Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

New visitors center directors called

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 1997

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The First Presidency has called new directors for 10 of the Church's visitors centers around the world. The new leaders and their wives will be trained at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, Feb. 10-14. They will begin their two-year terms of service following their training.

The new directors and their wives and assignments are: Rowayne P. and Marilyn H. Andersen, Cove Fort Historical Site; Lee R. and Ruth S. Beckstead, Joseph Smith Memorial Historical Site, Sharon, Vt.; Larry K. and Alice B. Brown, Independence

Mo.T Visitors Center; F. MacRay (Mac) and Joan Christensen, Washington

D.C.T Temple Visitors Center; Grant S. and Barbara H. Furse, Mormon Battalion Visitors Center, San Diego, Calif.; Garth V. and Carmen B. Hall, Kirtland

OhioT Visitors Center; Robert L. and Beverley K. Mercer, Nauvoo

Ill.T Visitors Center; Talmage W. and Dorothy L. Nielsen,

LaieT Hawaii Temple Visitors Center; Lowell M. and Tamara Ann Snow, Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission; Verlyn J. and Ruby Leora Thomas, St. George Temple Visitors Center.- Rowayne P. Andersen, 66, and his wife, Marilyn Herbert Andersen, have five children and are members of the Lakeview Ward, American Falls Idaho Stake. Elder Andersen and his wife are stake advisers to the Young Single Adults. He is a former bishop and counselor, a high councilor, temple ordinance worker, ward mission leader, stake missionary, and full-time missionary to Hawaii. He worked as a rancher.

Sister Andersen has served as a temple ordinance worker, Primary and Relief Society teacher, stake missionary and Relief Society chorister. She worked as a school lunch supervisor for 19 years before retiring.

- Lee R. Beckstead, 68, and his wife, Ruth Stewart Beckstead, are parents of four children and members of the Jordan River 1st Ward, South Jordan Utah River Ridge Stake. Elder Beckstead is a home teacher, a former bishop and counselor, high priests group leader, elders quorum president and Young Men president. He is the owner of Beckstead Mink and has driven a school bus for several years.

Sister Beckstead is a visiting teacher, and a former Relief Society and Primary teacher. She worked in banking.

- Larry K. Brown, 58, and his wife, Alice Drue Berrett Brown, are parents of seven children and members of the Olympia 2nd Ward, Olympia Washington Stake. At the time of his call, he was president of the Olympia 5th Branch (Young Single Adults). He is a former president of the Kenya Nairobi Mission, counselor in two stake presidencies and high councilor, bishop and counselor. He is the owner of Interlock Properties LLC and has worked as a public health adviser for the Centers for Disease Control.

Sister Brown has served as Relief Society president, Relief Society and Primary teacher, chorister and a youth adviser. She was a secretary and receptionist for 13 years.

- F. MacRay (Mac) Christensen, 62, and his wife, Joan Graham Christensen, parents of eight children, are members of the Woodland Hills Ward, Bountiful Utah Central Stake. Elder and Sister Christensen are serving as Church hosts. He is a former executive secretary for two regional representatives, secretary of the Bountiful Utah Temple committee, executive secretary to two stake presidents and a high councilor. Active in community affairs, he is the owner of Mr. Mac, a chain of clothing stores.

Sister Christensen has served as a Relief Society president, counselor and executive secretary; Primary president and counselor; hostess at the Relief Society Building; and teacher in various organizations.

- Grant S. Furse, 65, and his wife, Barbara Hatch Furse, are parents of seven children and members of the Butler 10th Ward, Salt Lake Butler West Stake. Elder Furse, stake mission president, is a former stake president's counselor, bishop and stake employment specialist. He is retired as a Church real estate representative.

Sister Furse is a temple worker. She is a former Relief Society president, counselor and instructor; Young Women president and teacher; and stake missionary.

- Garth V. Hall, 66, and his wife Carmen Bitter Hall, have 10 children and are members of the Park Taylor Ward, Idaho Falls Idaho Taylor Mountain Stake. Elder Hall is a multi-stake family history director. He recently served a mission with his wife in the Australia Adelaide Mission. He is a former stake president and counselor, stake mission president and bishop. He is a dairy farmer.

Sister Hall is a family history missionary. She is a former Relief Society president, Primary president and teacher, and stake missionary.

- Robert L. Mercer, 70, and his wife, Beverley Knowlton Mercer, are parents of four children and members of the Marston Lake 1st Ward, Columbine Colorado Stake. Elder Mercer, a high priests group leader, is a former president of the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission. He also served as a high councilor, counselor in a stake mission presidency and bishop. He is a former agricultural researcher and manager. He was president and chief executive officer for the National Potato Board for 20 years until his retirement.

Sister Mercer is a choir director and former stake Relief Society and Young Women board member, and ward Relief Society and Young Women president.

- Talmage W. Nielsen, 72, and his wife, Dorothy Levie Nielsen, have five children, and are members of the Monument Park 15th Ward, Salt Lake Monument Park Stake. Elder Nielsen is a former full-time medical consultant missionary in the Europe and South America North Areas, and medical consultant to the Missionary Department and Public Affairs Department. He is a former high priests group leader, gospel doctrine teacher and Sunday School president. He was a surgeon for 35 years.

Sister Nielsen is a former Young Women General Board member, missionary with her husband to the Europe and South America North Areas, Relief Society president and Young Women president. She is active in community affairs and is an author, lecturer and teacher.

- Lowell M. Snow, 52, and his wife, Tamara Ann Means, are parents of five children and members of the Willowcreek 1st Ward, Sandy Utah Willowcreek Stake. President Snow is executive secretary to the North America Northeast Area presidency. He is a former Young Men General Board member, president of the Mississippi Jackson Mission, stake president's counselor and bishop and counselor. He is president and chief executive officer of Interstate Services Corp.

Sister Snow is a stake Relief Society president's counselor and a former Primary president and teacher, Relief Society president's counselor, Young Women adviser and Relief Society teacher.

- Verlyn J. Thomas, 72, and his wife, Ruby Leora DeGraw Thomas, have six children and are members of the Jefferson Ward, Salt Lake Wells Stake. Elder Thomas, a ward mission leader, served with his wife in the California Fresno Mission. He is a former regional welfare agent, stake president, high councilor, bishop and counselor. He was a printer and Linotype operator for Newspaper Agency Corp., for 40 years.

Sister Thomas is a counselor in a Primary presidency, and is a former Relief Society president and counselor, Primary president, Young Women president's counselor and choir director.