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Faithful Representation: Church Choir Brought Her to Emerson

For Faithful Representation, an occasional series, Emerson Today spoke with alums and staff members who lead congregations or minister to faith groups to learn about their spirituality, religion, and how Emerson influences them while doing God’s work.

Delphine Vasser ’78

Delphine Vasser ‘78 says she was just beginning her journey when the Lord sent her to Emerson College.

A yearbook photo of Delphine Vasser ’78.

Growing up in Michigan, her youth choir was invited to sing in Massachusetts, and she had the opportunity to check out Emerson’s campus.

“My passion has always been in communications,” said Vasser.

After graduating from Emerson with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication, Vasser answered the call to go into the ministry, and has been a pastor for more than 30 years. Vasser says her degree has helped her be a better pastor. She now ministers to the Lee Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Dallas.

Using an analogy from the Bible, she called becoming a pastor her “Jonah and the whale moment.”

“[Jonah] took a boat to go somewhere else, and he ended up being in the belly of a whale, and then surrendered to a place he was supposed to go,” said Vasser. “That’s how I found myself.”

When Vasser met Emersonians, particularly through EBONI, she said she felt that regardless of the person’s background, it was a great invitation to experience a new dimension of spirituality.

Pastors are leaders in their community, and students knew Vasser was a good counselor when storms were brewing.

“Students would come to me, and we would begin to pray about the entire situation, and I’d see changes in the individual person,” said Vasser.

As Vasser helped her fellow students, Emerson helped her greatly.

“My mother said she left a child [in Boston] and in 1978, at the graduation, she gained a woman who had the creativity and passion for life and that creativity and passion were given through Emerson,” said Vasser.

“Emerson opened the door to say you can do it. If you have a vision, if you have a dream, press on. It might take a while, but keep going on, because your passion will come to pass.”

Read other stories in the series.

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