All Adventist pastors’ wives to be compensated for pain and suffering

Toughest job ever...
Toughest job ever…
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Adventist pastors’ wives around the world are celebrating a groundbreaking victory with the announcement that they will be added to the official church payroll.  General Conference Treasury Director Tom Briggins confirmed that pastors’ wives will be paid a stipend equal to 60-70% of local pastoral compensation.

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“Pastor’s Wife Stipend (PWS) is awarded to all qualifying spouses in recognition of the inevitable pain and suffering involved in their work,” said Briggins.  “As of today, we welcome all qualifying women to claim their PWS.”

Deborah McNoughton, president of Shepherdess International (an association for wives of Adventist ministers) said that she was “elated” at the decision.  “For years now we have pushed for some form of hazard pay for our constituents.  Regular members have no idea how difficult it can be to assume the thankless tasks of piano playing, small group hosting and suffering impossible brats in Cradle Roll week after week simply because of how we married.”

PWS will be paid on a scale that takes into account the difficulty of the congregation(s) pastors’ wives have to endure.  Extra pay will go to those saddled with Pathfinder Directorships, overly judgmental Dorcas crews or the coordination of aggressively vegan potlucks.

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“We also hope the PWS will reverse a troubling trend that we have seen develop over the years in our schools,” said Briggins, referring to the tendency of Adventist female students to avoid theology majors and seminarians like the plague.  “In fact, PWS offers any fiancée of a future pastor two years of full pastor’s pay as a marriage incentive.”


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20 Comments

  1. Adeola

    How I wish all our field can implement this because it has not being easy for my family and I in terms of finance.l was working as a matron of a big government hospital before my hubby was transferred. Now a year and one month that I have joined him in the new area,no one cares how we are coping with the small salary they are paying him.Atimes I ask if its a curse to marry a seventh day Adventist pastor!lf they can’t add to his salary but at least they should show concern and let me know that they care.

  2. Richard Mills

    6/5/14
    Pastor’s wives cannot collect if they are working outside the home full time. If PW’s are working for the denomination, full or part time, they can collect 1/3 pay. Missionary spouses can collect 100% pay as many go far beyond the role of a PW. For the sake of parity-what about wives & spouses of our church school system? They too, deserve a piece of the pie. It takes two to tango!!

  3. I think the greater humor here is that the pastors themselves are paid so low, that 60% of 70% would not mean much even if this report were accurate as to their spouses. Our pastors need to be paid at least double what they get now.

  4. I would like the pay of the Pastors themselves be raised. When you consider how long they are in school, 4 years in Theology and several more years in Seminary, Most have Masters, or Doctors degrees and their pay is not equal to Adventist Health Systems, or other professionals with the same degrees. It’s nice to help the Pastor’s Wife’s, however, on the Pastor’s salary, most of us had to work outside the home and mainly in the world, in order to have our children in our Adventist Schools, Colleges, etc.. If a Pastor is fortunate enough to live where they can work for the church in some capacity, then a wife can work for the church, but many times this is not possible. We went through this discussion years ago when they took away health benefits from wives that worked even if they did not receive health benefits where they worked, and I personally was impacted at that point and had a real issue with the church. Make it worth while to marry a Pastor by improving his pay.

    • Caleb

      But they also make about the same if not more than a teacher in the SDA system… and some would argue that teachers work twice as hard. I mean, when was the last time that your Pastor made a pastoral visit to your home?

        • An Adventist Pastor

          Pastors work a 12 month year, whereas teachers work a 10 month year. With the 10 months pay divided over 12 months, one might think they are paid less, but this is not the case. The only other difference is that Pastor’s get an auto allowance because they have to drive hundreds of miles a month. I drive over 1,700 miles each month.

  5. Mary

    Pastors pay is equivalent to the market. Besides if a Pastor’s pay is to be raised, then you need the members to give their tithe faithfully, which is another issue. With tithe holing steady, or in decline, how can you raise a pastor’s salary.

  6. A. Nonymous

    I chuckled at the fact that they called it “Pastors’ WIVES’ Stipend”, not “Pastor’s SPOUSES’ Stipend”, which was, I’m sure, not a chauvinist oversight of Barely Adventist, but rather a subtle blow at the sexist and obstinate stance of many of our brothers and sisters in the world church that women are inferior to men in ministry, and as such, ought not to be ordained pastors.

  7. sjmason

    Gorod one. Wish it was true. I left a one of a kind, good paying state fed job that was non transferable and have yet to replace my much needed income from our current move almost now a year. I had to work full time in order help pay off the debt incurred from our previous move as our house was on the market for sale 3 years beginning the year 2008 when the market crashed. Have yet to replace the house either. That almost 6 years ago. People don’t realize that with each move (we did not have too) a pastoral family feels called by God to do and or if they have no choice, goes into debt and the moving package or expense never covers the cost or expense for down payments, deposits new utilities, gas ect.

