TEAM Releases "Called" Documentary Featuring Four Women Who Minister

SILVER SPRING - In a conference room of the Courtyard by Mariott hotel across the highway from the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, TEAM (Time for Equality in Adventist Ministry) hosted the premiere of the new documentary film, "Called," for a small group of Adventist pastors and leaders.

The film screening corresponded with the North American Division (NAD) Year-end Meeting, coming close on the heels of an NAD Executive Committee voted statement in strong support of women in ministry, which said in part, "we wish to once again publicly affirm our unwavering support and steadfast intent to realize the full equality of women in ministry, in fulfillment of biblical principles, in the Seventh-day Adventist Church."

See "North American Division Votes Response to Unity in Mission Document."

The "Called" film features four women who have answered the call to pastoral ministry and the opposition they sometimes face. Rebecca Davis (pictured above) is a district pastor in Washington and Thomson, Georgia. Jessie Lopez is an associate pastor of the Atlanta North Seventh-day Adventist Church in Georgia. Heather Crews is a district pastor in Williamsburg, Virginia. Trudy Dunn is a district pastor in Moline and Galesburg, Illinois.

"Women who have been called by God face unending prejudice in many communities of faith," says the film's introductory statement. "Called is a brief exploration into four faith communities stories as they, for the first time, intersect with women pastors." The film was produced by Brillhart Media for TEAM with the support of many Seventh-day Adventist conferences and church members.


Jared Wright is Managing Editor of

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

Thanks for these stories! I trust that these stories make a positive difference to people’s attitude toward women in ministry!


Everyone needs to post this on their Facebook page.
Along with the other reports regarding the NAD activities
and Pastor Jackson’s activities.

What great stories. As told by a member of the Williamsburg, Va church
Adventist WOMEN have been students at the Andrews Seminary since mid 1970’s.

We need Ordination Equality here in the Southern Union.


Working policy compliance is an effort to depersonalize spiritual reality.

This video presentation is the proper response to calls for compliance.


Regarding “calls” to pastoral ministry, regardless of gender, can we safely say: “God told me!” I’m wondering if this were not more an “imposition” rather than the result of a consensus by members of each local congregation/district.

Watched the documentary. From a European perspective this is a rather disheartening piece of work … despite the professionalism in the making of the film and the encouraging stories of both the female pastors and their members. More than anything else, this video documents how far behind our church is in terms of equality, female pastors and WO. If even in the US it is so difficult to place a female pastor … I am indeed wondering where the church is heading. Looking at my own local church, where we had two female pastors over the course of the past 15 years (and a female elder) … I cannot remember any one such sentiment of distrust and suspicion as voiced in the video, let alone people moving their membership… Not sure, what to make of it (apart from applauding the brave pastors, working so hard to be true to their calling).

1 Like

Good observations,Andreas, I think this piece highlights the fact that the fight over credentialing is just the beginning. Dan Jackson is right in not wanting to wait for that issue to be resolved before placing as many female pastors as possible in the field. This is the only thing that will begin to change attitudes. At the same time, I think administrators need to work very closely with the women clergy they place, and with the congregations they are to serve, to make certain that the personal and professional well-being of these female pastors is protected. Seeing women “appointed” to congregations that were in large part not ready for them, without any sort of congregational education in advance, made me think of the famous photos of the “Little Rock Nine.” These young people had to face taunts and threats and needed the protection of 1000 paratroopers for an entire year as they participated in a plan of school desegregation in the South. Integrating women as pastors into Adventist congregations will, at times, involve similar hostility–in both overt and covert ways. For all of its talk of liberty and justice for all, large swaths of America are still deeply racist and misogynist, as this current election cycle sadly reveals.


1 Like

#All the best to you Adventist friends–I’ll be praying for you.

Beautiful, touching video–thanks.

Seeing the pain these women went through, I feel heavy-hearted thinking of the NAD plan to insert many more women in ministry in the deepening gloom of the headship ideology takeover.

In my experience, and seemingly across the board in authoritarian headship enclaves, the power goes to men’s heads and abuses occur.

But the thought of some kind of “forced integration” also troubles me.

We cannot compel others to believe other than they believe (and should we wish to?), and, in my experience, headship ideologues cannot be reasoned with.

Adventism is going to be a world of pain for the foreseeable future.

(Parts of this post disappeared before I posted it.)

I have no illusions of having any credibility, at this late date, but I think nothing can be done about the headship takeover but let it play itself out and self-destruct, as it surely will.

Bill Gothard is facing a class action lawsuit for inappropriate conduct with a number of young women.

Mark Driscoll went down in flames.

The Gothard church I was sent to by the GC to counsel with the head pastor, fired the whole pastoral staff because the church had become abusive, and started over, leaving Gothard behind.

Stories could be multiplied.

There is a pattern to be discerned here.

The weight of complexity imposed by incorporating headship ideology on an already staggeringly complex Adventist/EGW system will take it down.

Your best chance for positioning yourselves is outside the system, it seems to me.

Do Adventist women really want to climb to the top of a bloated, abusive bureaucracy? Do they imagine they will reform it?

These beautiful women pastors in the video are surely living out their callings, and I don’t doubt that Sandra Roberts, and others in administration are either.

But Adventism is what it is. A lot of water has gone under the bridge.

Well, perhaps I am too pessimistic, but I don’t see how Adventism is going to pull out of this.

Touching documentary. It is to be shown in every SDA local church around the world.
Thumbs up for the TEAM and Brillhart Media for a professional and warm-heart achievement.

I’m happy to say that in my local church we had no problems of accepting a female pastor who ministered to us for one year. Our country is a secular one with many women doing responsible jobs. There are very few religious prejudices, let alone ideas of “male headship”. But the perseverant activity of some para-church ministries from US is via Internet slowly and effectively infiltrating and pervading the innocent minds with this “male headship” toxin. And when you add to that the official approval of the present GC administration, then you have it - a complete mess and loss of orientation. Help us God before it will be to late.