Thurber began in ministry as a teacher at Redwood Academy in the Northern California Conference. From there, he served as an associate pastor and assistant director of Northwest Ministries Training Center at the Kent Church in the Washington Conference. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Southern Adventist University, and earned his master’s degree in religion at Andrews University. He is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. Leadership program at Andrews University.
Ordained in 1987, Thurber has served as a pastor in the Kansas-Nebraska, Florida and Michigan conferences. His assignments in the Michigan Conference also included director of Youth, Camp and Family ministries and, later, assistant to the president for administration. He has also served as president of the Rocky Mountain, Indiana and Northern New England conferences.
Prior to coming to the Mid-America Union Conference, Thurber was executive secretary of the Lake Union Conference.
Thurber is married to the former Diane Wynn. They have two adult sons, Ryan and Justin.
Elder Neil Biloff has a Bachelor of Science from Walla Walla University and has continued his education at Andrews Universtiy for his MDiv.
After attending WWU, he and his wife taught for a couple years, then owned and operated a construction company and a retail lumber yard. before going into the ministry.
Biloff pastored, built churches and schools, and administered in Alaska for fifteen years before coming back home to the Dakotas in 2005 where he is currently president of the Dakota Conference.
He, and his wife Jacquie, have three adult children, Matt (Tricia) and one grandson, Jacob, living in Alaska; Chet, also in Alaska; and Rondi residing in Colorado.