Women Pastors Tell Their Stories

(system) #1

Tara VinCross, who this summer was called to head the Columbia Union Conference's new School of Evangelism, has recorded the amazing stories of women who are serving as Adventist pastors. VinCross, who served herself as senior pastor of the Chestnut Hill Church in Philadelphia, worked to record the videos over the past year, under the auspices of the North American Division. (See its article Wanted: More Female Pastors.) These are inspiring personal stories. Spectrum spoke to many of these same women for a journal issue dedicated to women's ordination last year. In the run-up to this autumn's Annual Council, where attendees will decide how the report of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) will be handled at next year's General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, it is important that people hear these moving personal testimonies about God's calling. Pastor Raewyn Hawkins describes her journey to becoming a pastor.

Raewyn Hankins - Pastoral Call from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Pastor Marlene Ferraras discusses her calling to pastoral ministry.

Marlene Ferraras from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Dr. Jo Ann Davidson, of the Andrews Theological Seminary, discusses her calling to ministry and teaching.

Jo Ann Davidson from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Pastor Esther Knott, Associate Ministerial Director of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, discusses her path to pastoral ministry.

Esther Knott from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Pastor Emily Whitney, of the Walla Walla University Church, shares how God led her into pastoral ministry.

Emily Whitney Story from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Pastor Brenda Billingy tells her story.

Brenda Billingy Story from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Pastor Chris Oberg describes her father's reaction when she told him she was going to enter pastoral ministry. She also discusses her response to women who ask her if they should consider entering the gospel ministry.

Chris Oberg's Story from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Image: From the NAD's 2012 Women Clergy Conference.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6260

(George Tichy) #2

What is wrong with some MEN that they think they can simply ignore what God is doing and work against it?

Listening to these women’s stories should be enough for those MEN to stop obstructing God’s calls to women.

Stopping discrimination against women is indeed past due!

(jeremy) #3

i couldn’t agree more, george…these videos say so much of what women bring to the ministry - there is a world of intuitive feeling and resoluteness in the face of obstacles that isn’t what one normally sees…while i really identify with esther’s experience with the woman who dreamed that someone looking like esther would teach her about god, and also chris’ experience with her dad, it’s really emily’s story that i completely identify with…apparently random devotionals picked off the shelf that answered specific questions only god could have known were being asked, is exactly how i feel god leads me, a lot…emily brings a lot of natural humility to the table that i’ve found is so prerequisite to getting anywhere with god…i’m so hoping women’s ordination will be voted affirmatively in san antonio…i know how hard this question is for some - it’s hard to be so sure you’re on the right side, but then experience a growing feeling that perhaps you aren’t…i think a lot will depend on ted wilson in this difficult vote…i think he must see that the time for women pastors is now…i think he must realize the richness of the blessing that is in store for all of us if the talents of women are utilized, and recognized…

(George Tichy) #4

It’s a blessing having Chris as our pastor here at LSUC.
I am also very proud of Marlene Ferraras, she was my student at La Sierra Academy when I taught Bible classes there. (For some reason I think her name was misspelled, I have the impression it is Ferreras).

(jeremy) #5

i think where there are women pastors in major centers, it’s because they’re exceptionally gifted and called - they’re proving their worth no matter what…no doubt you really do have a good thing with chris…marlene seems to be a complete natural…in her video she seems to have been called from a very early age…i really hope we get this whole question sorted out as a church…there may be other extremely intelligent and talented women who aren’t even giving ministry a thought because they don’t want to be controversial…

(jeremy) #6

speaking about marlene, i’m just remembering that my mother drove a bright red ferrari for a time - until she totaled it in a solo crash against a steep embankment…she was lucky to walk out of that alive…mom was great in the kitchen and could read anybody accurately in seconds - she also had an amazing way with babies…but she definitely wasn’t meant to drive a sports car…what does this have to do with women in the ministry…nothing…it just popped into my head from marlene’s last name, and also the concept that people really need to be allowed and encouraged to do what they’re naturally good at…


Hello Mr Tichy! You know George, seeing your picture always seems to cheer me up. :sunny:

Now to your comment. My only question is. Could it be possible that there are some people who are not for W/O because of scripture and conscience? I believe there are. I myself dont know what to think on the topic…but will admit that the arguments from scripture are powerful (no for W/O, that is). I would love nothing more than to say with a definite ‘yes’! for W/O, and for once be on the cool side, because lets face the other side can really suck sometimes, no one likes being referred to, or looked as a bigot or close minded. My whole life I was with the, so called, cool kids at school, smoking behind the shed, skipping class etc. This is very foreign to me to be on the other side. My old school teachers would be in shock! hehe

Anyway…always a pleasure George.

