By Tricia Murdoch Zmaj
On August 29, Deirdre Solomon, associate pastor at Arlington church, was ordained. This was the first ordination service in Southeastern California Conference since COVID-19 restrictions began, and her ordination ceremony was celebrated by church members, conference officials, and family and friends in the fresh air outside of the sanctuary. Along with her parents and her two children, Gideon and Kara, she was joined by ordained ministers from her own family. Her husband, Kevin Solomon, is pastor of the All Nations church in Monrovia; her sister, Raelyn Orlich, is an associate pastor at La Sierra University church; and her cousin, Rochelle Webster, is the senior pastor at Paradise Valley church.
As the associate pastor at her church, Solomon preaches two monthly sermons; one in the main sanctuary and an additional message with an interpreter for the Vietnamese-speaking congregation that meets in the chapel. She also leads out in children’s, youth, and young adult ministries and coordinates monthly youth vespers, Bible studies, and an Adventurers program.
“I was a little concerned when Sabbath School moved to the Zoom format, but our teachers have been wonderful, and the youngest members of our church have really been engaged with our program” she shared. Despite the social distancing, Solomon has enjoyed the one-on-one connections that she has been able to form while welcoming youth and young families to the church.
Her pastoral journey began when she served as class pastor during her senior year at Andrews Academy. After completing a degree in theology from La Sierra University, she returned to Michigan to earn her Master of Divinity. While at Andrews University, she met her future husband, Kevin, who was also studying at the seminary. After graduation, the two pastors returned to California to serve their church congregations in 2013. Her ordination is the next step on her pastoral journey.
Reflecting on her ordination, Solomon said, “Since the service, I have felt spiritually revived. My time with God has grown deeper, and I feel free to be the pastor that God has created me to be.”