The First of Many: Chanda Nunes First Black Woman Elected as Executive Secretary of an Adventist State Conference
- Chanda Nunes first Black female senior pastor of an institutional church in the North American Division.
- Nunes also was the first Black female pastor in Alberta Conference.
- Nunes was the first Black female pastor in Mid-American Union Conference.
28 February 2022 | Chanda Nunes has a history of making history.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Nunes graduated from what is now Burman University (then Canadian Union College) with a degree in theology and in 2003 was the first Black female pastor hired by the Alberta Conference, according to reports.
In 2008, she became the first Black pastor in the history of the Kansas-Nebraska Conference and the first Black female pastor in the history of the Mid-American Union Conference after completing her Master of Divinity degree from Andrews Theological Seminary, according to an article by the Office Of Regional Conference Ministries.
In 2015, she accepted a call to the Northern California Conference where she was, again, the first Black female pastor in the history of that conference.
Ordained in 2018, Nunes accepted a call to lead the Pacific Union College Church in California, U.S., in 2020. Nunes became the first Black senior pastor of the Pacific Union College Church, the first female senior pastor of the church and the first Black female senior pastor of an institutional church in the North American Division.
An institutional church is connected to an Adventist entity—often, an educational institution such as a college or university. Usually, institutional churches are the largest and wealthiest in terms of tithe in the conference where the institution is located. For example, the Oakwood University Church is the largest tithe church in the regional conference.
This year, Nunes became the new executive secretary of the Nevada-Utah Conference. She is the first woman elected to this position in the Nevada-Utah Conference and the first Black female elected as executive secretary of a state conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, according to a Feb. 27, 2022, Facebook post by the Office of Regional Conference Ministries.
The Nevada-Utah Conference encompasses the U.S. states of Nevada, Utah, parts of Arizona and parts of California. It has 50 churches and 10,602 members out of a population of 6,443,807.
Sacramento Capital City church in northern California, U.S., where Nunes had served as associate pastor for four and a half years, called her “a modern-day game changer,” Adventist Today reported.
Nunes, who is of Jamaican descent, also holds associate degrees in private investigation and paralegal studies, and is a certified life coach practitioner, according to a Pacific Union College post.
(Photo: Chanda Nunes was elected as the new executive secretary of the Nevada-Utah Conference, becoming the first woman elected to this position in the Nevada-Utah Conference and the first Black woman elected as executive secretary of a state conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Photo via Office for Regional Conference Ministries Facebook page.)