(George Tichy) #8

Are you sure you mom was the one driving that wrecked car? Where were you at the time of the crash?..

Regarding Marlene, she is an associate pastor at Azure Hills Church, where John Brunt is the senior pastor. It’s a great school for her to work with someone so gifted as John Brunt.

(Kevin Paulson) #9

Stories are nice, but none can supersede the written Word. Biography doesn’t qualify as theology. The Biblical order of gender authority cannot be set aside for personal narratives.

(George Tichy) #10

First time I see you on the new system Kevin. Glad to see you. We would probably not survive without you!!!

Well, why don’t you elaborate a little more on your comment? It seems that you have more to say on it, so don’t be so shy!

The reference to, “The Biblical order of gender authority” was certainly a nicely fabricated construction of words!..

(George Tichy) #11

I am glad my picture cheers you up… I am attaching a picture taken when I was only 3 y/o, so that you can compare and see how much progress I made in the evolutionary process…

And then latter on my hair started to change color at age 45.

So I am very glad to be where I am now… :slight_smile:

(Kevin Paulson) #12

More than likely, I’m not going to convince you on the Biblical evidence. The basic question this thread poses, however, is who and what is our final spiritual authority. Is it the testimony of people’s experiences—which, if we used that criterion, could justify almost anything? Or is it the written counsel of God, whose objective standard measures all our ideas and all our practices?

(Shining) #13

TR, women giving the 3 angels messages and nurturing by pastoring are not in the same “cool” catagory as smoking and skipping classes. If you want the biblical foundation of women in ministry, try the TOSC papers by those proWO, the headship paper by the Andrews seminary paper, and Women in Ministry.

(George Tichy) #14

Sure, always as “interpreted” by KP.

(Phillip Brantley) #15

TOSC opponents of women’s ordination do not genuinely believe that Scripture prohibits women from teaching at the Seminary or performing all of the functions and duties of pastoral ministry, because these opponents recently voted a position that women be permitted to be licensed as pastors. There is no pretext-free difference between licensure and ordination, given that ordination is nothing more than appointment to office and recognition that the appointee has been called for such service.

So why is there so much agitation against women in ministry? I think the primary reason is that there is a natural and sinful tendency on the part of people, including many Seventh-day Adventists, to attack and disparage the Lord’s anointed. Rebellion against the Lord’s anointed is an available way to express rebellion against God Himself. TOSC opponents of women’s ordination have behaved very much like many of the troubled tare-infested congregations in the NAD that over the course of forty years have serially rebelled against the fifteen to twenty pastors respectively assigned. We have recently seen the popularization of a new sermon topic by opponents of women’s ordination that focuses on disparaging and diminishing women in Scripture, claiming that notable leaders such as Deborah and Huldah were not as great or praise-worthy as commonly thought. And Ellen White has often been depicted as nothing more than a wailing Cassandra. We have also seen many personal attacks levied against women pastors by those who work to frustrate and obstruct their ministries.

I guess TOSC opponents of women’s ordination reason that disparagement and negativity can be fomented solely toward women and that male pastors will not be similarly harmed. I think male pastors have strong reasons to fear the aftermath if women pastors are publicly and officially rebuked in San Antonio.

(George Tichy) #16

Exactly, those who pretend that there is any difference between “
licensure and ordination” are always MEN who have a personal inner need to establish the rule of headship to placate some disturbing voice they hear in themselves.

It has nothing to do with the Bible, with Religion, or spirituality. Just a personal problem that they can’t resolve so they transfer it to the public arena, making women their target to expand on their “machismo”…

The bad thing though is that they blame God for their own dysfunctional, discriminative acts and beliefs on the issue.

(Interested Friend) #18

A very cogent remark, Paulson, and further elaboration is hardly necessary as the aspect you cited is self explanatory as I see it.
In The Grip of Truth

(Carolyn Parsons) #19

If we are to use an objective standard you suggest, who’s reading of the standard should we use? There are various interpretations from sincere students of scripture who prayerfully approach the same text and end up with interpretations that are vastly different. It is hubris to suggest that there is only one way to interpret scripture; don’t you think?


lol…how funny is that.


lol…Shining, where on earth did you come up with that? Its not even close to what I was saying. I’m sorry, but I’m afraid your comment is going to receive a :thumbsdown: