Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing woman minister, and today we are pleased to introduce you to Deborah Cochran.
Deborah, tell us about your current ministry role.
I serve The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C. I was called by this church seventeen years ago as the minister to children and later my title changed to associate pastor as my duties were expanded. For the past eighteen months, I have served as the acting pastor with pastoral and administrative duties and will continue in this role until the new pastor is in place. We currently have an interim preaching minister who preaches most Sundays, but I preach on the fourth Sundays.
What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?
In the early days the challenge was trusting that God was directing my life when it seemed that I was unable to find a place of service. During those days, I learned by experience that God’s timing is perfect, and that time during which I had seemed to be in “Holy Neutral” was actually a time of preparation that led to my being commissioned as a journeyman missionary to the Dominican Republic, where I taught missionary children and worked in a new church start.
When my children were born and very young, it was a challenge to juggle the home and church assignment as I served alongside my husband as a missionary to Belgium. It was a joy, but those were the days that God taught me about managing time, setting priorities, and savoring moments.
Now my children are grown, and I serve in a downtown church that will celebrate its 213th anniversary on March 7, 2015. My greatest challenge is the same as it has always been: to grow in God’s grace, to be obedient to God’s will as he makes it known to me and to make God’s love known and the coming kingdom visible. God has been faithful and my prayer is that God will keep me faithful to him.
What do you love best about your ministry position?
The people; serving with them, hearing their witness, watching them grow, and seeing God at work among us as we seek God together. I especially love working with the children who are so ready to learn about God. They are so open with what they think and feel about God. I love watching them grow and give their life to Christ as Savior and Lord.
What advice would you give to a teenage girl who is sensing a call to ministry?
I would tell her to stay close to God in prayer, listening and trusting that God has a purpose and will make a plan with her. I would say talk with someone who can mentor her and give her opportunities to serve and gain experience. Don’t try to get out in front of God, but follow as God leads. When God opens doors try to be faithful to serve with your whole heart.