Central Jamaica Conference Employs First Female Pastor

The Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists announced on February 28, 2017, that it has employed its first female pastor, Mrs. Latoya Smythe-Forbes.

According to the announcement, “Mrs Smythe-Forbes graduated from West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University) in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Theology. Since then she had been involved in various areas of ministry, including being a missionary to South Korea, and as a Bible Instructor with CJC in 2014 and 2016. She has, however, never been employed as a Pastor.”

The CJC’s decision to employ its first female pastor in its 66 years of operation brings to fruition the hopes of Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica. In April 2016, Brown said, “[The Adventist denomination has] female pastors ... and one of my goals, and it's time I am going public with this ... is to employ the first female pastor in the church in Jamaica.”

The Inter-American Division (IAD), parent organization of the Jamaica Union Conference, had previously reported during a January 2014 meeting of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) that nothing in Scripture prevents women from being ordained.

Alisa Williams is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7899
4 Likes

good for CJC…i think there’s a definite trend towards having women pastors work side by side with men pastors all over the world now…it’s probably only a matter of time before this is reflected in our GC working policy, but what a rocky road we’re traveling to get there…one would think those opposed to WO would recognize the handwriting on the wall, and save their fire for when it really matters…but it just seems we’re predestined to turn every inch of progress into a custer’s last stand on the part of someone…

3 Likes

What an excellent choice in Pastor Smythe-Forbes and a courageous leap of faith for Elder Brown! God’s blessings on the followers of Jesus as they find more ways to effectively spread the Good News in Jamaica. The future looks bright.

3 Likes

Just found a wonderful article and testimony: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20161028/we-are-ambassadors-god-pastor

2 Likes

“brethren, trust not in man; look to God; trust in his infallible wisdom . Shun as a sin the
practice, so common even among SDA, of becoming the echo of any man whatever his
position”. EGW gospel Worker. p390.

"Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women (1T 421).

yes it will split the church.

3 Likes

I notice the congratulations a above, but isn’t this rebellion against the world church - Did not the world church vote against women ministers?

This is corporate sin that will bring reproach to the SDA church and inhibit its spread of the gospel.

As I have long predicted, this issue will split the church.

March 1 lesson is all about the Holy Spirit Uniting the Church in Faith & Doctrine. Quoting from 1/3/17 lesson "And if there is no unity in faith and doctrine, there will be no unity in mission. Also from 1/3/17:

“We have only one Model that we are to imitate in character building, and then we all shall have Christ’s mold; we shall be in perfect harmony; nationalities will blend in Jesus Christ, having the same mind, and the same judgment, speaking the same things, and with one mouth glorifying God.” - Ellen G. White, Our High Calling, p. 171.

At the moment the church is not speaking the same things, we are in disarray.

Note what it says on 28/2/17 in the lesson:
The Holy Spirit never draws us away from the Written Word, any more than from the Living Word. Instead, He keeps us in constant, conscious, and willing submission to both. The Bible is the foundational source for any theological unity worldwide. Were we to lessen or weaken our implicit belief in the Bible as God’s Word of truth to us, the unity of the church would be destroyed.

I believe that tis is what is happening now - our church unity is being destroyed because: 2 Tim 4 : 2 - 4 says:
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Please pray for our church because we are in a crisis.

2 Likes

Certainly great news from IAD!

I only wonder how long would it take Pastor TW and his EXCOMM to send an official letter to CJC informing them when their “one year grace period” begin. After all don’t men’s organizational protocols trump God’s spiritual gifts?

4 Likes

And the beat goes on… the Women’s Suffrage movement is alive and well in our church. Hardly a week goes by without new news about the advancement of this cause which has no biblical support. The same leadership that has brought this “ground-breaking” action to Jamaica also thought it not robbery to dedicate God’s holy sabbath day and God’s sacred sanctuary to a celebration of the record-breaking accomplishments of Usain Bolt and the Jamaican Athletes at the “Berlin Salute”; held at the Portmore SDA Church in October of 2009. It was made clear in his message, that he just couldn’t help but follow the track competition even on the Sabbath; which really highlighted the misguided purposes that had them dedicating that Sabbath (Oct. 3, 2009) to the celebration of athletic exploits, instead of The Most High God.

Jamaica is strongly resistant to homosexuality; considered one the most “homophobic” (societies terminology; not mine) countries in the world. However, “the times, they are a changing”. The entering wedge (the dropping of gender distinctions) has now come to the SDA church in Jamaica. This at a time when there has been continual talk about homosexual rights in Jamaica. If the research of the Time Magazine article is to be believed (A Change of Heart: Inside the Evangelical War Over Gay Marriage by Elizabeth Dias), the first step towards the acceptance of homosexuality begins with a change of views regarding the role of women.

Dias states,
“And there is another, just as fundamental, obstacle. So far no Christian tradition has been able to embrace the LGBT community without first changing its views about women. The same reasoning that concludes that homosexuality is sin is also behind the traditional evangelical view that husbands are the spiritual leaders of marriages and men are the leaders in church.”

