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 donors more to our giving list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for Mentoring Program! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! Give to BWIM monthly so that new and young ministers will have the opportunity to be part of the Mentoring Program. Read Darnysha’s story about how important her cohort has been for her.
As I began serving in my first call, I reached out to other women in ministry by applying to Baptist Women in Ministry’s Mentoring Program. I was feeling isolated being the only Black woman on my current pastoral staff. The women in my cohort spoke of their trials working in male-dominated spaces and the lack of respect they had in the eyes of other people because they were not a real pastor because they were not men.
These women in my group were hurting and were in need of refuge and assurance. They sought out support from other women. Although I was not experiencing the overbearing feelings of inadequacy because of my femaleness, I was experiencing doubt. I doubted that congregational ministry was where I was supposed to be; I doubted my place in this world, surrounded by so many people who did not look like me; and I doubted God for leading me here. I needed a group of women to support me. I needed people who were not always certain of their call, but certain that the longing on their hearts was from the Lord.
That is exactly what I got in the Mentoring Program: a group of women who care deeply for God and for God’s calling on their lives and care for this same calling on the lives of others. Throughout this year, my group has listened to me. They prayed me through situations when I could not see God’s goodness or grace, and they have inspired me to look within myself and others. They have allowed me to be this same support for them. I am so grateful to be a part of a group that invests deeply in the lives and well being of women in ministry in such a meaningful way.
Darnysha Nard serves as pastoral resident at First Baptist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina.