Every Friday, Baptist Women in Ministry introduces a gifted minister, and today, on Good Friday, we are so pleased to introduce you to Robin Anderson.

Robin, tell us where you are currently serving. 

I serve as co-pastor of Commonwealth Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. My husband Marty and I serve together.

What have been some of the challenges you have faced in your ministry journey?

In my first ministry position, some church members were concerned about my ability to do pastoral care because I was in my twenties. At my first deacons meeting, someone stood up and said, “I don’t want that little girl to do my funeral.” Thankfully, some trusted retired ministers in the church took me under their wing. They mentored me and expressed their confidence in me to the congregation as often as they could. Just a few months later, the same deacon stood up in another meeting and apologized saying that he would be honored for me to do his funeral.

Later when I was serving another congregation, the church was searching for a pastor, and someone asked the committee to consider hiring Marty and me for the position. A member of the search committee told me that she thought that I would one day become a senior pastor, but she said, “Right now people think of you as a young mother.” Her words were incredibly disheartening. I knew that no one would ever say that the reason my husband wouldn’t be considered as pastor was because he was a young father.

Now that Marty and I are serving a co-pastors we struggle, at times, to balance our roles as co-leaders. We work diligently to make sure that the church sees us a equal leaders and to make sure that neither of us gets stuck doing all of the tasks that neither of us likes!

What do you love most about your ministry position?

Hands down, what I love best is the people with whom I get to “be church.” Commonwealth Baptist Church is made up of people with many differences, except most of us here are drawn to Jesus but skeptical of the church. Because of this, we have deeply authentic conversations, wrestle with difficult questions, and know that we need community in order to live as people of faith. There’s space for everyone: children and adults, male and female, straight and LGBTQ, wealthy and struggling, republican and democrat (that’s saying a lot in Northern Virginia)! The best part, though, is that people embrace me as their friend, not just their pastor.

What advice would you give to a teenage girls who is sensing a call to ministry?

Trust yourself. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and confidently go where She leads, no matter what some naysayers may say. Find mentors to support, guide, and encourage you. Connect with BWIM!