When I began my radio career nearly 50 years ago, one of my responsibilities was producing the Inter-Church Council radio program Chapel By the Sea on Sunday mornings on WNBH in New Bedford. That is when I first met Rev. Pam Cole.

Born in Boston on August 25, 1944, Pamela J. Cole was ordained a United Church of Christ clergywoman in 1970. Cole, the first woman pastor on the SouthCoast, served as volunteer host of the weekly radio program from 1976-1983.

Rev. Cole's broadcast moved to WBSM, where she was affectionately known as the "Church Lady" from 2005-2014.

According to an obituary on the website of Aubertine-Lopes Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Rev. Cole wished most to be "remembered for teaching New Testament Greek to seminarians at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1965-1968) and for her love of farming expressed through her lovely equine-carriage-driven photography."

New Bedford's Beloved "Church Lady" Pam Cole Has Passed Away
Courtesy Aubertine-Lopes

Rev. Cole taught history at Bristol Community College from 2011-2020. She loved New Bedford, its rich history, "its varied faith communities and diverse peoples," according to her obituary.

Over the years, Rev. Cole held many leadership positions within the area's religious community.

According to her obituary, "In February 2023, Ms. Cole was honored to be one of two non-Catholics in the Fall River Diocese that was invited by Bishop da Cunha to participate in the United States College of Catholic Bishops National Ecumenical Synod Virtual Listening Assembly in preparation for the Roman Catholic Synod to be held October 2023 at the Vatican."

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Rev. Cole passed away on October 30, 2023, at the Royal of Fairhaven Nursing Home. She was 79.

A memorial service will be held at Aubertine-Lopes Funeral Home in New Bedford on November 25, 2023, at 11 a.m. Her cremains will be interred in her ancestral family plot, Woodlawn Cemetery, Pepperell, Massachusetts, and First Congregational Cemetery, New Bedford.

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Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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