The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the governing organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, where it moved in 1989. The church headquarters building, commonly known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, houses and supports the administration of the church.
The General Conference is overseen by an executive committee, headed by a President. The General Conference Session is a meeting held every five years, during which the executive committee and officers are elected. In 2010 the General Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
The General Conference is at the administrative head of the church, but the Seventh-day Adventist Church is organized with a representative form of church government. This means authority in the Church comes from the membership of local churches, who send representatives to vote on matters at the next level up. Each level sends representatives to the next level. At the top, the General Conference elects the executive committee and officers to govern the Church until the next General Conference session. Four levels of Church structure lead from the individual believer to the worldwide Church organization:
The levels are-
1)The local church with its members
2)The local conference made up of a number of local churches in area.
3)The union conference, made up of local conferences of a area.
4)The division, consisting of several conferences and missions within a world geographical area.
5)The General Conference administers the worldwide direction of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
To direct its worldwide activity, the General Conference has established regional offices, known as divisions of the General Conference which have general administrative oversight for designated groups of unions in major areas. It is divided into 13 divisions, which are then subdivided into unions, conferences, and missions.
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