In conclusion… It’s very interesting that we did not vote in favor of women’s ordination; but have been confronted with “the logical next step” in the embracing of homosexuality anyhow. The Andrews University Homosexual Document issued on October 9, 2015 (just 3 months after the no vote in San Antonio) proves that if we had voted in favor of Women’s Ordination, the “2nd punch” of the “One-Two Punch” would have come shortly thereafter. As a side note… the framers of the Andrews University Homosexuality Document said that the document was 6 months in the making. Which puts the document in its embryonic stage at about April of 2015… meaning as the framers undoubtedly heard the arguments of “women’s ordination today, homosexuality tomorrow”, they knew their document was “waiting in the wings” and would be the precise manifestation of what anti-women’s ordination prognosticators were prophesying. Yet, they remained silent.

The Chico SDA Church situation also proves the nexus between the embrace of women’s ordination and the acceptance of homosexuality.

I’ll just say this… We (the SDA Church) need to consider ourselves at a serious, unmistakeable crossroad at this point in time… Since we did not embrace women’s ordination in 2015, and are now seeing that acceptance of homosexuality also knocks on the door of the church, we are now obliged to either “accept it all” or “reform it all”. We left the stepping stones to Women’s Ordination (women serving as Elders and Pastors) on the table … pretending as if the only question we needed to settle is “should women pastors be ordained”. Now we should realize that reform is the only course for the church to take. We certainly wouldn’t be having a women’s ordination discussion if women weren’t serving as elders and pastors.

2 Likes

No, this is not rebellion. The Adventist church recognizes and commissions female pastors, and even ordains women as elders.

The vote in San Antonio was only about whether or not divisions could make decisions about ordaining those female pastors instead of commissioning them.

4 Likes

The world church did not vote against women ministers. To suggest so is to promulgate a falsehood, and is not helpful to the discussion.

The world church voted not to allow divisions to decide whether they would ordain pastors. Many Unions have allowed for people of either gender to be commissioned. There are a few Unions that have taken it upon themselves to ordain women, and while some (many) see this as rebellion, these Unions believe they have the authority to do this, and their is some justification for their position.

I appreciate that you may take a different view than I to the rights or wrongs of certain actions. However, your position would be strengthened by using correct facts.

6 Likes

THE DELUSION!

Elmer, what we are seeing is a bizarre scene:

One man shooting at everyone trying to impose his views and beliefs giving the impression that he has an authority from God to impose whatever he thinks are the only right positions - his own.

Then we see so many people around him just dodging to avoid the bullets that he is shooting randomly and chaotically at everyone in all directions. From his position, yes, he believes that he is at the center of the world. But people around him are starting to shoot back from all directions, in a circle, telling him to be careful with the “grave consequences” of his delusions.

Canada shoots back, Russia shoots back, Europe shoots back, Americans shoot back, Mexico shoots back, The UK shoots back heavily, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and counting. It seems that it’s becoming a heavy fire coming from all sides - even from Jamaica… Let alone those who are just laughing at the poor guy and his failed expectations…

Do you think that the guy in the center will survive with his corrup politics and distorted views of reality? WDYT???
(I am, obviously, referring to Donald Trump!.. :wink: )

2 Likes

The vote was not against hiring women pastors , it was only against ordination of women as pastors. Two very different things. Amen. Praise God for a giant step forward. Come to Bermuda and preach to us. God’s speed.

To me this whole women’s ordination thing is a solution looking for a problem.

Why does anyone need to be ordained or even have a title in order to serve. Both men and women can serve. It seems to me that the bible is clear on that. All of this argument seems to be because we are seeking the recognition of men (meaning humans).

All of this is so strange. I don’t even recognize my church anymore

1 Like

The church will depreciate I believe…this is the trend in other denominations that do this…

bad for CJC allowing itself to become infected and corrupted by what’s coming out of the IAD. WO is just the enemy foot jamming the door agar for the entry of the LGBT as already seen in places like the Holywood SDA Church. Doubtless the shaking has already begun with the lamentations of TRUE SDAs having to watch the corruptions of the world flooding into the Church while the devil rubs his hands at the lukewarm leaders congratulating themselves thinking this is “The Love Of God” Our leaders are men without discernment. They are pitching their tents toward Sodom but know not where they are tending!

No, the world church did not “vote against women ministers.” This is the GC president’s explanation of the GC 2015 vote:

"General Conference president Ted N.C. Wilson said Friday that a vote this week on the issue of women’s ordination meant 'we maintain the current policy.'

"Wilson told delegates at the General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, that Wednesday’s vote simply barred the church’s world divisions from making decisions on the ordination of women.

"He said the vote has nothing to do with women being ordained as local elders, a practice based on church policy that has been in place for several decades.

"Furthermore, he said, the vote was not related to commissioned ministers, who can be male or female under the church’s policy.

“‘So let us be clear on what was voted on Wednesday,’ Wilson said. ‘We are now back to our original understanding, and I would strongly urge all to adhere by what has been voted. But do not place into the vote other things which were not listed in the vote. We need to be fair, we need to be open, and we all need to accept what is voted at a General Conference session.’

“Wilson asked division presidents to clarify the meaning of Wednesday’s vote in their territories.”

3 Likes