The Association of Adventist Women presented multiple awards to distinguished women and men on Nov. 15 during its annual Woman of the Year program held via Zoom.
Dr. Ginger Hanks Harwood from Chico, California, gave the keynote address on global issues needing Christian commitment and service. Hanks received the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award.
Other Woman of the Year awards went to Dynnette Hart and Nyslie Guerrier (Community Life award) and Dina Salas Montoya and Hilde Thorkildsen Huru (Spiritual Life award). These Adventist leaders from around the world have diverse resumes that can be found on the AAW website program.
The Champion of Justice Award recipients this year are President Ricardo Graham, Pacific Union Conference, President Dave Weigley of Columbia Union Conference and former NAD President Dan Jackson. “Champion of Justice leaders have stood for truth, followed their conscience and the will of their constituents in treating men and women clergy equally,” said AAW president Nerida Bates.
Dr. Harwood, ordained, helped found the Women’s Resource Center at La Sierra University. She has written and presented papers on Bible women and Seventh-day Adventist women in our church history, published in Spectrum magazine and Andrews University Seminary Studies, and has written a soon-to-be-published book. “She has been appreciated by her theology students during her lifetime career at LSU and PUC,” says colleague Fritz Guy.
Dynnette Dee Hart, associate dean at Loma Linda University School of Nursing, is recognized for her teaching career and for inspiring Christian nursing students at LLU, San Manuel Gateway College,Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya. She also served at and helped organize the Norton Clinic Social Action Corps Health System.
Pastor-chaplain Nyslie Guerrier serves God as an elder, preacher, director of Family Life, and Women’s Ministry coordinator at Mount Rubidoux Church. She is a dynamic motivational speaker and hosts a Sabbath afternoon online chat program highlighting women’s issues and social justice topics. Her passion is to restore those battling addiction, socio-economic and health injustices, and form a non-profit organization to address these areas.
Dina Salas Montoya served as a dean and chaplain in Peru. She preached her first sermon at age seven, and consecrated her entire life to serve God as a missionary, including three months evangelizing in New York City. She completed the Theological Studies program at São Paulo, Brazil, and later became the first and only woman missionary district leader in Peru. She has participated prominently in many world congresses and conferences in different countries. She is a member of the UN Council of Ambassadors for Peace, and was distinguished as an Outstanding Miraflorina Woman, and awarded the Medal of Honor for Merit by the town mayor for her spiritual healing ministry. She has brought over 500 people to Christ.
Hilde Torkildsen Huru gave her first Bible studies as a teen. After receiving her BA in theology, she pastored and was the first female member of the Norwegian Union Conference Executive Committee. She helped draft their statement of equality for men and women in ministry and their decision to only commission new pastors after 2012. As a member of the Trans-European Division Executive Committee, she helped draft a statement to the General Conference explaining that the TED could not go against conscience and needed to treat clergy fairly, in light of the Biblical call for justice and many statements made by Ellen White. The committee stated it was a religious liberty issue. She also translated Harwood and Beem’s paper Your Daughters Shall Prophesy for Advent News Norway, which has published her story of her call to ministry.
For more information on awardees, past awardees, current women’s stories, goals and membership information, visit associationofadventistwomen.
This event was recorded and can be viewed at associationofadventistwomen.
Information provided by Priscilla Walters, AAW treasurer