Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Dave Weigley receives his award via Zoom.

Association of Adventist Women Presents Weigley a Champion of Justice Award

Story by Associationa of Adventist Women Staff

The Association of Adventist Women awarded Columbia Union Conference President Dave Weigley a Champion of Justice award at its annual Woman of the Year Banquet last fall. The festive live zoom celebration was attended virtually by more than 100 people from four continents.

Weigley was chosen as a Champion of Justice for his work as pastor, evangelist, administrator and as one who recognizes the church should not get in the way of those God has called. Linda Becker, master of ceremonies noted that his vision, drive and results oriented leadership have made an unprecedented mark evidenced by the growth impact as evidenced by the church growth in the Mid-Atlantic region during his tenure. He also stood up for women pastors in his union and around the world receiving a warning for non-compliance by the General Conference for recognizing women and male pastors equally. In his defense he insisted that the full story had not been told. In Weigley’s acceptance, he said that we need to avoid putting a glass ceiling over women who have been called by God. “When we do not recognize women, who are we to silence whom God has called?”

“Champions of Justice have made exceptional contributions to the Adventist Church through their support of equality for women, particularly in the clergy,” says President Nerida Taylor Bates. Other Champion of Justice Award recipients are Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham and 2019 recipient President Dan Jackson of North American Division, who was to be honored at the cancelled GC session.

 Also receiving award were Ginger Hanks Harwood, who gave the keynote address on global issues Christians must face. She received the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for her career in Biblical scholarship and her work in founding the Women’s Resource Center. Dynnette Hart, associate dean at Loma Linda University School of Nursing, was recognized for her global teaching career and her critical role in organizing the Norton Clinic Social Action Corps Health System. She, and Pastor and Chaplain Nyslie Guerrier, Director of Family Life and Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Mount Rubidoux Church, received the Community Life award. Dina Salas Montoya, a pastor and chaplain in Peru who brought 500 souls to Christ, and Hilde Thorkildsen Huru, the first woman ordained in Norway and member of the Trans-European Division executive committee, were awarded the Spiritual Life award. The ceremony can be viewed at

Bates says, “It was a very touching ceremony to listen to the stories of such a diverse and successful group of people was inspiring and brought tears of gratitude to many attending. It left us all feeling more hopeful about the future of the church. The video of the awards ceremony, and access to the program with full biographies can be found at our website. You can also find more information about AAW goals, and membership information at”

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