On Sabbath, Aug. 20, at the Linwood Boulevard Seventh-day Adventist Temple in Kansas City, Missouri, the Central States Conference administration installed the first woman pastor, Pastor LaToya Hazell-Alcide, as the associate pastor of this flagship church. Born on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean, she is grateful to be able to fulfill the calling that God has placed on her life as a full-time pastor in the gospel ministry.

Pastor Cryston Josiah, CSC vice president for administration, read her biography as she and her children were ushered onto the platform. Then Elder Roger Bernard, CSC president, offered the charge to Pastor Alcide, and in essence “married” her to the church as their new associate pastor. Elder Ivan Williams, ministerial director for the North American Division, was also in attendance and offered the dedicatory prayer over Pastor Alcide. Sister Kelley Paris, CSC vice president for finance, then officially welcomed her into the Central States pastoral family. Pastor Joseph Ikner, II, senior pastor of the church, and his wife Nordia welcomed her to the church family. In addition, several other Linwood ministry leaders welcomed Pastor Alcide and her family to their fellowship.

Pastor Alcide was blessed to have many close relatives and friends attend her installation service from near and far. Her three adult children, Sierra, Vicky and Nigel, were all in attendance. Dr. Hyveth Williams from the Andrews University Theological Seminary, Pastor Bonita Shields from the North American Division, and Pastor Roger Wade from the South Central Conference were a few of the denominational leaders who came to support her in person.  

Pastor LaToya, as she is affectionately called, has now become the fourth woman pastor to serve in the Central States Conference territory, and she is excited about the opportunity to do ministry in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. Her robust background in youth and young adult ministries, women’s ministries and communications makes her a tremendous asset not only to the Linwood church family but to the entire Central States Conference as well. 

In her own words from her biography: “As a child of God she recognizes her talents and opportunities as a gift from above. She has endured a slew of life’s ups and downs but is determined to live through them all. The lessons learned in the past and those which are being learned today, come from some of the most painful and difficult times. But they have made her determined to help anyone who would listen and see wisdom in the story of life. Her journey is not over but her influence is active now! Grace is her claim and Jesus is her champion!”

May we all continue to lift up Pastor Alcide and her family as they begin this new journey at the Linwood Temple and seek to be a blessing to the greater community of the Kansas City area. 

Cryston Josiah is CSC vice president for administration.