Sandy Roberts' presidential nomination to Southeastern California Conference passed, 72 percent to 28 percent. Just prior to the voting process, Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham said General Conference President Ted Wilson called him at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and asked him to pass on a statement to the delegates, which read, an election of a woman to conference president would not be recognized by the world church, and to elect a woman would be in direct confrontation with the world church.
There was an audible murmur of disapproval after Graham read the statement from GC President Wilson.
Senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church Randy Roberts later expressed his disappointment that the GC president had not attended the meeting to convey the message himself, and stated that Wilson had put Graham in an awkward position, making Graham read that statement. There had been rumors GC President Wilson would be in attendance, but he was not.
Fritz Guy was chair of the committee who nominated Roberts. He published a book disparaging a literal interpretation of the Genesis account of creation. He is currently a research professor in the religion department at La Sierra University, and was on the podium representing the nominating committee in their choice of Ms. Roberts.
It appeared President Graham was rushing ahead with the vote, without giving any chance for discussion, but right before Graham was about to push the vote through, various delegates began calling "point of order" as there had been no discussion yet. Graham stopped the voting process and recognized the individuals lining up at the microphones.
The initial comments focused on keeping unity within the world church, but soon shifted in favor of Roberts. Comments in favor of Roberts were met with loud applause and verbal affirmation.
One delegate from the Fontana, Calif., Seventh-day Adventist Church asked if there would be any consequences if the delegates voted Roberts in. Graham responded yes, but hesitated to say exactly what, but after a few moments said there was word individuals whose ordinations were not recognized by the world church would not be able to vote in certain situations.
Discussion continued until a delegate asked how much longer the discussion could go before a vote was taken. Graham indicated that a motion to cease discussion would need to be made.
After the next comment, a motion was made to end discussion. A two-thirds vote was needed and the motion passed.
The results of the vote flashed on the screen and the congregation rose to its feet with loud applause.