Valentine is remembered as a visionary leader in digital communication and media and a leader who listened.
Published on: 10-20-2023
On October 20, 2023, Maurice R. Valentine II, a dedicated servant of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, passed away, leaving a legacy of unwavering commitment to his faith and an impressive career of leadership within the Adventist Church. He was 63.
Valentine was a general vice president of the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists at the time of his death. Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the General Conference, shared, “Pastor Maurice Valentine’s death is a tragedy for the world church. He was a very godly leader and an important part of our world church leadership team. Our hearts are broken with this tragic news.”
Valentine began his journey in ministry in 1985, serving as a pastor in various churches across Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska in the United States over 28 years. Valentine’s life of servant leadership led him to become the ministerial director of the Mid-America Union Conference from 2006 to 2012, furthering his impact on the church. He was later called to the Central States Conference as assistant to the president, vice president for administration (secretary), and then president.
G. Alexander “Alex” Bryant, president of the North American Division, reflected on his relationship with Valentine, saying, “Maurice and I knew each other for over 40 years through our college life and ministry. Maurice always had a passion for God, his family, and for ministry.” Bryant and Valentine attended Oakwood University together, where they became friends. Later, they had the privilege to serve together as partners in mission for the Central States Conference. Bryant affirmed Valentine’s leadership, stating, “He executed his responsibility with a high degree of excellence and professionalism. He would always find encouraging words to speak to those he met and took the time to listen to them, especially in the darkest moments.”
In September 2017, Valentine’s unwavering dedication to the church led him to be called to the Lake Union Conference, where he served a total of six years, first as secretary and later as president. Kenneth Denslow, president of the Lake Union Conference, shared, “Maurice served the Lake Union Conference faithfully as secretary and then as president. In whatever roles he served, he was always loyal to Christ, the church, and its mission. Our hearts are aching over this loss. Our prayers are with Sharon and the family.”
In April 2021, Valentine transitioned to the North American Division (NAD) to serve as vice president for media ministries, where he furthered the church’s mission in a rapidly changing media landscape. Richard Stephenson, associate treasurer of the GC, served with him both at the NAD and the GC, and recalled him as a true visionary for digital media and online evangelism. Stephenson expressed, “I have had the great privilege to work closely with Maurice, and he was a mentor to me in seeking new and creative ways to share Jesus. He shared with me many times his belief that the church must better utilize media and technology to connect and engage with those looking for Jesus. One of the committees that he chaired at the General Conference was Digital Innovation, which seeks to use new and emerging technologies to advance the gospel, a perfect fit for his visionary leadership.” Calling Valentine a spiritual giant, Stephenson continued, “More than all this, he loved his Lord, and his passion was for the church to utilize every method to tell others about Jesus and His life-changing power. A spiritual giant of a man has passed to his rest.”
Valentine’s impact extended far beyond his titles, as he was known for his cordiality, integrity, and deep-seated missional consciousness. His election as vice president of the GC at the 2022 GC Session was a testament to his exceptional gifts. Audrey Andersson, also elected to serve as a vice president at the 2022 Session, reflected, “Having been elected at the same time, I felt a special bond with Maurice. He was a giant of faith. Always kind, courteous, and considerate. He would stop by my office to talk and pray. No one could meet Maurice and not be touched by his warm Christian demeanor. The church has lost a wonderful leader. His family has lost a loving father and husband. Those of us who were privileged to work with him have lost a valued friend and colleague.”
Contemplating the life of service Valentine led, Wilson encouraged the global church to earnestly pray for his wife, Sharon, and the entire Valentine family. He added, “Our hearts are encouraged by the reassuring fact that Jesus is coming soon!”
Valentine is survived by his wife, Sharon (Livingston) Valentine and their three adult children. His life and contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church will be remembered with deep respect and gratitude.