Panamanian Union Mission Makes History, Appoints First Woman Pastor

The Panama Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists made history at its mid-year executive committee meeting by appointing Shesell Busby (pictured, third from left) the district pastor of four churches in the Metro Los Andes Experimental Mission. Ms. Busby is the first woman to serve as a licensed minister in the Panamanian Union Mission.

Announcing the hiring of Ms. Busby, the Panamanian Union Mission wrote on its Facebook page,

The Panamanian Union continues to make history, in the board of half a year was voted to employ the graduate in pastoral theology miss Shesell Busby, Panamanian, graduated in the theological seminary of Cuba. The Graduate Busby will serve as pastor of district pilot in the mission of the Andes, metro will be under his charge 4 churches. From right to left are the RP. Carlos Saldaña, Secretary of the union, PR. Demetrius Aguilar, chairman of the experimental field, the PR. Shesell Busby, Ms Rosalinda of de gracia, director of the ministry of women, the PR José De Gracia, President of the union and Joseph Smith, Treasurer. In the panamanian union we are joyful to be the first union in Central America and Panama we opened the doors to the ladies that are studying to be ministers, welcome Pastor Busby!

Busby, a recent graduate of the Cuba Adventist Theological Seminary (Seminario Teologico Adventista de Cuba) is one of a handful of women pastors in the Inter-American Division, including several women who serve in Cuba.

When the Seventh-day Adventist Church commissioned studies from each of the thirteen divisions on the ordination of women in advance of the 2015 General Conference Session, the Inter-American Division found no biblical prohibition to ordaining women to pastoral ministry. From the IAD position paper:

All the members of the Church of Christ are a "royal priesthood" to announce or proclaim the gospel of salvation. We are all one body and God shows no partiality: we are all sons and daughters of God with the same access to salvation given by Christ. God has distributed his gifts to both men and women without making any distinction. God grants opportunities and field for service to women in a wide range of ministries. The designation of deacons and deaconesses is grounded in Scripture. There is no explicit mandate in the Bible for the ordination of women or men to church leadership, yet there is no command against the same. The Inter-American Division is willing to accept the ecclesiastical decision taken by the SDA Church in plenary session.

The Inter-American Division has not ordained women pastors thus far, but has signalled its openness to doing so. Appointing qualified women candidates is a step toward equality in ministry.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of

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Congratulations to both Ms. Busby and the Spirit-led Panamanian Union Mission!


this is wonderful news…perhaps more women in IAD will be influenced by shesell busby’s example, and put their talents to good use…overseeing four churches is certainly putting one’s talents to good use…


PRAISE THE LORD!!! It will be a difficult task, because they are many against women pastors in Panama, and started even insulting the Union, but God is in control.


Congratulations Ms Busby. Well done Panama…Rene G.


A wonderful beginning.
Step 2 needs to be sure that Pastor Busby is an Ordained Pastor. And can perform all the duties and responsibilities of her Male counterparts.
Step 3. I dont want to see Ms Rosalinda, Director of Women’s Ministry lose her job.
BUT, WHEN WILL ALL Women’s Ministry Leaders be Ordained Women???


Praise the Lord. Only He can accomplish this. He called Pastor Busby and her fellow Christians acknowledged, affirmed and authorized her as an apostle of the Gospel of Jesus.

These results are from humility before God, His Holy Spirit, and all the prayers for renewal and reformation that have been lifted up despite those who would stand in the way of the Spirit’s calling. Despite the naysayers. Despite the enemy who would close the mouths of the Holy Spirit’s gifted ones. Lift up His name in grateful praise and support Pastor Busby with prayers. This is what happens with prayer, willing hearts who listen to that Still Small Voice, and God’s leading.

Amen and amen. Be encouraged!


less than two years into his second term, Pastor Wilson has lost control. Logic is breaking out all over.


The barriers will continue to be broken down. It’s Inevitable! It’s just that for some of us, it can’t happen quickly enough. Congratulations to Pastor Busby and the leadership of the Panamanian Union.


It may not have been a move as perfect as some of us would wish, but let’s remember that in those countries the “macho mentality” is extremely strong. Therefore, this was a HUUUUGE step forward for that culture. Just imagine how much opposition from the locals they must have suffered - and the GC was certainly not much happy with it.

Let’s support them, they are trying and doing their best to eliminate discrimination of women from their midst!


The signal to openness rigidly followed by PROCRASTINATION FROM THE IVORY TOWER OF TED WILSON. A step toward equality in ministry? What’s that? The U.S. Seventh-day Adventist Church. the GC President, is keeping the art of keeping up with yesterday. The dreams of every women in the Inter-America Division are slaughtered, ORDINATION OF WOMEN, dead locked in prison.The GC president is the warden…it’s not the ecclesiastical decision. It’s GC’s breaking the U.S. 1st Amendment/Constitution. Congratulations to Pastor Busby. I tip my hat a million time to The Panamanian Union Mission for believing in Women Priesthood.

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