Margaret (Peg) Hempe, 75, joined the University Church staff as a Bible instructor 31 years ago.
In 1947, when Peg
was 25, she
was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church
husband joined her
as a church member the following year.He became a minister, and the couple served in the Potomac and Northern California Conferences.
was 44, the marriage of 25 years ended.Peg served at St. Helena Sanitarium for a year, then moved to Loma Linda to join the pastoral staff as a Bible instructor.
"My title was changed to ?pastor? in 1972," Peg says."The head pastor wanted the bulletin to list me as ?pastor? so that the women members would understand that I was available to provide general pastoral counseling and nurturing, and sure enough, when they saw me listed as pastor, many began to phone me." Peg
began preaching in the Loma Linda University Church
in 1976, and in 1979 she
was ordained as a local elder and received her
"Licensed Minister" credentials.She
began serving at the communion table and conducting weddings and funerals.In 1986, she became the first Adventist woman pastor to baptize her candidates. Peg
started four new ministries in the church which are still in place: Singles Ministries, Divorce Recovery Groups
, a 62-Plus Club for mature members, and the University Church
also gives a great deal of time to one-on-one pastoral counseling."I will continue working as long as I can talk," she
"The Lord has been my strength," Peg says."As I have proceeded in my pastoral ministry, doors have opened.And I have always been so nurtured and encouraged by the other pastors and staff and their spouses at the University Church
.I have never had a negative letter nor remark, and people have been helped and blessed."
The University Church
originally recommended Peg
, along with others, for ministerial ordination by the Pacific Union
told Adventist Today
, "But the Pacific Union
didn?t, and still hasn?t, approved women?s ordination.
...Louis Venden, past pastor of the LLU Church, spoke about the history of Peg?s ministry, then Peg read her response, crediting Jesus Christ along with many people "in the right place, at the right time" for supporting and facilitating her development and accomplishments as a minister.
...Finally, Jerry Winslow, chairman of the church?s ministerial committee, presented Peg with her ordination certificate and a wallet-size minister?s license.
The action to ordain Peg Hempe
was voted on May 28, 1997, by the Ministerial Committee
of the University Church
.This committee is comprised of six University Church
lay members, some women and some men, of various professional backgrounds.