News Story

Samoan Church Leader, Elder O. Vincent Haleck, Returns to Pacific

American Samoan-born general authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder O. Vincent Haleck, has returned to the Pacific Area.

Elder Haleck has been assigned to serve as second counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

When he and his wife, Sister Peggy Haleck, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand — where the Church’s Pacific Area headquarters are located — they were welcomed by Elder James J. Hamula, Pacific Area president and Elder Kevin W. Pearson, first counsellor in the Area Presidency, and their families.

They will also be welcomed to the Pacific Area by family and friends in American Samoa, and friends throughout the region.

Elder and Sister Haleck have been living in Salt Lake City, Utah since he began his service as a member of the Church’s Second Quorum of the Seventy on 2 April, 2011.

“I’m grateful and honoured by the confidence the Lord has placed in us,” Elder Haleck said when he was called to serve as a general authority of the Church. “I Iove the Lord and hope to be a good instrument. I know the Lord will help me.” 

He married Peggy Ann Cameron in June 1972.  They are the parents of three children and have seven grandchildren.

As a young boy, Elder Haleck remembers his family paying tithing, fasting weekly, reading the Bible daily and giving of what they had to those in need.

Elder Haleck’s mother was a member of the Church but hadn’t attended worship services in years. His father wasn’t a member of the Church. 

At the age of 17, his parents Otto and Dorothy Haleck, sent him to school in California. He noticed that some friends in student government were different from other students. 

“They invited me to Mutual, a [Latter-day Saint] young men and young women youth organisation, and the rest is history,” Elder Haleck says.

Eventually Elder Haleck’s whole family found the gospel.  Elder Haleck had the privilege of baptising his 80-year old father and seeing his mother return to activity in the Church after 50 years of marriage.

Elder Haleck received a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing from Brigham Young University. 

He owns a number of businesses in American Samoa and is involved in philanthropic work.  

Prior to his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy,  Elder Haleck served as a full-time missionary in the Samoa Apia Mission, bishop, stake high councillor, patriarch, stake president, and most recently, president of the Samoa Apia Mission.  

Elder Haleck believes that all his life experiences have led him to where he is now. “I look back on my life, and I can say that I can see the hand of the Lord," Elder Haleck said. 

Elder F. Michael Watson completed his service as second counsellor in the Pacific Area Presidency. He and his wife, Sister Jolene Watson, have lived and served in the Pacific Area for the last two years. They returned to the United States in late June.

Members of the Quorums of the Seventy work under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Presidency of the Seventy. They are called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and build up the Church. 

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