Carolina Conference President
198? - 1990
General Conference President 1990-1999
Robert S. Folkenberg
Folkenberg was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico on 1 January 1941 to North American missionaries serving in Latin America and Central America. Folkenberg’s education up to Grade 4 took place in Puerto Rico, before attending schools in Cuba, entering high school in California and completing high school in Milo, Oregon in 1958. The next year, Folkenberg enrolled in Atlantic Union College where he remained for two years before a two year stint at Newbold College.. In 1962, Folkenberg graduated from Andrews University and obtained his masters in New Testament theology from Andrews in 1963.
Prior to his election as General Conference President in 1990, Folkenberg served as President of the Carolina Conference.
His move in 1998 to establish a "Board of Ministerial and Theological Education" in every Division of the church was criticized and put on hold
He championed the vision of a “Global Mission initiative” in the Adventist Church. An expected long tenure as president was cut short by his decision to resign amid allegations of financial impropriety in his personal life. His decision was not an admission of guilt but rather an expression of concern that the church not be marred by his cooperation in the investigation. A Christianity Today article says "During his presidency, Folkenberg, known for a somewhat brusque management style, shook up the denomination, spearheading mass communications initiatives that have led to massive growth in membership". According to Lawrence Geraty, then president of La Sierra University, while Folkenberg "never asked anyone to do what he himself was not willing to do," his methods raised hackles. He continues to work for the church to-date.
His present project is partly a financial initiative labeled: