Scott Haakenson has accepted the Iowa-Missouri Conference’s invitation to serve as stewardship, development and trust services director.
This is a new position that combines two existing areas of ministry within the conference, stewardship and trust services, with a new emphasis on development. The conference executive committee earlier this year voted to merge these areas of ministry into a single department when David Lincoln, outgoing trust services director, made the decision to return to fulltime pastoral ministry. He now pastors the Knoxville, Marshalltown, Newton and Winterset churches in Iowa.
“Approaches toward giving are changing,” said Robert Wagley, executive secretary for the conference and previous stewardship director. “People are now supporting specific initiatives rather than organizations in general. It naturally follows that all areas of giving—estate planning and philanthropic support of the Adventist Church, its mission and efforts—should fall under a single area of ministry.” He added, “In Scott’s previous roles within the conference, he has demonstrated great communication skills, a solid work ethic, an exuberant spirit, as well as passion and commitment in the area of stewardship. He’ll be a great asset to the conference in his new role.”
Haakenson has served the conference in various capacities for nearly 20 years, including, most recently, as pastor of the Cedar Rapids Church. Before that he served briefly as a pastor in Beirut, Lebanon as part of a conference-subsidized mission program; as evangelism director at Sunnydale Academy; as a pastor and Bible worker in other parts of the conference; and as director of the conference’s Magabook student literature evangelism program.
“I am looking forward to getting to know more people around our conference and helping them see how they can make a difference in people’s lives through giving,” Haakenson said. “Giving, not just financially but with our time and talents, should be a way of life. I believe it’s through giving that we become more like the generous God we serve, who gave us everything we need for salvation and for this life on earth.”
A significant part of Haakenson’s role will be raising funds for various conference initiatives, especially Sunnydale Academy’s student financial assistance campaign, Funding the Mission of Sunnydale Academy, which aims to bridge the gap between students’ financial need and their family’s ability to pay. Now in its third year, the goal of the campaign is to fully fund student financial need for the current school year and eventually for a full school year in advance. Erv Bales, the academy’s former vice president for finance, has graciously been serving as campaign coordinator in his retirement.
Haakenson hopes to see the number of people supporting the student financial assistance campaign grow to 1,000 people giving $500 or more per year (approx. $42 per month). “Academies are facing challenging times. So many have closed, but by God’s grace ours is at maximum capacity,” he said. “I look forward to working with our constituents to continue to meet the financial needs of students who want a Seventh-day Adventist Christian education.”