Pastor’s wives who are now pastors see trend for women in the pulpit

Pastor’s wives who are now pastors see trend for  women in the pulpit
November 05
00:00 2015

By Timothy Ramsey

For The Chronicle

Men typically fill the role of senior pastor in most African-American churches. What happens when the senior pastor dies?

For the parishioners of the Born Again Free Church and Mt. Sinai Full Gospel Deliverance Center, the pastors’ wives became the senior pastors. Bishop Barbara Adams and the Rev. Yvonne H. Hines lead the Winston-Salem churches, respectively.

Hines has been in that position at Mt. Sinai since 1995. She took over for her husband, Bishop John L. Hines, who unexpectedly passed away in 1995 Mt. Sinai celebrated its 100-year anniversary in October. Hines’ transition to her current position had some initial speed bumps, but she was chosen by a majority of her congregation as the one to assume the role of senior pastor. She said she has flourished in this capacity for the last 20 years. She was the first community-recognized female senior pastor of an African- American church in the area.

“You don’t take preaching up; preaching takes you up,” said Hines of her calling to the ministry. “A lot of people see preaching as a job. I don’t see it as a job. I see it as a call, and I think that’s what it should be.”

Hines says that she did not have aspirations of becoming senior pastor of Mt. Sinai, but after her husband died, she said, “it pursued me” and she understood that this is her life’s calling.

“If we are going to be successful, we need to be thoroughly prepared from the pulpit aspect and the administrative aspect as well,” Hines said of women in the top roles in the church.

She said gender should not have any bearing on whether people attend a church if people attend church for the gospel and a well-operated ministry.

Adams assumed her role at Born Again Free Church in 2014 after her husband, Apostle Lindsey W. Adams, died. He was also the church founder. The Born Again Free Church just celebrated its 35th anniversary in September, the first since the passing of Apostle Adams.

“There are more women who are being acknowledged and receiving the call for the ministry,” said Bishop Adams when asked about female pastors.

Adams went on to say, “When people look at the ministry, most of them look at it for the glamour, and they have seen a lot of female TV ministers, and they get caught up in that. When you are dealing with the souls of people, that is a great responsibility.”

There are still some individuals who think that a woman should not be in the pulpit. When asked about that, Adams touched on how some take certain Scriptures from the Bible to fit their own misogynistic agendas and that being a minister is not a position that was solely designated for men. She also said that many people overlook the fact that women pastors are mentioned in the Bible in the Old and New Testament.

Both Adams and Hines expressed their pleasure in the fact that more women are pursuing a life in the ministry and are no longer just relegated to subordinate roles in the church.

Hines stated that the proverbial glass ceiling has now been shattered, and women are now able to access more prominent roles in the pulpit.

The senior pastors also shared their hope that this current trend will continue into the next generation of young women and ultimately get to the point where they are not looked at as female pastors, but just pastors in general.

“There are a few young women who come up to me from time to time and say they want to be like me, so anything that I can do to help a young person decide they want to work for the Lord, I will assist them,” Adams said.








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