Because Women Are Equal Partners in Ministry by Kevin Pranoto

This time last year, I was packing my essentials into boxes, loading up ol’ Bella (my tiny aging car), and moving cross country to intern at Baptist Women in Ministry. As a dual-degree MDiv/MSW student at Baylor University, I was passionate about the intersection of women and the Church and decided that I wanted to intern at an organization where I could explore the diverse experiences women in ministry face. I did not realize how formative my experience at BWIM would be for my faith, academics, and future career.

During my time at BWIM, I listened to stories from women pastors who have had great successes and challenges in ministry. I saw eyes full of appreciation from women after receiving encouragement and affirmation in their season of discernment. And as a social work student, I realized that BWIM is not only a Baptist ministry organization, but it is also a bridge-building organization. During my internship, I worked with BWIM in living out its conviction that every person has dignity and worth through its advocacy for women’s voices who are too often marginalized and silenced. We helped women create meaningful connections with mentors and churches to establish networks that would have been difficult to build on their own.

I give monthly to Baptist Women in Ministry because I believe in the hard work that they do in creating opportunities for women called to ministry in a context that does not yet fully see them as equals. I also give to BWIM because their dedication to their work has led to a community of better equipped and nourished women in ministry. Although Baptist Women in Ministry’s team is small, I have witnessed its effectiveness in creating big positive changes across Baptist congregations. I give because Baptist Women in Ministry has done and continues to do big things to ensure that one day all women will be seen as equal partners in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Kevin Pranoto is executive specialist, office of the executive coordinator at Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Decatur, Georgia. 

Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow Baptist Women in Ministry to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Kevin in being a monthly giver by filling out the form below.

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Baptist Women in Ministry Is a Reflection of Me by Yvonne Harold

While attending The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as an undergrad, I was introduced to Baptist Women in Ministry through a retreat held in Brownwood, TX. Although I did not know anyone attending the retreat, I was determined to be there. Little did I know, this event would change my life. For the first time, I not only met women who encouraged me, but who also embraced my calling, genuinely cared about me, and wanted to be a part of my life’s journey. The retreat, coupled with one encounter after another with God-filled women, confirmed my calling as a pastor. Not only was I given the space to acknowledge my calling, but I was also able to give life to the voice within while exploring my fears. A platform of other women, who were serving as pastors in their churches, provided endless possibilities of what God could and would do through me, a woman in ministry.

I support Baptist Women in Ministry because BWIM is a reflection of me and is instrumental in transforming the lives of women. Baptist Women in Ministry provided a safe, nurturing place for me to step boldly into who God called me to be, and who God purposed me to be. I give to Baptist Women in Ministry out of love and gratitude.

Yvonne Harold is pastor of Destined Ministries in Killeen, Texas.

Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow Baptist Women in Ministry to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Yvonne in being a monthly giver by filling out the form below.

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I Give in Honor of the Women Who Came Before Me by Jessica Asbell

I am a monthly giver to Baptist Women in Ministry. I give for many reasons. I give in honor of my mom, who felt a call from God to ministry as a teenager. But, unfortunately, all she heard was that women couldn’t be in ministry, and so she was forced to turn her back on that calling. But even though she was turned away from ministry, when I told her that I felt like God was calling me to be a Children’s Minister, she was one of my best advocates. Growing up, she taught me that I could be whoever God wanted me to be and I am grateful.

I also give in honor of the strong women of my family. These women: my mom, both of my grandmothers (Shug and Granny Rose), my Aunt Barbaras (yep, there’s two of them!), my Aunt Connie, my Aunt Diane, and MaryNo, all taught me to be strong and stand up for myself. They showed me through the lives they lived that it was possible to be a strong woman, and they showed no fear as they bumped against that glass ceiling. As a result, I am one of the lucky female ministers whose family supported her calling. And not only did they support my calling, they are still a major source of encouragement for me.

I give in honor of the women who came before me, who broke down the barriers so that I am able to stand behind our pulpit without fear of being cast out. I also give in honor of the women who will come after me. I give in honor of the many girls I work with, whose bright faces and hopeful spirits will be able to stay with them should they choose ministry because of organizations like BWIM.

