Twenty-five years ago, before Sharon became the Director of Shepherdess International, she sent our family a gift for our newborn son. I was so surprised. We lived a long distance away from Sharon. I didn’t know she even knew that I had a new baby! It meant so much to me that she would be so sensitive and caring.
Two years ago my pastor father passed away. One of the first flower arrangements to arrive to comfort my mother was from Sharon. She will never know how much that meant to my mom and to our family.
Sharon Cress is an amazing woman! After being with Sharon for just a few minutes, one realizes how much she loves the pastors’ spouses. Sharon has worked hard for pastors’ spouses around the world for 18 years. Sharon set many goals and accomplished many things as the Shepherdess director. Two of many accomplishments are:
- That every pastor’s spouse be able to read and write. Now every pastor’s spouse in the Papua New Guinea literacy program owns a Bible and is able to read it.
- That an active Shepherdess ministry be established at every Seventh-day Adventist higher-education institution. Today every Adventist seminary worldwide has a self-sustaining Shepherdess ministry.
Other goals Sharon has tirelessly worked on include:
- Encouraging leaders of church organizations to provide every pastor’s spouse access to the Shepherdess International Journal.
- Encouraging every local conference to have a retreat for their pastoral spouses.
- Encouraging every Division to have counseling services available for their pastoral spouses.
- Pursuing her goal of our church implementing Ellen White’s mandate that ministry wives who work with their husbands should be paid, Sharon has had the joy of seeing a successful plan for this accomplished in India. This dream, which Jim and Sharon shared, has become even more of a reality since Jim’s death. Sharon established the Jim Cress Memorial Fund for the purpose of providing stipends to those spouses working alongside their pastor/spouse.
So much more could be written about Sharon; these are a few of the things this wonderful woman has accomplished.
We love you, Sharon, and we will be ever grateful for your years of showing us love and how to be excellent pastors’ spouses! God has promised that He will bring tremendous fruit now and in eternity for all your hard work in people’s lives.