“To me it’s really not that big of an issue, because I feel very supported and very able to do what I was asked to do in the territory where I’m asked to do it,”
— Sandra Roberts, the first woman to head a Seventh-day Adventist regional body.
Sandra Roberts was elected a year ago to lead the 70,500-member Seventh-Day Adventists conference that includes Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties in California and has one of the largest concentrations of Adventists in the nation. Her election was considered invalid by the worldwide organization’s officers because women are not permitted to be ordained. Now that she has served for a year without official recognition, an item on the agenda at the 2015 General Conference Session proposes to let each of the 13 geographic divisions of the church decide whether to permit the ordination of women. Roberts says the lack of recognition has not affected her ability to do her job because she has her region’s support.