UCC Ordains Two Pastors

Upper Columbia Conference recently ordained two pastors, James Ash and Jake Wilkinson, into the ministry.

“Ordination or commissioning is a significant milestone in a pastor’s professional development and it’s wonderful to see the church affirm these men in their ministry,” shared Eric Brown, UCC ministerial director.

Ash, Stateline Adventist Church and Dayton Adventist Church pastor, was ordained on Nov. 18, 2023, at Stateline Church. Rodney Mills, UCC vice president for administration, presented Ash as a candidate into the ministry and gave the homily. At the end of the service, Brown presented the certificate of ordination.

“Receiving a certificate is nice, but being ordained isn’t at all like receiving an achievement award,” shared Brown. “When we pray over a pastor like James, it’s a symbol of the trust and responsibility we as a church are placing in him as a spiritual leader.”

Ash was born to missionary parents in Taipei, Taiwan. He attended Far Eastern Academy for three years in Singapore and finished his senior year at Upper Columbia Academy.

From there, Ash went to Walla Walla College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology and minors in biblical languages and history. Ash then attended Andrews University, where he met his wife, Joy, and graduated with a master’s degree in divinity. 

While Joy attended classes to become a nurse practitioner in Loma Linda, California, Ash did literature evangelism and focused heavily on becoming a certified pilot.

When Joy graduated, they moved to Guyana to become a missionary pilot family. For more than 11 years, Ash served Guyana Conference as a school administrator, project leader and chief pilot. During this time, they were blessed with two daughters, Julianna and Jenna.

In 2021, feeling the calling of God, Ash accepted a call from Upper Columbia Conference to pastor the Stateline/Dayton district.

Wilkinson, Ellensburg and Cle Elum district pastor, was ordained on Dec. 2, 2023, at Ellensburg Adventist Church. Mills presented Wilkinson as a candidate into the ministry. Cary Fry, Kennewick Adventist Church pastor, gave the homily, and Brown presented the ordination certificate.

“Sometimes ordinations can seem very formal and stiff, but not Jake’s,” shared Brown. “His service matched his love for people and his sense of humor perfectly.”

Wilkinson was born and raised in Soldotna, Alaska. He graduated from Walla Walla University with a degree in theology and served for two years as an intern pastor at Spokane Valley Adventist Church. After completing his internship, Wilkinson spent two and a half years in seminary at Andrews University and has spent the last three and a half years in the Ellensburg and Cle Elum district. He and his wife, Crystal, currently live in Ellensburg with their two dogs and fish.

“God has blessed us in UCC with an incredible team of dedicated pastors,” shared Brown. “I am so grateful to have these two men as a part of it and to welcome them to the ranks of ordained pastors in the Adventist Church.”

Featured in: May/June 2024