Though I grew up attending a Baptist church, my parents came to the Baptist tradition from a different background. We did not know certain things that others seemed to know. We did not know, or perhaps more accurately, I did not know, that in my Baptist church women could not be ordained as deacons or ministers. You can imagine my surprise when I felt a call to ministry, but my church, which had nurtured other aspects of my faith, did not publicly affirm me as it regularly did when the youth group boys mentioned calling.

Some in the church believed me when I said God called me. In private they encouraged me; even the ministers–even the pastor–encouraged me. Without that encouragement, I might have eventually assumed that I was mistaken about my calling.

Now, as a university professor, I often encounter young women who feel called but have yet to receive encouragement to pursue that calling. I am honored to provide that encouragement and show them what is possible. Thankfully, through Baptist Women in Ministry, I have resources to share, which testify to the fact that God does call women, that other Christians, including Baptists, affirm the call of women, and that we are not alone.

I give to BWIM monthly in honor and memory of those who encouraged me and out of gratitude for the ways BWIM helps me encourage others.—Christine Jones, director of institutional effectiveness and strategic planning and associate professor of Religion, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee

Baptist Women in Ministry currently has 123 individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. We would love to have 140 monthly supporters, and we hope to add seventeen more donors to our giving list this week! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! Join Christine in being a monthly giver!