I was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1981. I knew of three other Baptist women who were ordained at that time. None were nearby, and there were no cell phones or email.
In 1982, I accepted my first permanent position as a federal chaplain. While there were a few other women chaplains nationwide, none were Baptists, and none were easily accessible. Like many women serving on a church staff, my career was spent working daily with male colleagues.
Incrementally, over the course of the next thirty-five years, many more Baptist women would be ordained, and many more women chaplains would be hired. Each and every time I would learn of this good news, I would feel a deep sense of gratitude and celebration.
I give monthly to Baptist Women in Ministry because I know the value of a like-minded COMMUNITY. Yes. There were always other women in the healthcare facilities with whom I could consult. And yes, there were always supportive male chaplains with whom I could share experiences. But other women chaplains were a treasure. And other Baptist women ministers . . . who understood my heritage and denominational history . . . well, THAT was sublime!
I am grateful that ALL Baptist women ministers (young and mature) can turn to BWIM for support and networking. I am grateful that my recently ordained daughter can turn to BWIM for collegiality, understanding, and discernment.
I am grateful that we serve a God who understands all of our needs for community. And COMMUNITY is why I give monthly to BWIM.—Jeni Cook Furr is retired after having a beautiful career in chaplaincy, including service as the first woman appointed as national director of the Chaplains Service for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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 Jeni in being a monthly giver!