Spring Meeting Elections

Marcel Ghioalda, Kevin Johns and Branislav Mirilov elected to serve.

News May 22, 2024

20 May 2024| St Albans, UK. [David Neal]

With the departure of Dejan Stojkovic to serve as Youth Director for the Greater Sydney Conference in Australia, the Trans-European Division (TED) Executive Committee elected Marcel Ghioalda to serve as Youth and Public Campus Ministries Director at their 20 May Spring Meeting.

Marcel Ghioalda Elected to Serve as Youth & Public Campus Ministries Director.

Prior to his current role as Senior Pastor of Newbold Church for the past six years, Ghioalda served for 19 years as a pastor in the Scottish Mission, including 12 years leading Youth and Pathfinder Ministries. During this time, he organised spiritual and social retreats, sports days, mission projects, fellowship days, local Pathfinder Camporees, and leadership training.

Ghioalda’s 2009 Master of Arts in Theology, with an emphasis on Youth Ministry, served as a foundation for his holistic approach to caring for the spiritual, social, and emotional needs of young people. Not least was his innovation to create ‘safe and open environments’ for youth to explore challenging issues about faith, ethics, and social justice.

Born in Romania in 1971, Ghioalda has been married to Claudette for 27 years, and they are the parents of two teenagers.

With over 24 years of ministry, Marcel Ghioalda brings a passion for nurturing spiritual growth and development in young people.


“We are thrilled to have Pastor Marcel Ghioalda join the TED team as Youth and Public Campus Ministries Director,” commented Daniel Duda, TED President. Continuing, he said, “I am looking forward to the unique skills and fresh perspective Marcel will bring to youth work across the Trans-European Division. He combines good theological thinking with pastoral and youth work experience, and love for young people and students.”

On hearing of his election, Ghioalda responded, “I am humbled and excited to be trusted with this awesome responsibility, which continues a life-long passion of working with young people. I am very much looking forward to collaborating with Union Youth Directors to facilitate and enhance our joint commitment to serving TED youth.”

Ghioalda continued with a message for TED youth. “You live in unprecedentedly challenging times, for which things can be confusing. I look forward to getting to know you, and share in the joys and struggles you face, as we find ways in which we can grow together in our relationship with God, our church and wider community. Your growth is our goal.”

“Newbold has been home for our family for more than six years now and has played a major role in our lives,” reflected Ghioalda as he processed the news about his appointment. “We are grateful for the friendships formed, the opportunities to grow and the privilege to serve, knowing that the best days for the Newbold Church family are still ahead.”

Kevin Johns Elected as Associate Youth Director (Teens, Adventurers, Pathfinders)

In a further step to bolster Youth Ministries, the Executive Committee voted to elect Kevin Johns to serve as Associate Youth Director with responsibility for Teens, Adventurers, and Pathfinders. Since 2021, Johns has served as Youth and Pathfinder Director for the British Union Conference (BUC).

“I am passionate about empowering young people to become future leaders…who ultimately make a decision to give their life to Christ.”

Johns’s passion and enthusiasm for Youth Ministries developed during his own youth, quickly engaging in local church leadership prior to and during ministry training. From 1985 to 2000, he led an after-school educational club, youth clubs, and all aspects of local church youth work, and formed a church plant in north-west London. With ministry training in both the Caribbean and the UK, Johns graduated with a BA in Theology from Newbold College of Higher Education in 1995.

After serving in various districts in the St Lucia Mission, North Caribbean Conference, and North and South England Conferences, Johns was called in 2011 to serve as Pathfinder Ministries Director for the South England Conference (SEC).

During his SEC leadership role, Johns’s enthusiasm and passion for Pathfinder Ministries emerged, training leaders, running camporees and campouts, and establishing new clubs in churches and small groups.

After a short return to pastoral ministry in 2019, serving as Senior Pastor of the London Hampstead church, in 2021 he was elected to serve as British Union Conference Youth and Pathfinder Director.

Johns is married to Margaret, and they have two adult sons, Dwight and Aaron.


“Everybody who knows Pastor Kevin Johns knows of his heart and passion for Pathfinders and Adventurers,” shared Daniel Duda. “We are excited about the opportunities ahead and confident that with his contributions, the work for Teens, Adventurers, and Pathfinders will achieve great things across all the fields of the Trans-European Division.”

On hearing of his election, Johns responded, “I am humbled and excited to be called to serve the Trans-European Division. I look forward to being a member of the team and working collaboratively, to lead young people to give their lives to Jesus.” Johns continued, “Pathfinder and Adventurer Ministry is front line evangelism, and when rightly employed, provides a solid foundation for helping ourchildren know Christ, and to develop holistic characters that shape their lives for the future.”

Reflecting on his time serving the British Union Conference Johns said, “I am saddened to leave my family at the British Union Conference. It has been an absolute pleasure working with everyone through all the challenges and growing together as a team. I will miss the friendship and fellowship!”

Team Building

In his comments to the Executive Committee, Duda explained the need to reinstate Youth leaders with focused responsibility. “The breadth and depth of Youth Ministries is too much for one person alone to carry,” he explained. It is a principle Ghioalda and Johns know all too well from their ministry experience.

“It will be exciting to work together with Kevin, learn from and support each other, as we both serve God in our respective roles,” said Ghioalda. Likewise Johns shared his enthusiasm for working with Marcel, “We have encountered each other many times, and now we have a great opportunity to work together! I believe that we have exciting times ahead and together we can make a significant difference guided by the Holy Spirit.”

Thank You

To Vanesa Pizzuto must go a vote of thanks for serving as Interim Youth Director from January to August 2024. “We extend our prayers to the new Youth team, and department administrator, Judy Plaatjes-McKie,” leaders shared.

Branislav Mirilov Re-elected President, Cyprus Region, President.

Branislav Mirilov has wide experience in serving the Church in pastoral, administrative and academic roles.

It was also a task of the Executive Committee to consider the position of the President of the Cyprus Region. With his vast and wide experience of serving the church in pastoral, administrative, and academic roles, the recommendation of the Nominating Committee for Branislav Mirilov to continue to serve in this role was approved.


Commenting on Mirilov’s re-election, Duda said, “Pastor Branislav Mirilov has been the President of the Cyprus Region since 2012, and we are looking forward to the continuation of his ministry on this island. Together with his wife Marica, they are a strong team that blesses not only our members there, but that also care for the One Year in Mission students, making their missionary experience memorable. We wish him God’s blessings as he guides our work there.”

Reflecting on his re-election, Mirilov is filled with gratitude to the Lord and, “willing to serve in whatever role He calls me to. It is always a great privilege and responsibility.” Continuing, he said, “With my family, I want to thank the Lord and the Church for the trust given and now extended to us. We pray that God will continue to enable and enlarge our gifts and talents so that we can respond faithfully and adequately to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.” Most importantly, he shared, “We commit to loving and serving the Church and people of Cyprus and to leading them into a deeper knowledge of Christ.”

[Photos: Marcel Ghioalda, Kevin John’s and courtesy of the Cyprus Region team]. Featured image: David Neal




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