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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Herod

An Alumnus of The Year President Leslie Louis Receives Award from SAU


In a heartwarming celebration of service and leadership, the Alumni Association of Southern Adventist University honored Elder Leslie Louis, President of the Carolina Conference, as one of the Alumni of the Year. The prestigious award was presented at the alumni banquet on Thursday, October 26, 2023, recognizing Louis’ outstanding contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the wider community. Dr. Greg King, Dean of the School of Religion, presented the award to Louis, lauding his decades of dedicated service and his authentic leadership style. “Elder Louis embodies the values we cherish at Southern Adventist University,” said King. “His life of service and leadership is an inspiration to us all.”


Colleagues and pastors from the Carolina Conference shared their admiration for Louis with Dr. King in the week leading up to the banquet, describing him as a venerable and authentic leader. “What you see is what you get,” said one employee. “His door is always open, and he’s willing to listen to whatever is on your mind.” Another pastor expressed the collective affection of the Conference staff, saying, “I wonder if Elder Louis truly knows how much we love him.”


Born to missionary parents in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Pastor Leslie D. Louis has spent 50 years serving the Seventh-day Adventist Church in various capacities, including as a teacher, principal, superintendent of education, pastor, vice president of a conference, and currently as the president of the Carolina Conference, a role he has held since 2011. Louis was re-elected for his third term in 2022, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to his faith and community.


Louis, who also serves on the Board of Trustees for Southern Adventist University, has been a part of the institution’s journey not just as an alumnus but also as a guiding force on its Governance and Spiritual Life Committees. His connection to the university is further deepened through his family; both his children are alumni, and he met his wife, Carole, while they were students at Southern Missionary College. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2023.


An avid traveler, photographer, and outdoorsman, Louis finds joy in exploring the world, having visited countries on six continents. Yet, his greatest passion remains preaching and sharing Christ’s teachings through evangelism, prayer, and witnessing. The Alumni Association’s recognition of Elder Leslie Louis as an Alumni of the Year stands as a testament to his impactful leadership and his embodiment of the Christian values central to the mission of Southern Adventist University.


— Courtney Herod

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