BWIM has been a wonderful resource for me. Pam Durso has played an important role in helping me continue my call when I was discouraged. BWIM has been a place of rest and renewal for me, as well as a place of hope when I needed it. It is an organization that is made up of hopeful women, of women who are quick to listen, to offer to support, and to offer a shoulder to cry on. I am grateful for BWIM and I give so that the women who come after me can experience the support that I have. Thank you BWIM and thank you, Pam!

Jessica Asbell is minister for children at First Baptist Church, Roswell, Georgia.

Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow Baptist Women In Ministry to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Jessica as a monthly giver by filling out the form below.

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I Give to Honor My Champions by Pam Foster

When I became a seminarian, I had never met an ordained Baptist woman. I did not know there was such a person. So, when God called me to full-time vocational ministry, I was mystified. I did not know where to begin looking for support, information, colleagues, or mentors. While I was greatly surprised by my calling and the circumstances in which I found myself, I can look back at my story and see that God was never surprised. In my home congregation, which had never ordained a woman, there were two strong, godly women who nurtured my infant-like dream of being a minister. They prayed for me, listened to me, and most importantly championed for me with the leaders and members of the congregation. With their help, I was able to stand firm in my answer to God’s call. The congregation was able to ordain me, affirming my gifts of ministry. I give to Baptist Women in Ministry in honor of my champions, Carol and Linda, and in hopefulness for all the young Baptist women God is calling. May they hear God’s voice as they step into a future surrounded by other Baptist women as supporters, colleagues, and mentors.

Pam Foster is the director of pastoral care at Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas.

Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow Baptist Women In Ministry to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Pam as a monthly giver by filling out the form below.
 

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Because I Know What It’s Like to Live Without Support by Tracy Hartman

“Why do I give to Baptist Women in Ministry? Because I know the importance of support for women ministers, and I know what it’s like to live without that kind of support.” – Tracy Hartman

 

 
Fifty More! Baptist Women in Ministry currently has fifty individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. This week we hope to add fifty more monthly givers to that list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow BWIM to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Tracy as a monthly giver and to be one of Fifty More by filling out the form below.
 

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Tracy Hartman is the Daniel O. Aleshire Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. In addition to teaching, she enjoys serving as a coach, interim pastor, and supply preacher. She and her husband Jay have two grown children.

Because We All Have Something to Give by Catherine Bahn

Mary Lillian Warner.

Corn bread, greens, pork chops, and hugs.

These are the reasons why I give to Baptist Women in Ministry.

I met Mary Warner eight years ago, while working in the Arkansas Delta. Mary cooked for the hundreds of volunteers that our organization hosted during the summer. Each morning she would rise before the sun and begin to prepare food for people that she didn’t know. Through the years, I watched as our volunteers grew to know Mary, love Mary, and devour her food.

In the eyes of the world, Mary didn’t have much to offer, but she constantly gave all she had. Mary spent her life serving other people. She gave up school to take care of her family, gave up a career to raise other people’s children. She took in her friends when they had nowhere to go.

She was a Baptist woman in ministry.

One of the most important lessons I learned from Mary is that we all have gifts. We all have something to give. And it’s our job as Christians to affirm the gifts of others around us—our children, our parents, our students, our co-workers.

BWIM affirmed my gift as a young Baptist woman serving in ministry in the Delta.

I support BWIM monthly to help affirm the gifts of other women. I give to affirm the Mary Warners in the world. And I pray we affirm those around us daily.

Fifty More! Baptist Women in Ministry currently has fifty individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. This week we hope to add fifty more monthly givers to that list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow BWIM to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Catherine as a monthly giver and to be one of Fifty More by filling out the form below.

Catherine Bahn lives and works at the Lucky Star Farm in Rush, Arkansas. She previously served as co-director of Together for Hope, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Rural Poverty Initiative in the Arkansas Delta. 

 

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Because Minister Doesn’t Mean Mr. by Jake Hall

“We give to Baptist Women in Ministry because we want to at least be as smart as our three year old.”


