring two Caucasian congregations was almost unheard of 40 years ago.

Lord - Howard - Congregation - Pacific - Northwest

Then the Lord took Howard to pastor the largest African-American congregation in the Pacific Northwest, Emerald City Seventh-day Adventist Church, located in Seattle, Washington. Though drastically different, Howard excelled in both of these diverse assignments, leading members into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and growing the congregations at the same time.

The North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) called him to the union to serve as the Youth...
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