In a historic vote on February 24, 2022, the Executive Committee of the Nevada-Utah Conference elected Pastor Chanda Nunes as Executive Secretary. Pastor Nunes is the first woman elected to this position in the Nevada-Utah Conference and the first Black female elected as Executive Secretary in a state conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Pastor Nunes is a trailblazer and has been a “first” in every church position she has held. She currently leads the Pacific Union College (PUC) Church as Senior Pastor and is the first person of color and the first woman to serve in this capacity. With compassionate care, godly wisdom, dynamic preaching, and contagious joy, she shepherded the faculty, students, and community surrounding PUC through a global pandemic and devastating wildfires.
“I’m amazed by God’s love and how He leads,” shared Pastor Nunes. “I’m humbled by this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to being used by God in this new assignment.” As Executive Secretary, Elder Nunes will be the conference officer responsible for developing, implementing, and interpreting church policies; addressing personnel and membership issues; documenting meetings; maintaining employee records and credentials; and compiling statistical reports.
Nevada-Utah Conference President, Carlos Camacho, expressed his appreciation for Pastor Nunes: “God called Pastor Chanda Nunes for such a time as this. Let me say that again. God called Elder Chanda Nunes, and we were obedient to Him. Whether it’s our congregations or schools, pastoral staff or educators, department directors or executive officers, Nevada-Utah is committed to reflecting and celebrating the diversity of our conference, our world, and the kingdom of God with gifted and faithful leaders of all races, male and female.” Nevada-Utah Conference has one of the most diverse conference leadership teams in Adventist history. The administration includes Carlos Camacho, President; Chanda Nunes, Executive Secretary; and Karen Schneider, Treasurer and consists of a Hispanic man, a Black woman, and a Caucasian woman.
Pastor Nunes is no stranger to leadership and began serving God and the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a child. She was born to God-fearing, Jamaican parents, Lee Nunes and Myrtle Carby-Nunes, and raised in Toronto, Canada. Pastor Nunes recognized her call to ministry at the age of 9 and credits many church leaders who acknowledged her gifts and calling by assigning her various leadership roles.
Pastor Nunes nurtured these ministry gifts through education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies with a minor in Biblical Languages from Burman University (formerly Canadian University College). She completed rigorous study at the Seventh-day Theological Seminary at Andrews University and obtained a Master of Divinity degree. She also received Associate degrees in Private Investigation and Paralegal Studies and is a Certified Life Coach Practitioner.
The Alberta Conference called Pastor Nunes to ministry on the campus of Burman University in 2003. She was the first Black female pastor at the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist and quickly became known as a powerful preacher, organized administrator, and spiritual caregiver to diverse populations of people.
In 2008, Pastor Nunes was called to the Kansas-Nebraska Conference to serve as Associate Pastor of the New Haven Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was the first Black pastor in the conference as well as the first Black woman pastor in the Mid-America Union. She served the Kansas-Nebraska Conference from 2008-2015 and was commissioned in 2011. In addition, she often preached, presented seminars, and conducted special services at churches in the neighboring Central States Conference.
The Northern California Conference called Pastor Nunes in 2015. Once again, she was the first Black female to pastor in the conference. She served the Capitol City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2018.
Pastor Nunes enjoys interior decorating and appreciates meeting new people and hearing their stories. She is a car enthusiast who relishes road trips. She loves spending time with her three brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
Wherever God has led her, Pastor Chanda Nunes has served with excellence, bold vision, and faithfulness. Through her, God has opened the doors of ministry for other women and people of color and is changing our Church’s culture for the better. As God continues to use Pastor Nunes in the Nevada-Utah Conference and beyond, we pray her favorite scripture on her behalf. Psalm 91:1-2 promises, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in Him will I trust.”
Pastor Darriel Hoy is the Communications Director for the Office for Regional Conference Ministries and the Regional Conference Retirement Plan.