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Retired minister Sewall honored by seminary
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Delmar (Dale) Sewall the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus in Pastoral Ministry. Retired in 2010 from 40 years of pastoral ministry, Sewall is president and CEO of Union University of California and sponsor for the Black Prisoners’ Caucus at Clallum Bay Correctional Facility. His ministerial career includes serving as executive director of the North Hills Youth Ministry in Pittsburgh; associate pastor for youth, family, and community ministries at Westminster PC, Grand Rapids; senior pastor of First PC, Brainerd, Minn.; and for 23 years senior pastor at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church.
Along the way he was also a founding member of the Heartside Neighborhood Association, addressing urban issues in downtown Grand Rapids, and founder and chairman of Dwelling Place Non-Profit Housing Corporation.
As Clergy Association president in Brainerd, Sewall helped establish the Crow Wing County Jail Chaplaincy Program. Later, in Seattle, he chaired the board of the Center for Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence (now Faith Trust Institute) and established a long-term partnership between Emerald City Outreach Ministry (now Urban Impact) and Mercer Island PC.
Sewall also served as a board member of the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, which provides prosthetic limbs for Vietnamese war veterans and the general population at its clinic in Hanoi. Along with Binh Nguyen, a former prisoner in the Vietnam reeducation camps, he established the Vietnam Ministry of Seattle Presbytery (now South East Asia Ministry).
He has also chaired the board of the Vietnamese Theological College; created the International Student Scholarship Fund of Mercer Island PC, which sponsors 300 students mostly in Southeast Asia; linked Seattle Pacific University and Duy Tanh University in Danang, Vietnam; sponsored medical teams to teach emergency medicine at the Hue Medical School in central Vietnam; worked in funding the establishment of the International Justice Mission’s Northern Thailand Office; and supported IJM’s anti-trafficking work in Cambodia.
Sewall earned a bachelor of arts degree from Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa., (1966) and a master of divinity from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. (magna cum laude, 1970). His honorary degrees include a doctor of divinity from Union University of California and doctor of letters from Apollos University, Huntington Beach, Calif.
In 2009 Dale founded and for two years directed Exmenda, a non-profit corporation dealing with traumagenic systems. Dale and his wife, Jinny, have three daughters and live in Mercer Island.