"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." – Daniel 12:3
Warner Pacific College is honored to recognize Reverend Sam '45 and Adele (Gwinner) Hooker '45, 64 with the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Ministry Award. The Hookers were partners in the pastoral ministry, faithfully serving Churches of God in Oregon, Oklahoma, and Washington over a career spanning 42 years.
The Hookers were two of the earliest students to attend Pacific Bible College. Sam first learned of the college when a family relative approached his father about donating to the start-up of a school in Spokane called Pacific Bible College. Sam says hearing the news of PBC was the moment he first felt the calling to ministry. He traveled to Spokane in 1940 expecting to enroll, only to learn that the college had relocated to Portland. Sam had to hitch a ride with the last moving van in order to arrive in Portland in time.
Adele was one of eight children of a family struggling through the Great Depression in Portland. She longed to do missionary work in Africa, but her family was in no position to help financially. Instead, Adele enrolled in PBC, also in 1940. She met Sam in a Christian Ministries class after students were asked sit in alphabetical order. She and Sam and Adele ended up sitting next to each other, and their friendship blossomed from there.
While at PPC, Sam worked as a pastor at Eastside Church of God and as a youth pastor at Oregon City Church of God. Adele earned a certificate in Christian Education and Sam graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology in 1944. They immediately took a pastorate at First Church of God in Muskogee, Okla. from 1944 to 1946. After five years at First Church of God in Tacoma, Wash., the Hookers returned to the Muskogee church for an additional nine years.
In 1960, the Hookers returned to Portland and Sam led Woodstock Church of God for the next 18 years (it later became Mt. Scott Church of God). During that time, Adele returned to Warner Pacific to finish a bachelor's degree in Religion and Christian Ministries. From 1978 to 1980, Sam accepted various interim ministry positions before concluding his pastoral career at First Church of God in Newberg, Ore. from 1980 to 1985. Sam holds the title of Pastor Emeritus at Mt. Scott Church of God.
During their many calls to ministry, the Hookers were involved in church building programs, Christian education, mission trips, social services, and counseling. From 1963 to 1978, Sam also served as a member of the Warner Pacific College Board of Trustees. Adele became an author, producing several Christian books exploring prayer and everyday miracles.
In recognition of their faithful service to the Church of God, Warner Pacific is pleased to welcome Sam and Adele into the circle of distinguished alumni, this day, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.