Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing woman minister, and today we are pleased to introduce Angel Pittman.

Angel, tell us about your ministry journey–where have you served in the past and where are you currently serving in ministry?

My first position in ministry was directly out of college at a local organization, Mission Waco. I was serving alongside my husband, Jason, and we developed a passion for urban ministry and living in the community where we served. With a desire to use my teaching degree more formally, I taught in the classroom for a few years while also serving in a volunteer capacity at Mission Waco. The premature birth of my oldest son turned my direction again.

In 2002, as Jason completed seminary and a master’s degree in social work, we were appointed as field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) to serve in Detroit. We lived and served in inner city Detroit for three years, and then we were asked to take over leadership at Touching Miami with Love (TML) so we transferred south with CBF.

For almost ten years, we have lived and served in the community of Overtown, Miami’s historic African-American neighborhood adjacent to downtown Miami. I currently serve as assistant director, and through our recent merger with Open House Ministries, we have the privilege of serving the children, youth, and families of Overtown and now West Homestead as well.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?

Adjusting my ministry to the different phases of motherhood and my motherhood to the different phases of ministry is my biggest challenge. I am immensely blessed to serve alongside my husband who has always been a wonderful support. He’s the first one to remind me to allow myself the freedom to be released from guilt when one takes precedent over the other. I can’t imagine trying to do this journey without him!

What do you love best about your ministry position?

I love the opportunity to be a part of each aspect of our ministry. I moved away from leading day-to-day children’s programming six years ago, and I now have the opportunity to use a different skill set as I focus on building support for each aspect of our program and as well as dreaming up new ones.

Being instrumental in the process of discovering needs, praying, imagining creative solutions, finding support, hiring amazing people, and then implementing impactful programs is very rewarding. Lives are influenced by the collective efforts of our staff as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our communities.

People often only see the tough part of living and working in the inner city. It’s certainly not pretty and can be disheartening to see evil and injustice so up close on a daily basis, but what a privilege to be part of seeing God’s redemptive work. Our community is literally changing from the inside out. Leaders are rising up. How can I not love being a part of that?!

What is the best ministry advice you have ever received?

As a mom who’s chosen to raise her children in the inner-city and blur the lines of motherhood and ministry, the best and most freeing advice came from Carla Barnhill in her book, The Myth of the Perfect Mother: Rethinking the Spirituality of Women. Two quotes still resonate with me nearly ten years after my first reading:

“We have been led to believe that the family is more important than the broader community, that protecting our children from the evils of secular society is more important than bringing God’s love into that culture”

Barnhill expands this thought, saying:

“When Christ told us to go and make disciples of all nations, he didn’t offer an exemption to mothers. The world is in great need of the love of God, and for us to live as though mothers are not necessary to the battle, that mothers should instead stick with influencing their two or three young charges who have a head start in life simply by living in families where they are loved and wanted and cared for seems to run counter to everything that Jesus taught”