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Pacific Union Conference Approves Fourteen Women for Ordination


The Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee approved fourteen women and two men for ordination in conferences within the union on Wednesday.

During a teleconference meeting, the union officers and several constituent presidents met at the union office while the remainder of the 48 members connected through the conference call. Committee members considered an agenda item titled simply “Ordinations.”

According to a Facebook post by union communications director Gerry Chudleigh, PUC president Ricardo Graham introduced the agenda item saying, “Our next item is the approval of requests for ordination. This will be a historic vote. Is there a motion that we approve these requests?” There was a motion. “Is there a second?” Graham asked. There was a second. “Is there any discussion?” According to Chudleigh, there was no discussion, only silence.  “Well, if there is no discussion, we will go to the vote,” Graham said. “All in favor say yes.” [Loud affirmations] “Any opposed…” [Silence] “Well, this was a historic vote. Thank you,” Graham said. “Our next item of business…”

Of the fourteen women candidates approved for ordination, ten came from Southeastern California Conference and four from Northern California Conference.

From Northern California Conference: Marit Case, associate pastor at the Carmichael Seventh-day Adventist Church; Mary Maxson, associate pastor at the Paradise Seventh-day Adventist Church; Norma Osborn, associate pastor at the Pacific Union College Church; and Jessica Richmond, lead pastor at the Tracy Seventh-day Adventist Church..

From Southeastern California Conference: Marlene Ferreras, associate pastor at the Azure Hills Church; Raewyn Hankins, lead pastor at the Victorville Seventh-day Adventist Church; Genevieve Koh Isidro, associate pastor at the Loma Linda University Church; Andrea Trusty King, senior pastor at Imani Praise Fellowship; Jacqueline Lynch, associate pastor at the Chula Vista Seventh-day Adventist Church; Chris Oberg, senior pastor at the La Sierra University Church; Halcyon Westphal Wilson, pastor for Diverse Ministries at the La Sierra University Church; Maria Carmen Ibáñez, director of operations at Pine Springs Ranch; Audray Johnson, director of Children’s Ministries for Southeastern California Conference; and Sandra Roberts, executive secretary for Southeastern California Conference.

In addition, two men were approved: Cristian Iordan, associate pastor at the Campus Hills Church in Southeastern California Conference; and Alvin Maragh, associate pastor at the Central Filipino Adventist Church in Southern California Conference.

Chudleigh reported that while the vote itself was straightforward and matter-of-fact, “tears and praise did come before the meeting was over,” in reaction to the first official vote approving specific women candidates for ordination. Among the first ordination services will be one on October 6 at the Loma Linda University Church, during which Marlene Ferreras, Cristian Iordan, and Genevieve Koh Isidro will be ordained.


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