SAN ANTONIO, TX (August 24, 2015) — Sherron Hughes-Tremper, one of the first two women to be ordained in the Covenant, died this morning. Services are pending.
Sherron, 70, was born July 9, 1945, in Ridgecraft, California. She graduated from Fresno State in 1967.
After graduating, she went directly into the Peace Corps and worked in El Salvador until 1969. Sherron told friends she believed the experience would test her mettle, perfect her Spanish, and prepare her to fulfill her calling to serve as a Covenant missionary.
When she returned, she entered North Park Theological Seminary. While there, she married Dale Tremper on March 25, 1970, and redirected her focus to living in the United States and a calling to “urban mission.”
While Dale attended Princeton, she worked as a social worker. She began a master’s program towards California teacher certification at Cal State during the time Dale served as associate pastor at First Covenant Los Angeles.
When Dale accepted a call to Douglas Park Covenant Church in Chicago. Sherron re-enrolled at the seminary in 1974 to complete her M.Div and seek ordination. She graduated in 1977, the year after the Annual Meeting voted to accept women candidates for ordination.
In 1978, she became the first woman to be ordained because her name “Hughes-Tremper” came first in the alphabet before the other woman to be ordained, Carol Shimmin. The Chicago Sun-Times posted a photo of the event on its front page.
She served for two years as staff chaplain at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. She completed supervisory training in clinical pastoral education (CPE) at Rush-Presbyterian Hospital, and then started the first CPE center in Arkansas at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where she served between 1984-87. She went on to serve as a supervisor at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington, and Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City. Sherron served as pastor of several United Methodist Churches before returning to be CPE supervisor at the Audy Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio from 2009 to 2012, when she retired.
Following her retirement she led an “art and spirituality” group for roughly a dozen homeless and marginalized persons.
Sherron is survived by her husband; a son, Matthew Arrington; a daughter, Stephanie Gameros; and two grandchildren.