I was ordained on August 1, 2021 at First Baptist Church Greenwood in Greenwood, SC. After serving in various ministry positions for forty years, I was ordained to the ministry. Like so many women before me, I was denied ordination at a church where I served as Minister of Youth for four years. But the denial of ordination did not dampen my service to ministry or squelch my desire to be ordained. I have served in various capacities over the years from director of children’s programs, youth programs, early education schools, campus ministry, and for the past nineteen years teaching college students in Baptist institutions. However, the real “hero” in this story is my husband who denied himself ordination because he knew I wanted to be ordained but could not be ordained in the places where we served.

David is the one who is to be admired because he could have been ordained forty years ago, but he waited until we were in a place where we could be ordained together. We could have been ordained earlier at First Baptist because we have been there since 2008, but we postponed ordination because we decided to get our Doctor of Ministry degrees. After we graduated from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University with our DMin degrees in 2020 and had our hooding ceremony a year later due to COVID, we were ordained at First Baptist Greenwood. David serves on staff at FBC Greenwood as Minister of Administration, and I teach at Anderson University, but volunteer in various capacities such as Chair of the Spiritual Formation Committee at FBC. We are so thankful to First Baptist Church and to our pastor, Dr. Tony Hopkins, for being supportive of women in ministry.

It has been a long journey since our days at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985-1989) where we graduated with our MDiv. degrees, but it has been a rewarding and worthwhile one. The really cool thing is that our daughter, Jennifer Jennings, will be ordained this coming Sunday, November 14, 2021 at First Baptist Church Greenwood. Jennifer will be a graduate of Gardner Webb Divinity School in December and has begun working as a full time Minister to Children at First Baptist Marion in NC. There are only three of us in our family so how amazing is that? All three of us are being ordained in the same year. I am thinking there are not too many people in CBF life who can claim their entire family is ordained.

Rev. Dr. Amy Jennings teaches at Anderson University in South Carolina.