Friday, February 22, 2013

Beyond Overjoyed!

I do not know if my title is grammatically correct but they are the only two words that come close to describing the feeling I have inside of me. Yesterday the Coordinating Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) elected Suzii Paynter as the next Executive Coordinator of CBF. You can read the news release here.

25 years ago this would not have been a big deal for me. When I was a teenager I had already grown up in a Southern Baptist church that had women on the ministerial staff and they also served as deacons. It was not until I got to college in 1994 that I learned that not all Southern Baptist believe women could or should be ministers, that only men could be ministers and deacons and be heads of committees. Starting in college and on up to present day I have learned a lot about how people view women in ministry and even experienced some hostility and discrimination just because I am a women minister, which makes yesterday's events all the more poignant.

Suzii Paynter's election means a lot of things to me:

#1 - She is a women with a long history of christian ministry
#2 - She supports and believes in the role of chaplain and pastoral counselors
#3 - She also speaks out on the issue of human trafficking, among other social justice issues.

That is three things I as a minister identify with, and I don't even know her. I am a woman and proud to be a Christian Minister, I am called by God to the work of chaplaincy and pastoral counseling and I believe strongly in working alongside others to eradicate human trafficking in our world. I hope that I get to meet her in June @ the 2013 General Assembly in Greensboro. What a pleasure it would be. With all this said what makes me beyond overyjoyed is that nothing is impossible for me to achieve as a woman in ministry. Suzii Paynter is proof that despite what mankind may try to hinder God can still do anything, even call women to lead a large denominational group. PRAISE BE TO GOD!