Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing minister, and today we are pleased to introduce Danielle Glaze.
Danielle, tell us about your current ministry?
I serve at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. I am in my ninth year as the Christian education director. I write and edit curriculum for all Bible study classes, serve as a substitute for all age groups, and complete other tasks as required. This past year I have moved to part-time employee because I now am attending divinity school. In addition to church and school, I serve through my own teaching ministry, Manna Teaching Ministry, which provides community Bible studies and day peace retreats for women.
What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way in living out your calling?
The challenges have been numerous. One of the greatest challenges is having my call affirmed and supported by the male leaders in my church’s district. My being licensed to minister was supported and encouraged by my pastor. However, some of the male leaders in my church and in the church district still have an issue with female ministers. The ordination of women in my district, I believe, is not a priority.
A second challenge is that being ordained empowers me to carry out the ordinances in the church, but it does not necessarily create opportunities for me to serve. Churches in my district do not call women to pastor churches even though some pulpits sit open. I have had to redefine what it means to be a “pastor” in this season of my life. The lack of opportunities to serve fully continues to be a challenge.
Another great challenge is being a single mom as I minister. I have two children, a daughter, Camille, who is a junior at Appalachian State, and a son, Daniel, who is a junior in high school. Unfortunately, my call and my divorce collided! My children have had to walk this call with me. I have had to insure that in the midst of a heart-breaking divorce that I still live God at home. My children have, in essence, answered the call with me. I have had to consciously balance life, reminding my children and myself that they are my first call and priority. I diligently strive to shield my children’s walk with God from church issues. I do not want the non-Christ-like behaviors that sometimes happen in church to taint their view of God. In order to protect them, I become a mama bear. My desire is for them to enjoy their worship experience and journey with God.
I realize this is my call, yet it has become a joint venture. My children are my greatest cheerleaders. They have done a wonderful job of being super supportive, encouraging, and loving. Daniel is most often my one familiar face when I preach at churches. He is my road partner, armor bearer, and my protector. His presence makes me smile for so many reasons. Camille is so quick to tell me that I “rock,” and she and her friends will quickly call me for guidance or Bible questions. The actions of my children confirm that I have answered the call to teach and preach God’s word.
Who or what has inspired you in your life as a minister?
The “what” that has inspired me has been the persistent stirring of God in my life. God has been developing me my entire life. The tipping point came as I realized that there was something else I was supposed to be doing. Teaching was no longer fulfilling, and I heard God calling me to teach His Word. Six months after saying “yes,” my world imploded. My marriage of over twenty years ended in divorce. I did not see it coming, and I know that it was surely the enemies’ plan to take me out. God became my very breath and movement. He has truly been what has kept me here and keeps pulling and stretching and growing and empowering me.
God has sent some awesome sisters to walk this journey with me. The women of Macedonia’s Bible Study allowed me to walk through six years of sitting at God’s feet with them. The women of the Northwest Women’s Bible Study, a group of women from seven small rural churches, were ravenous for God’s word, and they too allowed me to learn with them.
Several fellow sister ministers have walked with me in my church, but three sisters have especially been there for me. One of those sisters is Rev. Alicia Porterfield, whom God has allowed to walk ahead of me in so many areas that He is calling me to. She has been my twice-a-month lunch partner, my sounding board, my prayer partner, and my laughter-as-medicine friend. Alicia is an awesome author, interim pastor, mom, and wife, and she so freely shares her gifts with others.
Another of those sisters is Evangelist Jonette Camp, who God sent to Campbell Divinity School at the same time he sent me so we would both have someone to walk this journey with. We met at orientation one year ago, and as God would have it, we had enrolled in the same classes. We quickly became prayer partners, cheerleaders, and as we call ourselves“The Dynamic Duo.” We have “Holy Ghost power” activate moments (envision the old cartoon Wonder Twins bumping fists, lol). Alicia and Jonette have truly been for me the iron that sharpens iron, which requires friction to work. We bump up against each other, challenge each other, hold each other accountable, and love each other truthfully. What wonderful gifts they are.
The third woman who has inspired me is a senior sister who participated in the Bible studies I led. She has such wonderful insight, and she has so graciously become a benefactor for my education and says that she can see how pregnant with potential I am. What an overwhelming gift of love to have someone see you as God sees you even when you can’t.
What advice would you give to a teenage girl who was discerning a call to ministry?
Sweetheart, hear God, trust Him, and move. He won’t fail you . . . it messes with His reputation. Journal your experiences so in those dark, “I can’t do this” moments you can look back and see all that God has done and how much you’ve grown. Make sure to protect your worship and your spirit. Be careful who you listen to, make sure you are studying for yourself . . . not just in preparation for preaching and teaching. You can not serve on empty, and you can only be the best vessel when you are connected to the Spirit. Be kind to yourself, love yourself, know how valuable you are to God already. It is not about your performance. Pray and allow God to lead you to the right friends and supports. They will be the most unlikely people.
Be willing to let some people, places, and assignments go no matter how hard it is. That is where faith grows. When you really need to know what God thinks about you, read Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT):
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
This text always reminds me how special I am to God and I can just see Him in the heavenly bodies singing about me! Know that you are that special also.