(Introducing Elder Robert Chandler, Treasurer, Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists}
“…And Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.” 1 Kings 19:19
The story of Elijah casting his mantle upon Elisha has been taught many times over the years. Often, the message being that he, Elijah, was in essence turning things over to Elisha. An important part of the narrative that often isn’t emphasized (at least from this writer’s knowledge) is the preparation that Elisha had under the mentorship of Elijah prior to receiving the mantle.
Thinking about this classic Bible story provides the impetus for our biography on Elder Robert Chandler. Indeed a mantle has been placed around his shoulders to continue leading Northeastern Conference forward. And like Elisha, he comes with preparation and mentorship.
Born in Trinidad, West Indies, he later moved to New York at age 11 where he attended and graduated from Greater New York Academy. He then graduated from Oakwood College receiving his BA in Business with a concentration in Accounting.
Elder Chandler spent the beginning of his years in the business world as a consultant doing private work and working for major businesses. However, in 2008 the market downsized and the economy was greatly affected. Elder Chandler states it was then that “God removed everything from me and made me available to work for the church.” He says it has been a positive experience ever since.
He began his work in the church in 2008 as a Senior Accountant in the New Jersey Conference and later advanced to the position of Associate Treasurer. From there, Elder Chandler accepted a position as Associate Treasurer at South Central under Sonja Crayton, who he credits for preparing him for the position of Treasurer of Northeastern.
Other mentors that Elder Chandler spoke of who impacted his life were Seth Bardu, former Regional Conference and Union Treasurer, who mentored him in learning about treasury throughout the organization and Leonel Pottinger, New Jersey Conference Ministerial Director, who gave guidance and mentorship in lay evangelism and teaching and preaching while he was in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
In Dallas, Texas, 22 years ago, Elder Chandler met and then married the former Rosemary Goldsborough. They have seven children, five adult children and two younger children; nine grand-children and two great-grands. Mrs. Chandler homeschools their two younger children.
Re-locating to the northeast, Elder Chandler desires to pick up on a favorite hobby of his – photography.
When asked what he saw as his biggest challenge in taking on his new position, Elder Chandler responded, “Recognizing that God has given me a big assignment and that requires a big character. I am in a position to take the mantel and be a fearless leader.” Using as his foundation to help him in this new assignment is one of his favorite texts, “Jesus responded, I assure you that if you have faith and don’t doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree. You will even say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the lake.’ And it will happen. If you have faith, you will receive whatever you pray for.” Matthew 21:21, 22.
Elisha, like Elijah was able received the mantle of God because he was prepared, mentored and willing to be used. He demonstrated the character needed to receive the mantle. Our prayers are with you, Elder Chandler as you take on this mantle and carry forth the work in the Northeastern Conference.
Submitted by, Jill Edmond