updated 04/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST
Pamela Starr, 28, was often at odds with high school administrators back in Cambridge, Minn. and even ran afoul of the law for driving a motorcycle without a license. But the former winner of a regional Miss American Teenager contest in 1968 is now on the side of the angels as chaplain of Northland College and minister at the First and Trinity United Methodist Church in Ashland, Wis. The Reverend Starr's Sunday sermons rarely last more than a few minutes—"I don't think there's anything worth saying that should take longer than that"—and she often delivers them while wearing a red robe and sitting crosslegged at the altar. Does her congregation find her looks distracting? "I think in our society there is some unspoken request for women to become sexless once they enter the ministry," says the Reverend Starr. "That's ridiculous. I feel comfortable coming across the way I am." Even as a child, she wanted to be a preacher, but she dropped out of St. Paul's Lutheran Northwestern Theological Seminary in a dispute over church doctrine. A friend convinced her to switch to the Methodist Church and complete her studies. She was ordained last June and has a high regard for her young flock at Northland. "They're way ahead of where I was at their age," she says. "When I was a teen, all we did was wear miniskirts and giggle."