On Thursday April 20, 2023, Eric Davis was elected as Vice President for Finance by a joint meeting of the Oregon Conference Executive Committee and Nominating Committee. North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) President John Freedman chaired the process. Davis replaces Brent Plubell, who leaves the Oregon Conference to begin service at the NPUC office on May 1.
Most recently, Davis has spent the last year as the association treasurer for the Oregon Conference, overseeing the financial management of the seven corporations that comprise the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Before that, he spent seven years as associate treasurer in the Washington Conference, overseeing their 140 properties, preparing financial statements, and drafting use agreements for local entities, among other things. He also has experience as an auditor with the General Conference Auditing Service.
A third-generation Adventist, Davis grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. From kindergarten to 12th grade, he attended Tri-City Christian Academy. Through a partnership with Forest Lake Academy in Florida, Davis was able to complete his high school education on the campus of Tri-City. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Management from Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, Tennessee). He continued his education with a M.A. Financial Management. That’s where he learned to dig deeper into financial statement analysis to mine information for decision-making. Along the way, he met his wife, Ashley, and was determined to nurture that relationship. “I couldn’t let that girl go,” he recalls. “She is the best!”
It was after college that he found his calling to financial ministry. “In my first interview out of college, the interviewer asked me, ‘what calls you to church work?’ That’s the first time I really thought about this line of work as a ministry. For me, I need to buy into the mission of the place I work. It can't just be a paycheck….and there's no mission I buy into more than that of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
After nearly three years as an auditor, Davis felt the desire to move west and accepted a call to serve in the Washington Conference.
Now, he leans into a new calling. “It’s humbling,” Eric shares. “I was reading the story of David. I noticed how God anointed him and how God chose him. I feel like I’ve been chosen for this time. Sometimes I don’t feel adequate, but I know that God will be with me. I know He’ll give me wisdom.”
Davis will be leading a strong financial team, including undertreasurer Crystal Kielman, Kody Hendrickson, association treasurer, and associate treasurer Jon Holland. “God has blessed Oregon with a great team and they will ensure a smooth transition,” Davis notes.
“Eric Davis is a high-quality leader with a keen financial mind,” noted President Dan Linrud. “In the Adventist Church, it’s not easy to find candidates with training and experience in financial analysis and management. We’re so blessed that Eric has developed these skills and is already here in Oregon. Beyond that, Eric clearly has a heart devoted to God and a mind oriented toward advancing the mission in His church. I’m so excited to work alongside him on our administrative team.”
As he gets started in the new role, Davis names a few priorities:
“We believe Jesus is coming soon,” he says, “Yet until He comes, we must steward the church to make sure it continues to be financially viable. We must be wise, while doing whatever we can to advance the mission.”
“It’s important that we carefully apply resources to try new things. When you do the same things, you get the same results. We need to find creative and new ways to do ministry in our territory.”
Commitment to Transparency
“It’s important to me that we operate with transparency and accountability to our members. If someone wants to drop by and ask questions about our finances, I will be more than happy to answer them. My door is open.”
In his spare time, Eric is a musician who plays mandolin and guitar. He also writes songs and sings. “I love bluegrass music,” he says, “It’s a real stress reliever.” While in high school, he was named one of the top 10 mandolin players in the Southeast. Eric can be found sharing his music on YouTube, playing in church, or joining in worship at conference events.
Eric and Ashley live in Canby, Oregon and have a 6-month-old son named Theo.
Although his official start date is May 1, Davis begins the transition immediately. Join us in praying for the entire treasury team as they make this transition.