Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean.
Adventist Church member Surangel Whipps Jr. won the presidential election in Palau, becoming the 10th president of the beautiful Pacific island nation.
Whipps was sworn in as president during the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol of Palau. The pillars of his church and family supported the president through the ceremony.
The inauguration program incorporated members of the local Seventh-day Adventist church and school.
Chamberlain Kinsiano, associate pastor of the Koror Seventh-day Adventist Church, offered the invocational prayer for the ceremony. Later in closing, after the president’s inaugural address, the Koror Seventh-day Adventist Youth sang the song of hope, “Heal Our Land.”
After graduating from Andrews University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Whipps Jr. went on to become a two-term senator of the Palau National Congress and CEO and president of the Surangel and Sons Company.
His parents shared stories illustrating how their son exhibited determination, leadership, and integrity since childhood. The stories showed the strength of his family faith and how that faith was an influential factor in his journey to the presidency.
The biographical profile in the inauguration booklet emphasized Whipps’s foundational principles. It reads, “A Seventh-day Adventist, he maintains his father’s tenets for happiness — a God-centered home, always time for family, hard work ethic, and achieve highest education opportunity.”
Whipps continues to be an active member of the Koror Seventh-day Adventist church in Palau. His church leadership roles include church deacon, member of the Guam-Micronesia Mission Executive Committee, board member of the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic, and chairman of the Palau Adventist School board.
“He is as an inspiring example of standing on values to inform one’s participation in social and political issues,” a communication by the Adventist Church in the region said. “The Guam-Micronesia Mission congratulates President Whipps, committing to pray for him and all the world’s leaders during this crucial time of history.”
The original version of this story was posted on the Guam-Micronesia Mission site.