‘PRESS RELEASE: United Church of God Council of Elders Confirms Rick Shabi as President’


The United Church of God put out the following press release:

PRESS RELEASE: United Church of God Council of Elders Confirms Rick Shabi as President

Rick and Deborah Shabi

United Church of God Council of Elders Confirms Rick Shabi as President

[CINCINNATI, MAY 20, 2022] After weeks of prayer and periodic fasting, the Council of Elders selected Mr. Rick Shabi to serve as the next president of the United Church of God, an International Association. Mr. Shabi’s three-year term began on May 18. The Church’s home office staff in Cincinnati looks forward to serving under the leadership of Mr. Shabi and his wife, Deborah.

The Council of Elders has asked Mr. Shabi to give this week’s Sabbath sermon during the Cincinnati East PM service. Although he is known to many as Church treasurer for the past eight years, other members may not have met him or heard him speak, so this is an opportunity to hear from him and get to know him. The service will be webcast live beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT on www.ucg.org (then click on “Webcast”).

Rick and Deborah both grew up in the Greater Chicago area, where his parents (Paul and Lela Shabi) and her parents (Glenn and Betty Metz) were active members of the Church dating back to the 1960s. The two attended Ambassador College briefly and Rick graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a major in accounting.

After the Shabis were married, over a 25-year period they lived in Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; and West Palm Beach, Florida, before moving back to Indianapolis. Rick was ordained an elder in 2000 while serving in the Indianapolis church, and relocated to northern Florida in 2004 where they have lived since.

After enjoying a rewarding career in corporate hospital finance and administration, he became a pastor in January 2011. Since then, the Shabis have served in the Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida, congregations. Rick also served as the treasurer for the United Church of God from 2013–2022.

Reflecting back over their lives, Rick commented, “I now understand how God prepared Debbie and me for what He wanted each next step of the way.” He looks forward to working with the home office staff and looks to God to lead the Church and provide direction to accomplish what Christ wants for His Body.

Rick and Debbie have four children, Eric (wife Tere), Kristin, Kate (husband Martin Hall), and Patrick (engaged with plans to be married this summer) and two grandchildren.

Back in March of this year, the Council of Elders at UCG felt a change in the presidency was needed–a change Victor Kubik did not want–so he is no longer president and Rick Shabi is.

UCG’s first president, David Hulme, started his own church when he was not reconfirmed in 1998. His church is called: COGaIC: Church of God, an International Community.

One or two of UCG’s other former presidents ended up in COGWA–though doing something like that would not seem to be in Victor Kubik’s plans.

Victor Kubik and I both believe that Christians should assist our poor brethren (cf. Galatians 6:10). He will apparently try to keep doing that with his Lifenets, whereas I continue to do so in the Continuing Church of God (see also How does the Continuing Church of God differ from other Sabbatarian COG groups? and watch How Does the CCOG Spend Tithes & Offerings?).

As far as Rick and Debrah Shabi go, I do not believe that I have ever met them nor do I recall having any direct contact with either of them.

Information on UCG’s teachings can be found in the following link: United Church of God.

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