Working to promote freedom of conscience for every person, no matter who they are or where they live.

Bill Knott, Deputy Secretary General

Bill Knott is associate director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, and responsible for the Church’s interface with the U.S. Congress, the White House, and the international diplomatic corps.

He brings to his new role a wealth of experience gleaned from more than 25 years of networking and connecting with thought leaders and faith communities in the metropolitan D.C. region, including six years during which he completed his doctoral degree at George Washington University in the heart of the District.

Before joining the PARL team in January 2023, Knott was the editor and executive publisher of Adventist Review and Adventist World, the oldest and most widely circulated magazines of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church. When he joined the Adventist Review as an associate editor in 1997, Bill had served for 18 years as a pastor in congregations ranging in size from 6 to 1800, including as senior pastor of the Walla Walla University Church. He earned a B.A. in English and Religion from Atlantic Union College (1979); a M.Div. from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (1983); and a Ph.D. in History from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (2006). His dissertation traced the previously unknown story of early Adventist reformer and missionary Hannah More.

In his role with PARL, Bill focuses primarily on building the church’s networks with legislators, non-governmental organizations, and embassies who can advance the Church’s interests in legislation, collaboration, and protecting the religious freedom of both Adventists and others around the globe. He also travels extensively for the world church, speaking and participating at conferences, pastors’ retreats, camp meetings, and international conventions. He has authored hundreds of articles and preached thousands of sermons in 43 years of ministry. His wife, Deborah, is a senior systems manager in Human Resources at the church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Knotts have two married sons—Evan, a pastor and the communication director of the Chesapeake (Maryland) Conference of the North American Division; and Brady, who holds a doctorate degree in physical therapy and practices in Largo, Maryland.