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Wanda and Clarence Howard Hamel.

Photo courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives.

Hamel, Clarence Howard (1913–1994) and Wanda Eloise (1917–2005)

By Daniel Lunkhohao Touthang, and Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo

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Daniel Lunkhohao Touthang

Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo is a theology instructor at South Philippine Adventist College, Digos Davao del Sur, Philippines. He finished his Bachelor of Theology from Mountain View College, Valencia, Bukidnon, Philippines in 2016. He earned an M.A. in religion in church history and theology from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in 2018.

First Published: October 5, 2022

Clarence and Wanda Hamel were missionaries in the Southern Asia Division, particularly in India and Pakistan.

Early Life

Clarence Howard Hamel was born on August 27, 1913, in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., to parents Otto Hamel and Anna Louise Rick.1 Clarence was the fourth of the five Hamel children. His siblings were: Richard Albert, born on November 1, 1905, at Trout Lake, Wash. Lucille Matilda, August 21, 1908, Elsie Marie, October 11, 1911, and John Frederick, October 3, 1915, were all born at Portland.2 Clarence spent his early years in different cities in Oregon, including Portland, Aurora, Gaston, and Brownsville.3 He was baptized in 1934 in Corvallis, Oregon, by J. M. Comer.4

Education and Marriage

Hamel earned his elementary education in Portland public grade schools.5 He then spent a school year in Gaston High School from 1927 to 1928. From 1929 to 1932, he moved to Brownsville. And for his bachelor’s degree, he finished his B.A. in Theology at Walla Walla College from 1934 until 1939.6

Clarence was married to Wanda Eloise Crowley (born July 12, 1917) on September 4, 1939, at Sitkum, Oregon.7 Wanda was the fifth of six siblings in the family Perley Crowley and Stella Chloe Harry.8 Wanda’s siblings are Genevieve Blanche, Esther Claire, John Edwin, James Nevy, and Harry.9

Wanda attended Myrtle Point High School from 1929 to 1923. She then attended Walla Walla College from 1933 until 1936, completing a three-year teacher’s training course. She was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the spring of 1934. She worked as a Church school teacher at Alaska Mission from 1936 until 1937. From 1937 to 1940, she served as a Church teacher at Oregon Conference. From 1941 until 1945, she served as Mission School teacher in India. She served with her husband as a missionary to Pakistan.10

Clarence and Wanda Eloise Hamel had two children: John E. Hamel and Marie E. Hamel.11

Ministry

Clarence started denominational work in 1938.12 He served as a student evangelist and pastor in Dayton, Oregon, for one year. From 1939 to 1940, he served as a conference colporteur in Longview, Washington. He became a ministerial intern in 1940, assisting in several evangelistic efforts in Cedar Creek and Longview, Washington.13 That same year, Clarence and Wanda responded to a call to serve as evangelistic missionaries in Southern Asia Division, particularly in West India.14 They immediately sailed from San Francisco on November 27 for Western India.15 In the next five years, Clarence Hamel served as teacher and principal in India. From 1941 to 1942, he served in language study and taught for one year in the Roorkee High School.16 From 1942 to 1945, he served as the principal of Chuharkana School in Punjab, India.17 Hamel was ordained in the gospel on January 27, 1945, in New Delhi, India, by A. L. Ham, O. O. Mattison, and H. M. Kent.18 He spent the following year on furlough.

From 1947 to 1948, Hamel served as the director of Northwest Frontier Mission in Pakistan Union and Rawalpindi Mission Station simultaneously.19 Hamel shared a thrilling story through a letter to Signs that he experienced, stating, “Just one Signs was the means of making a contact that led to the saving of six souls.” In 1948, he left a copy of Signs with the manager of a large tea company in which a stenographer had the chance to glance through it. The stenographer wrote to the mission address and asked for another copy; and through the process, the family had Bible studies. The whole family, then, was baptized in June 1949.20 The title of Hamel was changed from director to president in 1950 while he continued to serve in the Northwest Frontier Mission.21 And in 1951, he served as the Union home missionary secretary and district leader under the West Pakistan Union Mission besides serving as president of the Northwest Frontier Mission until 1952. From 1951 to 1954, he served as the departmental secretary (home missionary) under the West Pakistan Union Mission and as an acting chairman of the Chuharkana Mission Hospital-Dispensary in 1954.22

