ShareThis Page
Minister fought for equality for underserved |
Obituary Stories

Minister fought for equality for underserved

The Rev. Annette Bolds of Bellevue died Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, of pancreatic cancer. She was 63.

Dinner was a daily ritual for two pastors in the United Methodist Church.

It was a team effort, the Rev. Stanley Bolds said. His wife, Annette, would cook. He would set the table. And then they would turn off the television and the radio, and talk about their days. “It was just the two of us and a very delicious meal,” he said.

The Rev. Annette Bolds of Bellevue died Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, of pancreatic cancer. She was 63.

“I’m so empty. I don’t know what the next move is for me because every move I made was with her,” her husband of 31 years said.

She was the pastor of Dravosburg United Methodist Church in Dravosburg and West Side United Methodist Church in McKeesport. She ministered in Philadelphia and Chester before returning to Pittsburgh, where she grew up in the North Side.

She was raised in a staunch Catholic home, the daughter of the late Michael and Margaret Bobby, her husband said. In the early 1980s, she knew she wanted to be a minister, but her mother and the Catholic Church wouldn’t allow it.

A bishop in Philadelphia helped her into the United Methodist Church, where she ministered for 32 years. At the time, female pastors weren’t common or treated equally, said her husband, a pastor in Community United Methodist Church in Aspinwall and a chaplain at Allegheny General Hospital.

“They were sort of breaking the ice at the time. The female pastors did not get good appointments. There was resistance to females in the ministry,” he said. “Women since that time have made some tremendous strides.”

The Rev. Bolds pushed racial equality in the church. Her husband is black, and she worked to give ethnic minority pastors the same treatment as white pastors. As part of the Ethnic Minority Local Church group, she held sensitivity training and other sessions to prepare white pastors for work in black churches and black pastors for work in white churches, her husband said.

In Philadelphia, the Rev. Bolds worked with at-risk youths. She helped them get through high school, get scholarships and get into college. Some of the kids, now in their 30s, stayed in touch with her.

“That was just her passion,” her husband said. “She gave herself to young people. She gave herself to the disadvantaged who didn’t have a voice.”

In addition to her husband, the Rev. Bolds is survived by her son, Michael David Bolds of Washington; her sister, Marian Jarrett of Kernersville, N.C.; and two grandchildren.

Visitation is 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a Parastas service at 8 p.m. in Lawrence T. Miller Funeral Home, 460 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue. The funeral is at 11 a.m. Wednesday, with visitation starting at 10 a.m. in Calvary United Methodist Church in the North Side.

Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.