Story by Oksana Wetmore

Over the past five years, the number of women in pastoral ministry within the Columbia Union Conference has grown to 40. Meet six women pastors who reflect on their call to ministry, as well as their challenges, successes and blessings.


Heather Crews
Mentored for Ministry

Growing up in a dual pastors’ family, Heather Crews was no stranger to a pastor’s lifestyle. As a 9-year-old heading from one church service to another, she recalls being a strong-willed pastor’s kid, grabbing at every chance to delve into challenging Bible discussions with her father. “It was a joy to travel with my dad on the open road between Bible studies,” she says. 

A volunteer distributes clothing at the World Harvest Outreach church in Houston. Photo by Keith Goodman

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Fourteen Columbia Union Conference members, including 11 sponsored by the union’s Adventist Community Services/Disaster Response (ACS/DR) Department, spent up to two weeks sorting supplies, distributing water and praying with residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This initiative took place at North American Division’s ACS-sponsored distribution center at the World Harvest Outreach church in Houston.

Story by Visitor Staff

"It was fascinating to learn their stories and see their determination to serve,” says David Brillhart, director and co-writer of a 2016 documentary about four women pastors and their journeys to find acceptance in the churches they were called to serve. Among them is Heather Crews (pictured), pastor of Potomac Conference's Courthouse Road church in North Chesterfield, Va.

The film was the brainchild of Time for Equality in Adventist Ministry (TEAM), chaired by Beverly Habada, a member of the Potomac Conference’s Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md., who wants to help “break down barriers for women in ministry.”

View the documentary here.

José H. Cortés Sr. and Dave Weigley pray together during a Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee meeting.

Historia de V. Michelle Bernard

José H. Cortés padre, presidente de la Conferencia de Nueva Jersey durante los últimos 10 años, se retira. Los líderes de la Unión, en la reunión de septiembre del Comité Ejecutivo, le dieron un reconocimiento a Cortés por sus 50 años de servicio a la Iglesia Adventista del Séptimo Día, 30 de los cuales fueron en la Unión de Columbia.

New members (front row) display their baptismal certificates.

Lidia Pérez, miembro de la Iglesia Central de Cincinnati, es uno de los 50 nuevos miembros en Cincinnati. Historia de pastor de la Conferencia de Allegheny West

Hace tres años, Cincinnati sólo tenía una iglesia adventista del séptimo día y un grupo pequeño. Hoy la Conferencia de Allegheny West (AWC) tiene cinco prósperas iglesias hispanas y dos a punto de abrirse. La Conferencia de Ohio también está plantando una iglesia allí.

New members display their baptismal certificates.

Lidia Perez prepares for baptism.Story by Allegheny West Conference Staff

Three years ago, Cincinnati had only one Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist church and one small group. Today Allegheny West Conference (AWC) has five thriving Hispanic churches and two church plants in the city that are about to open. Ohio Conference also has one church plant.

Historia de V. Michelle Bernard

La Unión de Columbia se despide de Seth Bardu, quien sirvió como tesorero de la Unión durante casi 12 años. “Más que administrar el dinero y procesar la nómina, promovió la tesorería como un centro de recursos para el ministerio y la misión”, dijo Dave Weigley, presidente, en un comunicado oficial. 

Bardu se unió al equipo de oficiales de la Unión en 2006 y anteriormente trabajó en la tesorería de la Conferencia del Noreste, la Unión del Sur, el Sistema de Salud Adventista y la Conferencia Central del Sur.

Bardu renunció el 31 de agosto. En su reunión de septiembre, Weigley pidió al Comité Ejecutivo de la Unión de Columbia que seleccionara un comité de búsqueda para comenzar el proceso de encontrar un nuevo tesorero.

Vivangelismo, a celebration of the 2017 ministry in the Hispanic churches across the Columbia Union Conference, will be held December 8-10 at the Ocean City (Md.) Convention Center. Registration is $140 for guests at Holiday Inn Hotel, $135 for guests at Hampton Inn Hotel and $130 for guests at La Quinta, Quality Inn Boardwalk and Quality Inn Oceanfront. For more information and to register, visit

Historia de V. Michelle Bernard

Vivangelismo, una celebración del ministerio 2017 en las iglesias hispanas a través de la Unión de Columbia, se llevará a cabo del 8 al 10 de diciembre en el Centro de Convenciones de Ocean City (Md.). Visite para obtener información sobre hoteles y registración.