General Counsel/PARL

How We Serve

The vice president and general counsel serves as chief legal officer to the various ministries within the Columbia Union, providing counsel and advice to union and conference officers in their day-to-day administrative functions. The general counsel’s office is involved substantively with the operation of the Trust Services and Public Affairs & Religious Liberty (PARL) Departments; and works on other legal matters as assigned by the union’s president. Additionally, the general counsel provides specified legal services to the Columbia Union Revolving Fund.

Additional Responsibilities of the General Counsel Include:

• Reviewing legal documents regarding the ownership and protection of Church property;

• Providing counsel to individual Seventh-day Adventists who face religious discrimination in the workplace;

• Assisting in the preparation of estate planning that allows church members to protect their assets, provide for their families, and at the same time, benefit God’s work;

   Click to see the new  Great Giving video series
   in which experts in planned giving from all across the NAD answer
   commonly asked questions about estate planning.

• Consulting with Columbia Union educators regarding legal issues arising out of the operation of the church’s educational programs; and

• Advocating for religious freedom.

Lisa Saveikis Burrow

About Lisa Saveikis Burrow

Lisa Saveikis Burrow grew up in Salisbury, Md., and graduated from Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) in Takoma Park, Md., with a Bachelor of Arts in English, a minor in Computer Science, with a Pre-Law concentration. She then attended and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.

Burrow brings “a rich background and experience in what I’d call church law,” says Wally Carson, retired Vice President and General Counsel for the Columbia Union, who hired her as an intern at the General Conference’s General Counsel office in 1990. “She is very bright and capable. [She] is personable, approachable and is a very compassionate person.”

After her internship, she worked full-time with the General Conference legal team for the next 17 years—providing legal advice to all levels of the church structure, concentrating on employment and immigration law, with additional responsibilities for other areas, including sexual misconduct, education, environmental and contract law.

She left the General Conference in 2008 to spend more time with her family. For 13 years, she practiced immigration law part-time. She also volunteered at Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., and Spencerville Adventist Academy as a Pathfinder counselor, Vacation Bible School leader, intramural assistant soccer coach and occasionally a substitute teacher.

She also served on the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee and Association Board for five years.

Burrow returned to church work in 2019 as an assistant to the general counsel at the Columbia Union Conference. In this role, she supported the union by interpreting laws, rules, regulations and precedent, and formulated strategies in corporate, constitutional, employment and contract law, among other tasks.

In her new role, she will serve as chief legal officer to the various ministries and union and conference officers in their administrative functions. She will also oversee the operation of Trust Services and Public Affairs & Religious Liberty.

Burrow and her husband, Bob, are the proud parents to two sons. The eldest, Aaron, is enrolled at Washington Adventist University, with their youngest son, Andrew, attending Spencerville Adventist Academy. The family are longtime members of Spencerville Adventist Church.


Getting in Touch

Office of General Counsel/PARL

Telephone: (410) 997-3414

Vice President and General Counsel: Lisa Saveikis Burrow
Office: ext. 580

Administrative Assistant: Rosemary Wilhelm
Office: ext. 581