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Alisa Williams
Spectrum Magazine

The Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists announced on February 28, 2017, that it has employed its first female pastor, Latoya Smythe-Forbes.

According to the announcement, “Mrs. Smythe-Forbes graduated from West Indies College (now Northern Caribbean University) in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion and Theology. Since then she had been involved in various areas of ministry, including being a missionary to South Korea, and as a Bible Instructor with CJC in 2014 and 2016. She has, however, never been employed as a Pastor.”

The CJC’s decision to employ its first female pastor in its 66 years of operation brings to fruition the hopes of Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica. In April 2016, Brown said, “[The Adventist denomination has] female pastors … and one of my goals, and it’s time I am going public with this … is to employ the first female pastor in the church in Jamaica.”

The Inter-American Division (IAD), parent organization of the Jamaica Union Conference, had previously reported during a January 2014 meeting of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) that nothing in Scripture prevents women from being ordained.

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