From 1954to 1960, he served as the president of the Pakistan Union, home missionary secretary, religious liberty and Public Relations secretary. In 1955, C. H. Hamel was elected as the West Pakistan Union Mission president and held multiple positions as a chairman of West Pakistan Union High School, Chuharkana Mission Hospital-Dispensary, and Karachi SDA Hospital. He was also the editor for the West Pakistan Union newsletters.23 During his service as president of the new Union Mission, he travelled to different places to conduct evangelistic meetings, which resulted in baptisms, adding many members to the Church.24

On June 23, 1961, after furlough, the Hamels with their two children sailed back to West Pakistan and completed his fourth term of service as president of the Pakistan Union for a total of 11 years.25 C. H. Hamel’s permanent return from Pakistan (Southern Asia Division) was authorized on April 14, 1966, s per his request for family reasons. However, in mid-January of the following year, he was asked to return to Pakistan for Ingathering work. The committee appreciated the faithful work of Elder and Mrs. C. H. Hamel for 26 years of mission work in India.26 After his return from Pakistan, he served under the Idaho Conference as a district pastor.27 He continued to serve under the conference as director of the Lay Activities, Sabbath School, Public Relations, and Radio-TV from 1968 to 1972.28

On June 3, 1971, the GC Committee voted to release C. H. Hamel from the North Pacific Union and Idaho Conference to once again connect with the Southern Asia Division as PR/Development director at the Karachi Hospital, West Pakistan.29 On July 25, 1972, C. H. Hamel and his wife, Wanda Eloise Hamel, left San Francisco and traveled back to Pakistan to serve as Public-Relations and Development director at Karachi Adventist Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.30 In 1973 and 1974, he served as the Ministerial secretary (acting) under the Pakistan Union and co-chairman of Pakistan Adventist Seminary and College (1973-1977).31 He was elected as the field secretary of the Southern Asia Division in 1975; and as a field advisor, he worked under the Division until 1980. C. H. Hamel was also appointed as the co-chairman of Karachi Hospital in 1979 and as a business manager of Karachi Hospital in 1980.32

Later Life

C. H. Hamel returned from the Southern Asia Division in 1980. He retired from denominational service in April 1980 after serving 34 years of service in the Southern Asia Division, and with a total of 41 years of denominational service.33

After retirement, no available records can be found on his activities and where he lived. Hamel died on March 7, 1994, in Polk County, Oregon, U.S.A., at the age of 8034 and was buried in Green Crest Memorial Park, Sheridan, Yamhill County, Oregon, U.S.A.35 Wanda Eloise died on March 4, 2005, in Sequin, Clallam, Washington, U.S.A., at the age of 87. She was buried in Green Crest Memorial Park, Sheridan, Oregon, U.S.A.36

Contribution

Clarence Howard Hamel and his wife, Wanda, made a great impact in the Adventist pioneering work in the countries of India and Pakistan. Their length of service to the Church of over 40 years, especially in the Southern Asia Division, was a testament to their dedication and zeal for the Adventist mission work.

Sources

Biographical Information Blank of Clarence Howard Hamel. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

Biographical Information Blank of Wanda Eloise Hamel. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

Boyd, John W. “Filer Welfare Center Dedicated.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, October 21, 1968.

Clarence Howard Hamel. https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LK3M-V92/clarence-howard-hamel-1913-1994.

Elliot, H. T. “Missionary Sailings.” ARH, December 19, 1940.

Franz, C. O. “From Home Base to Front Line.” ARH, September 21, 1972.

“From Home Base to Front Line.” ARH, July 27, 1961.

General Conference Committee Minutes, relevant dates. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/Forms/AllItems.aspx?RootFolder=%2fMinutes%2fGCC&FolderCTID=0x012000F14CCE0E47CC244BB8EA93FE785ED8BE00941CF68C17217C4CA49DE1E876677255.

Hamel, C. H. “Bountiful Rice Crop in Pakistan.” ARH, May 6, 1965.