    Oh forget about hazard pay and the loads of stress on the PW, PS (pastoral wife or spouse) and PK’s (pastoral kids) having to uproot and oh the school bills that the saints believe that the pastoral kids go free. My foot they do.

    Oh yes, they get subsidy help about 30% for day school and 70% for boarding, but then get 20% or more taxed up the wazoo on that.
    Teachers do not get taxed on there subsidies. So the little difference that pastors might get paid more gets taxed some more and out the door and teachers are by far making more when you equal out the tax subsidy implication.

    If they want to write a good parody on here try the numerous amounts of pastoral divorces or separations as many spouses when the pastor or the teacher moves, sends the spouse packing down the road and says, “adios, see ya on the weekend if your somewhat close and I can afford to make a conjugal visit and so the children still know they have 2 parents.”

    So sad but true, I’ve seen it time and again as the spouse can’t give up thier needed job and kids in school and house and feel trapped unless God miraculously sells the house, provides an immediate job waiting on the other end (sure thing if you are a nurse, teacher or medical profession) forget all other blue collar. And, God has to subdue the kids by them already having friends on the other end. Yep, that is the life! So very rosy and life is a bowl of Adventist saintly cherries. That is after the sweet flesh of that delicious cherry has been eaten and then you crack your teeth on the pits and that is what is left when the outside of that beautiful fruit is gone. A bowl of spat out pits!

    That’s ok, we continue to journey on, singing a trusting, dependent on Jesus redemption song, as it won’t be long til we are finally compensated in our heavenly mansion and throng.

    I pray for the pastoral wives and spouses that have instead sang, “RUN pastoral wife run, see the pastoral spouse run, leaving the pastor to behind to be scorched like fire in the hot desert sun as the spouse runs the opposite direction and “Aspires to Inspire before they Retire and Expire! Oh the life of a pastoral wife/or spouse.
    Makes ya want to become one right? Oh Parish the thought. 😉

    Thanks for the laugh on this…..

  8. The only true solution to these matters which are going on in the churches, is that the End comes and Jesus comes quickly. and that will better for the Elects’s sake and Jesus’s sake, also for the truth’s sake too.

  9. Elle

    Pastors wives are a wonderful support to their husbands but this is no different to any other wife. They can join the paid work force just like any other woman and earn an income if money is what they desire. I am not convinced that pastors wives should be paid my tithe money merely for being a pastors wife. There are plenty of other women who operate in a similar role but just because they are not married to a pastor……… Is there no perception of God providing needs anymore without monetary remuneration. I believe there is a place to see more justification of how the pastors themselves earn their weekly salary as there is certainly a perception that many of them do not appear to earn it as they should. Their time is very much their own and how they use it is up to their integrity. Not all have the same commitment sadly and seem to rarely face worthwhile audit or appraisal. How a pastor can fit in a university course for example whilst working full time for the church is beyond me. Others of course are extremely diligent and thorough in their work and can justify well their use of time.

  10. Ann

    I’m still skeptical. I have recently had a big problem with this money issue. As someone who has watched Pastor Doug Batchelor for the last ten years off and on he does not appear in any way to be poor. He owns two homes or more, I only know of 2 because he talks about how beautiful and wonded they are constantly. He also, by choice, lives in the ABSOLUTE most expensive state in the US, California. He also travels all over the world CONSTANTLY and is rarely found in the US save for a week or so here and there. Recently our local SDA church had a pastor that just up and abandoned the two churches here. He said he was “called” to go to Hawaii. I bet he was after all who doesn’t want to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country with practically zero crime as opposed to living in the icy and crime riddled Midwest. It seems to me that this area is exactly where he is needed, but who am I. I have read the Bible and found a scripture that basically says in a nut shell not to scrutinize the pay of the Pastor…after all God does reward his faithful… But when it can clearly be seen that the outreach specifically in the US is almost non-existent it really leaves me no choice but to wonder. I feel safer staying out of the church and reading the Bible in my own then fellow shipping with people that aren’t a good fit for me. Why is it thy only the churches in California presented on television look normal. Why is it that after going to several other SDA churches they seem to be unorganized and a nightmare. Maybe Amazing Facts and Pastor Batchelor is just a Hollywood fairy tale after all he does come from a family of the rich and famous…Why isn’t this salary information posted. I have zero problems telling someone how much I make why the secret? If tithes are coming from the community and these records aren’t found in public record for obvious reasons why is the public not able to be aware of the pastors salary in their very own church. Just don’t like it and it’s making never want to tithe again. Although I am trying very hard not to be that way.

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