 
Fifty More! Baptist Women in Ministry currently has fifty individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. This week we hope to add fifty more monthly givers to that list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow BWIM to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Jake as a monthly giver and to be one of Fifty More by filling out the form below.
 

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Jake Hall is pastor at Highland Hills Baptist Church, Macon, Georgia.

Because Someone Gave Before Me by Tiffany Brown

I give for Emma. So that at three-years-old she can preach with abandon, proclaiming “God says. . .,” at the foot of a putt-putt hole marker. I give so that she will continue to be inspired by women in ministry and her calling won’t be limited, capped, or squashed.

I give for Kathy. So that when her church closes their doors on her, she can still find a voice. I give so that a woman in the pulpit will encourage her, fill her lifelong emptiness with a new perspective of God, and give her the courage needed to reshape her faith.

I give for Adam. So that when he condemns and questions the calling of the women ministers in his life, they find a safe place to explore their calling and find support and financial assistance to enable them to be true to who God has created them to be. I give for Adam, because one day he will find himself working alongside gifted women in ministry, and perhaps one day God will change his heart.

I give because someone gave before me. Someone before me believed that women were capable of this honorable calling to ministry. Someone before me shared my pain and joy for this calling and then reminded me of who I was and whose I was. Someone before me helped me to drown out negative voices and see vast potential in God’s Kingdom.

I am a monthly giver to Baptist Women in Ministry, because I have felt personally the energy that comes from their advocacy, the strength that comes with connecting to other women, and the power that comes with their network. That experience has in turn been passed on to Emma, Kathy, and Adam.

May the ripples never cease!

Fifty More! Baptist Women in Ministry currently has fifty individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. This week we hope to add fifty more monthly givers to that list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow BWIM to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Tiffany as a monthly giver and to be one of Fifty More by filling out the form below.

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Tiffany Brown is the associate pastor of First Baptist Church, Mocksville, North Carolina.

Because I Have Been a Witness by Courtney Allen

“Because I have been a witness to the powerful ministry of remarkable women, I give to Baptist Women in Ministry.”–Courtney Allen, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia

Fifty More! Baptist Women in Ministry currently has fifty individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. This week we hope to add fifty more monthly givers to that list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow BWIM to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join Tracy as a monthly giver and to be one of Fifty More by filling out the form below.

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Courtney Allen is pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia.

Because No One Should Sit Alone by David Tew

I give monthly to Baptist Women in Ministry, because women need to be resourced in fulfilling their calling in ministry and churches need to be encouraged to practice the equanimity of believers taught by Jesus Christ. At our church, as is the case with many faithful Baptist churches, we are blessed by the ministry of ordained women on our ministerial staff. We frequently hear female voices in proclamation from our pulpit. Women have been ordained into both the deaconate and ministry here. Looking at our church, and Baptist churches like us, the need for BWIM might not be apparent.

Yet our church is still not the norm in Baptist life. Many churches still do not consider women candidates during their pastor-search processes. Many pulpits are closed to women preachers except on rare special occasions. Women are still titled “director,” while men on the same staff are given the “minister.” Women seeking to be the ministers God called them to be need the resources of BWIM to overcome enormous obstacles. Churches need to be encouraged to exemplify kingdom values in providing places for women to serve in ministry. Through doing both, BWIM helps us realize the full potential of the community of faith.

Recently, my wife visited our daughter’s church, a church where I formerly served. A couple invited my wife to sit with them. As the service began, a worship leader announced that there was a health crisis in the pastor’s family and that a woman minister on the staff (ordained during my tenure) was preaching. The couple got up and left the service, leaving my wife sitting alone.

There are too many Baptists who believe that God has gifted and called women into ministry but who are still sitting alone. That is why I give monthly to Baptist Women in Ministry.

David Tew is pastor of First Baptist Church, Morrow, Georgia.

Fifty More! Baptist Women in Ministry currently has fifty individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. This week we hope to add fifty more monthly givers to that list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for our work and allow BWIM to continue being an advocate, a network, and a connection for Baptist women ministers! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! We invite you to join David as a monthly giver and to be one of Fifty More by filling out the form below.
 

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