Each Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces an amazing Baptist woman minister, and today we are pleased to introduce you to Elizabeth Mangham Lott.

Elizabeth, tell us about your current ministry position.

I am currently a senior pastor in New Orleans at the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church

Where have you served in the past?

I served in associate pastor and ministerial staff roles at Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Alabama, Northminster Church in Richmond, Virginia, and Westover Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia.

What have been some of your “bumps in the road” as a woman minister?

I feel extremely fortunate to have served in multiple ministerial roles over the past sixteen years and have served alongside six pastors, each supportive and affirming in his or her unique way. I would not say I have encountered “bumps in the road” but rather detours on a winding journey. The “bump” may simply be that I expected the trajectory to be straight and quick instead of winding and slow.

I was not prepared for how motherhood would change me. The birth of my son in 2006 absolutely up-ended my world, and I spent several years as a stay-at-home parent with a flexible work life. I wrote curriculum for Smyth & Helwys and drove the Virginia back roads on the pulpit supply circuit while my son and daughter were very little. Later I moved into a bi-vocational identity as at-home mom and associate pastor.

Almost a decade of mothering has helped me separate my sense of calling from the professional work I do. I am called to be fully myself in specific, unique ways that may not always intersect with the work that I am being paid to do. The interior work of the first years of motherhood helped prepare me for the daily work I do now as a senior pastor as it helped cultivate a strong sense of balance, boundaries, and self.

What advice would you give to a teenage girl who might be discerning a call to ministry?

Keep wide options and interests. Pay attention to what you love doing and what you are really good at doing. Think about those activities that make you lose all track of time. Think about what makes you feel more energized and what makes you feel more tired. Listen to people’s stories. As you move into college, pick up some business classes alongside those religious studies courses.