After 47 years of ministry (25 of them for the Dakota Conference) Anne Wham is retiring. She has worn many hats over the years and was most recently director of Women’s Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Sabbath School and Pathfinders. Although officially retired, she has organized and will attend the 25th Annual Women’s Retreat to be held September 13-15 in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Born Annabelle Lee Lucero in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Wham was introduced to Pathfinders in 5th grade and attended the first Pathfinder Camporee in the Colorado Conference.

After graduating from Campion Academy she attended Union College, where she earned her MRS degree by marrying Ron Wham in 1966. They pastored churches in Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado, California, the Texico Conference and finally in the Dakota Conference. They also served as singing evangelists and later as an evangelistic team, living in a fifth-wheel camper with their two children, Brian and Lisa, and moving to a new location every six weeks.

Wham has directed many children and youth choirs and taught music at church schools in Greeley, Colorado and Bismarck, North Dakota. “In churches where there was no Pathfinder Club, I made sure to start one,” Wham remarked. She also provided retreats for teenage girls at Flag Mountain Camp in South Dakota for 10 years.

In 1989 three ladies, Marla Weidell, Melita Holland and Wham, met to form a plan for Women’s Ministry in the Dakota Conference. The first retreat was held that year. In 1992 Wham added Children’s Ministries, providing training for Vacation Bible Schools and organizing the children’s meetings at camp meeting every year. In 1999 the Dakota Conference asked Wham to take the Pathfinders to Oshkosh for the International Pathfinder Camporee. She continued to lead Pathfinders for 14 years.

Her service has also extended beyond the United States. She led children’s evangelism in Rovno, Ukraine and conducted meetings for the pastors’ wives; helped build a “Her” center for Masaai women in Kenya and conducted Women’s Ministries leadership training in Nairobi, Kenya; and helped deliver clothing, supplies and Bibles to Mexico. Anne said, “Now I go to Botswana to do ministry in an orphanage for AIDS children.”

During a time of special recognition at the annual conference-sponsored supper during camp meeting, the Dakota Conference thanked Anne for her many years of service and gifted her with an iPad. Wham will continue to minister from her home in Kansas where she has moved to be closer to her grandchildren.

News writer Jacquie Biloff is communication director for the Dakota Conference.