The Potomac Conference Votes to Ordain a Woman Pastor in June

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, the Potomac Conference Executive Committee voted to recommend to the Columbia Union a Brazilian female pastor for ordination. This is the first such recommendation from Potomac since the Annual Council Compliance Document vote last fall at Battle Creek (October 14).

The name of the woman is Therezinha Barbalho. She is currently listed on the Silver Spring, MD, SDA Church website as the pastor of that church. Adding to the defiance factor, this church is a scant five miles from the General Conference Headquarters.

The secretary of the Silver Spring SDA Church confirmed today in a phone call, that this woman will be ordained in June of this year. She wasn’t certain of the exact date, but confirmed that it was going to happen in June.

This indicates that the Columbia Union has either formally approved the ordination, or has given their verbal consent to it. Either way, the Potomac Conference has approved and is planning a non-compliant ordination in June.

If the Columbia Union has approved the ordination of a woman in the Potomac Conference—in violation of the 2015 General Conference Session decision—the Compliance Document process makes it clear that the North American Division (as the next highest level of authority) is now responsible for disciplining the Columbia Union for a non-compliant action. The Columbia Union then, is responsible for disciplining the Potomac Conference; there are successive disciplinary steps outlined in the Compliance procedure.

Will they do it, or will they intensify the insubordination expressed in their October 16, 2018 statement on the Compliance Document vote?


“God sets the lonely in families, but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” (Psalm 68:6).