Women Ministers Count in NAD!
In a reversal of policy that thwarted efforts for documenting the number of women pastors, Elder Heather Crews, Association Director for women clergy at North American Division Women’s Ministerial Association, has an almost complete count of women pastors employed by the North American Division. With only one conference yet to confirm their estimate, the count stands at just shy of 150 women employed in ministry in Adventist churches. The count does not include an additional 80-85 female chaplains. This is not just a counting in preparation for the General Conference, plans are in place to maintain an ongoing database.
Counts of women pastors occurred in 2006 and proceeding the 2015 General Conference but many groups, including the Association of Adventist Women, have been frustrated records were not maintained at the Union or Division level. Most conferences would not share the number of female pastors, citing privacy. Therefore, an estimate of the number of female pastors was impossible.
The Association of Adventist Women has also made a request for divisions to be required to count the gender of their membership because numbers matter. Being counted contributes to the feeling that everyone counts. Obstruction of access to census information can lead to distrust. The AAW highly commends the NAD for making this information available, so it is clear to everyone that women ministers count.
Nerida Taylor Bates
May Roselee Chilumbi, Zambian Pastor Dies
Pastor May Chilumbi, one of the first Adventist female pastors in Zambia, died recently at the age of 70 years old. A lifelong Adventist she studies as a secretary right out of high school and worked for several years as a administrative assistant for the minister of state and then head of state. She then worked for Zambia State Insurance and Bank of Zambia.
In 1991 she became a literature evangelist for the Central Zambian Conference and from 1992 to 2000 was the Assistant Publishing Department Director. She had a missionary credential. She went on to completed her degree in theology from Rusangu University in 2013. Her fellow minister said she was the sort of woman that when she saw a problem, she would make a correction. She got her degree and she wanted to go further, others were discouraging her because she was a woman, but she didn’t mind. Her lifelong interest in education was shown in her recent completion of her Master Guide. In her capacity with the Pathfinders she was remembered as a mother, a sister, a grandmother, a teacher and an evangelist.
Her daughter said that she was a wonderful mother, in fact, she was a wonderful mother to many. She taught us how to sit at the feet of Jesus inviting many into their home and taking children to school. Her grandchildren said she was a wonderful combination of warmth and kindness, laughter and love. The SID Ministerial Association Secretary said we worked together, and we knew her to be an open-minded and ever smiling person.
Unfortunately in the past year illness set in an on the 7th of November she passed away. May is survived by two children, 5 grandchildren and one great grandchild.She will be greatly missed. She was available at any time to undertake the job assigned to her. She was a wonderful woman of God who served the Lord faithfully until the very end.
AAW Banquet Bestows Awards
The Annual Meeting of the Association of Adventist Women (AAW) concluded with its traditional banquet, Oct. 30. Some 50 AAW members and dignitaries attended, including William G Johnsson, former editor of the Review, Craig Jackson, Dean of LLU School of Allied Health Professions and two former Women of the Year, Joyce Hopp, PhD and Elsie Chan. All have CVs of distinction much too long to recount here.
Nerida Taylor Bates, MD PhD, President, began the evening wearing a dress with the world map adorned with a sequence for each place a women pastors. Lovely music accompanied with appropriate slides was provided by Paulette Hamlin and Giulian Bratosin. Two speakers shared from their roles.
Charles Sandefur received one of the Champion of Justice awards for his work with EnditNow. He described the efforts involved in establishing and continuing a program to prevent the abuse of women, a world-wide problem.
Helen Hopp Marshak was one of three Women of the Year (WOY) Awardees. She spoke of the “hesitant leader”. Now as Dean of the LLU School of Public Health, she describes herself as a hesitant leader. However, her CV tells a far different story. She encouraged women to put aside their hesitancy and become leaders at all levels of the SDA Church.
The lovely meal was served at Najwa’s Mediterranean Restaurant in Loma Linda with tables adorned with centerpieces of sunflowers. The evening was on Zoom with connection to New Zealand to hear from another WOY Awardee, Dianne Sika-Paotonu, PhD, Immunologist researcher in rheumatic heart disease in the South Pacific. The internet failed to pick up the third WOY Phyllis Ware Lee, MBA, President and CFO of Central States Union, USA. Henry Fordham, III, Past President of the Allegheny East Conference received the second Champion of Justice Award. Sadly, Elder and Mrs. Fordham passed away in a house fire very recently. His son, Donovan, spoke very highly of the outcomes of his father’s support of women in ministry.
Catch the entire evening on the web, along with the four vespers on YouTube.
Elder Chuck Sandefur, new Champion of Justice, giving his address entitled God is Just.
Drs Joyce Hopp and Helen Hopp Marshak, both winners of WOY awards and Deans of School of Public Health Loma Linda University