Posted by: adventlife | June 26, 2012

Women Serving as Ordained Ministers in the Adventist Church in China, by AT News Team

Pastor Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference of the Seventh-dayAdventistChurch, and Pastor Raj Attiken, president of the Ohio Conference, recently returned from a 13-day visit in China. They met with local churches and pastors in Shanghia, Beijing, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Xi’an, Guilin, and Chengdu, as well as leaders of the Chinese Union Mission in Hong Kong. They took with them Taashi Rowe, an editor for the union conference periodical, who wrote a report on their trip which was published in the last few days in the Columbia Union Visitor along with an announcement of the special constituency meeting that will decide on the ordination of women serving as pastors in the Columbia Union Conference.

They were told how difficult evangelism can be in Asia. “Many people don’t believe in supernatural beings and view Christianity as an imperialistic tool,” said Pastor Edmund Cao, leader of the Adventists in the western region. Nonetheless, “Adventist brothers and sisters who work passionately and tirelessly to tell people about God and how much He loves them,” wrote Rowe.

The church they visited in Shanghai had more than 1,500 in attendance on a communion Sabbath. They were told of churches with memberships of up to 5,000. There are some 400,000 Adventists in mainland China.

The Church is organized along an apostolic model instead of the corporate model developed in the United   States. John Ash, an associate secretary of the Chinese Union Mission, estimates that there are some 48 “mother churches” each with hundreds of church plants.

“With a ratio of one pastor to every 4,000 members, the mainland churches must rely heavily on local elders. … It is also common and practical for women, who make up a majority of the membership, to pastor mainland churches.” In fact, some of the women who are ordained ministers are responsible for hundreds of churches. “In the West, these women would be equal to conference and union presidents.”

Women serving as elders in China go back to 1949 when the missionaries left. The first ordination of a woman to the gospel ministry occurred in the 1980s, which means this has been a reality there during almost all of the debate on this topic in North America and Europe.

“When we choose pastors here, gender doesn’t enter into our minds; only who is available and capable,” the Visitor quotes one male leader. “Some people may say we are going against the church, but we ordain women because of the need of the work. If there was theological [reason] not to ordain women, we would not prosper.” … More: ===>

“American Denominational Administrators Visit Women Serving as Ordained Ministers in the Adventist Church in China”


  1. […] Back in July, delegates of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted not to allow each of its 13 world divisions to make provisions for women to be ordained — 1,381 delegates against, 977 for. Practically speaking, this meant that nothing changed. The Adventist church is governed by a bottom-up system, meaning that if local unions and churches wish to ordain women, policy allows them to do so. There are already many female pastors working in the Adventist church — in China, in fact, the majority of Adventist pastors are female. […]

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