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Conference Youth and Ministerial Directors


Manny Ojeda


Illinois Conference Youth Director

Manny Ojeda currently serves as the Illinois Conference Youth Director since 2011. He is married to Clari and they have two boys, Eliah and Josiah. 
Manny and Clari's ministry originated through the Pathfinder program while living in Florida.  Manny received his first call to the Indiana Conference for Pastoral ministry.  Manny and Clari lived in Indiana until January of 2011 after which they accepted the call to Illinois as their youth Director.  

Manny's passion for outdoor ministry began as a child and has been a direction indicator for his ministry at Camp Akita's Summer Camp Program.  
Manny enjoys camping, mountain biking, flying, and riding his motorcycle. 

Contact Manny Ojeda.

John Grys
Illinois Conference Ministerial Director
He has a heart for the generations of our church and to see leaders grow in their capacity and competency to lead. John is originally from Chicago, hailing from North Shore SDA School and a graduate of Broadview Academy. Beyond serving here locally, John serves as an adjunct professor for the Christian Ministry Department in the Seminary at Andrews University, where he teaches graduate level leadership courses. "It is a joy to see our younger generations sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to discover congregations who have a heart and passion for our young people,” he writes.

Contact John Grys.



Charlie Thompson
Indiana Conference Youth Director
Pastor Charlie is the proud father of three daughters, and devoted husband to Trish.


As Youth Director of Indiana Conference, his greatest desire is to model the life of Jesus.   

There is no greater joy than to see youth and young adults fall in love with Jesus; and become His disciples. 

Contact Charlie Thompson.



Steven Poenitz
Indiana Conference President
Beginning ministry in 1974 Steven Poenitz has worked as pastor in several state fields, and most recently (2008) ministerial secretary and president (2015 forward) in the Indiana Conference. He enjoys engaging with people and networking with them to build relationships for empowering ministry. He and his wife Erney have been married for 31 years and enjoy the company of their harrier puppy dog, Happy.

Contact Steven Poenitz.






Jason North

Lake Region Conference Youth Director

Jason C. North holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Youth Ministry from Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Pastor Jason C. North is happily married to the former Angie Coddington of Devonshire, Bermuda and have three children, Dijae(Deejay), Jadae(Jaday), and Jason Jr.
Pastor North has served in various capacities from Physical Education teacher in Bermuda to Academy Chaplain, Religion Teacher, and Associate and Youth Pastor Michigan before accepting a call into full time Pastoral ministry in the Lake Region Conference. He served as Pastor in Central Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana and now serves as the Youth, Young Adult, Camp Director for the Lake Region Conference of Seventh- day Adventist.
Pastor North enjoys hanging with family and friends, laughing, theological discussions, sports, and video games. Pastor North has a passion for authentically sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and empowering, equipping, and igniting young people to pursue their God given passion. His goal is to reach the world, reclaim the lost, and restore the image of Jesus Christ through the transformational power of the Holy Spirit. 

Contact Jason North.


Michael Horton
Lake Region Conference Ministerial Director

Michael Horton is married to Dr. Ruth Horton of Lake Union Conference. They have 3 sons, Michael, Elijah, and Isaiah.  He loves people, and enjoys and is excited to hear the thoughts, views, and visions of youth and young adults. He believes everyone has a story to tell. 
He also loves the Bible and history, and is an avid reader in many fields.  Righteousness by faith, the prophetic scriptures of Daniel and Revelation, and understanding God’s movements in history are of special interest to him. Believing we should stay abreast of current events to understand the signs of the times, he reads the New York Times everyday.  He holds degrees from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University.  
Evangelistically he focuses on reaching the secular mind in the 21st Century with the everlasting gospel. Pastor Horton believes as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Christ is ALL!”

Contact Michael Horton



Ken Micheff

Michigan Conference Youth Director

A former high-rise construction welder, volunteer ambulance driver, high school teacher, coach, youth leader, Pastor and Conference Youth Director.  
He began his ministry as a pastor in a local church in rural Michigan. Ken was married to Tammy in 1980. They are proud of their two grown children and daughter-in-law all living in Tennessee:  Crystal is working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse,  Jeremy is finishing a Physicians Assistant degree from Kettering, and Daughter-in-Law Natasha is finishing a Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Southern. Ken's hobbies include being outdoors biking, camping, hiking, backpacking, tennis, golf and fishing.  
Ken loves Jesus and has a passion to see young people be empowered in leadership and active in advancing the kingdom of God. His enthusiasm for Christ is contagious! 

Contact Ken Micheff.


Craig Harris

Michigan Conference Pathfinder Director 

Pastor Craig believes that every young person can have an active connection with Jesus Christ. This connection process is called "tagging" Jesus.  

Tagging Jesus, along with practical, interactive, and rough and ready training, young people will be effective leaders for Christ's kingdom wherever they are called. 


Craig is married to his high school sweetheart Jane, lives in Grand Ledge Michigan and is currently the Associate Youth Director and Pathfinder/Adventurer director for the Michigan Conference.He has two grown daughters,and two grandchildren.  

He enjoys golf, hiking, camping, active sports and reading.

Contact Craig Harris.


Royce Snyman
Michigan Conference Ministerial Director

Royce has served in Michigan since 1977 after graduating from Pacific Union College, in Angwin, California, and also graduated from Andrews Seminary with an M.Div. in 1980. He has pastored in Pontiac, Plymouth and Belleville, and Kalamazoo, prior to becoming the Personal Ministries Director in 1993. He and his wife, Laurie, met at PUC. They have one daughter, Kristen Snyman Harvey, living with her husband in Hixson, Tennessee. Royce and Laurie enjoy people, traveling from time to time, and birding.

Contact Royce Snyman


Greg Taylor

Wisconsin Conference Youth Director

Pastor Greg Taylor is the husband to Kim Taylor and the father of two wonderful boys, Matthew and Joshua. Greg has served as a Bible teacher, PE teacher, and campus chaplain in Michigan and Maryland, youth pastor in Indianapolis and is now Youth Director for the Wisconsin Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Greg currently works training youth leaders, planning youth events and serving as the camp director at Camp Wakonda in Oxford, Wisconsin. Greg is also the conference Sabbath school leader as well as Men's ministry coordinator.  
Greg and Kim began their joint ministry in Michigan working for Elder Gary Thurber at Camp Au Sable.  Kim was then hired at Grand Rapids Junior Academy in 2000, during Greg's last year at Andrews University. After finishing his degree, Greg was also hired at Grand Rapids as the Bible teacher and chaplain. Greg and Kim have fond memories of their time in Grand Rapids, especially seeing the Junior Academy becoming a full Academy. Greg not only taught Bible, but  also taught history, physical education and much, much more ;-) After four years of working together in Grand Rapids, Greg and Kim answered the call to Maryland to full-time chaplain role and later to Indiana as full-time youth pastor. It was always Greg's dream to be a youth director and he is humbled to now serve in that capacity. He is so grateful for each of the positions God has placed him in, as they have given him the opportunity to serve him in may different capacities and to touch many lives for His kingdom.

Contact Greg Taylor.


James Fox
Wisconsin Conference Ministerial Director
James Fox has served as Personal Ministries Director since 1998. Previously, James has served as Church Ministries director and evangelist in Ontario, and pastor in British Columbia Conference. He graduated with his M. Div. from Andrews University Theological Seminary. James is married to Judy Fox and they have two sons, James and Jonathan. James has two small dogs and enjoys playing guitar, exploring the digital universe, and investing.

Contact James Fox.