“In Brief-Overseas.” ARH, September 3, 1959.

North American Division Committee Minutes, Index, June 1966.

“One ‘SIGNS’ WINS SIX in far-away INDIA.” Lake Union Herald, March 7, 1950.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

“Wanda Eloise.” https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LKSR-T9C/wanda-eloise-crowley-1917-2005.

“Wanda Eloise Crowley Hamel.” Findagrave.com. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/76736861/wanda-eloise-hamel.

Notes

  1. Biographical Information Blank, Clarence Howard Hamel, General Conference of SDA Archives.

  2. Clarence Howard Hamel. https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LK3M-V92/clarence-howard-hamel-1913-1994. Accessed September 20, 2022.

  3. Biographical Information Blank.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Ibid.

  8. See, Findagrave.com, “Wanda Eloise Crowley Hamel.” https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/76736861/wanda-eloise-hamel. Accessed September 20, 2022.

  9. “Wanda Eloise,” https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LKSR-T9C/wanda-eloise-crowley-1917-2005. Accessed September 22, 2022.

  10. Biographical Information Blank, Wanda Eloise Hamel, General Conference of SDA Archives.

  11. Biographical Information Blank, Clarence Howard Hamel.

  12. Ibid.

  13. Ibid.

  14. General Conference Committee Minutes for August, “C. Howard Hamel—India,” August 1, 1940, 1548. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1940-08.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2022.

  15. H. T. Elliot, “Missionary Sailings,” ARH, December 19, 1940, 24; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1941, 229.

  16. Biographical Information Blank.

  17. Ibid.

  18. Ibid.

  19. Ibid.; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1948, 189; 1949, 201-202.

  20. “One ‘SIGNS’ WINS SIX in far-away INDIA,” Lake Union Herald, March 7, 1950, 1, 2.

  21. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1950, 207.

  22. Ibid., 1951, 210; 1952, 195-196; 1954, 299.

  23. Ibid., 1955, 172, 241, 248, 252, 282.

  24. “In Brief-Overseas,” ARH, September 3, 1959, 24; C. H. Hamel, “Bountiful Rice Crop in Pakistan,” ARH, May 6, 1965, 11.

  25. “From Home Base to Front Line,” ARH, July 27, 1961, 20.

  26. General Conference Committee Minutes 1996 Index, December 1966, 262, 1470. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1966-12.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2022.

  27. North American Division Committee Minutes, Index, June 1966, “C. H. Hamel—Idaho Conference,” June 30, 1966, 66-81. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/NAD/NAD1966-06.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2022.

  28. John W. Boyd, “Filer Welfare Center Dedicated,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, October 21, 1968, 9, 10; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1968, 53; 1971, 59; 1972, 57.

  29. General Conference Committee Minutes for June 1971, 71-514. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1971-06.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2022.

  30. C. O. Franz “From Home Base to Front line,” ARH, September 21, 1972, 22.

  31. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1973-74, 250, 333; 1977, 373.

  32. General Conference Committee minutes for July 1975, 75-161. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1975-07.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2022; SDA Yearbook, 1975, 15; 1979, 18; 1980, 17; 1979, 492; 1980, 438.

  33. General Conference Committee minutes for January 1980, 80-10. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1980-01.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2022; General conference Committee minutes for June 1980, 80-156. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1980-06.pdf. Accessed September 22, 2022.

  34. Clarence Howard Hamel. https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LK3M-V92/clarence-howard-hamel-1913-1994.

  35. Ibid.

  36. “Wanda Eloise,” https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LKSR-T9C/wanda-eloise-crowley-1917-2005.

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Touthang, Daniel Lunkhohao, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo. "Hamel, Clarence Howard (1913–1994) and Wanda Eloise (1917–2005)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 05, 2022. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=EJJH.

Touthang, Daniel Lunkhohao, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo. "Hamel, Clarence Howard (1913–1994) and Wanda Eloise (1917–2005)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 05, 2022. Date of access May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=EJJH.

Touthang, Daniel Lunkhohao, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo (2022, October 05). Hamel, Clarence Howard (1913–1994) and Wanda Eloise (1917–2005). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=EJJH.