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The Women’s Ministry Task Force Wants to Hear from You!

Women’s Ministry Task Force

Rhonda Kelley (left), chairwoman of the Women’s Ministry Advisory Council, appointed by SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page, is joined by Candi Finch, secretary for the Council, and Rhonda Rhea for a fellowship meal during the Council’s August 11–12 meeting in Atlanta. Photos by Roger S. Oldham.

Fourteen women met for two days in Atlanta on August 11–12, 2016, to continue their discussion about increasing the participation of women in the Southern Baptist Convention. Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, appointed this Women’s Ministry Advisory Council to gather information concerning the involvement of women’s ministry leaders and ministry wives in their Southern Baptist churches. With the purpose of involving Southern Baptist women in all areas of Convention life, the task force has been at work this year conducting a survey and researching resources specifically for women. Encouraging results were shared with Page as well as Ken Weathersby, vice president for Convention advancement, and Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, vice president for Convention communications and relations. Rhonda Kelley, president’s wife at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a leader in women’s ministry, serves as chairwoman of the Women’s Ministry Advisory Council.

Women’s Ministry Task Force

Women’s Ministry Advisory Council members (left to right) Linda Cooper, Trillia Newbell, Ashley Unzicker, and Brandi Biesiadecki enjoy a lighthearted moment around the dinner table during the August 11–12 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

More than 3,300 women have responded to the survey being conducted through SurveyMonkey. Most women were ages 25–64 who expressed sincere interest in more training and involvement at the local church, associational, state, and denominational levels. The majority were lay leaders who serve the Lord through women’s ministry, Woman’s Missionary Union, or other church programs specifically for women. About one-fourth of the respondents were ministry wives, serving churches alongside their husbands.

The task force would like to hear from a wide range of women in the Southern Baptist Convention who reflect a diversity of ages and stages of life as well as different ethnic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. While the majority of the respondents were from strong Baptist states including Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, surveys were completed by women in all fifty states. The task force wants to hear from more Southern Baptist women in the northeast, midwest, and west as well as Hawaii. And, the task force wants to hear from more Southern Baptist women who are less than twenty-five years of age or above sixty-four years of age. Please take a few moments to complete the survey or send it to Southern Baptist women you know.

Women’s Ministry Task Force

Women’s Ministry Advisory Council members Tabitha Barnette, Elizabeth Luter, and Ann Iorg visit around the dinner table during the Council’s August 11–12 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

Information gleaned from the survey and the research of the task force members will be presented to the SBC Executive Committee in February 2017 and to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2017. Recommendations will be made to all SBC entities to increase the involvement of women in biblically appropriate ways in local churches and beyond. The Women’s Ministry Advisory Council would like to hear from Southern Baptist women through the brief online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/SouthernBaptistWomen. In addition, comments may be emailed to sbwomen@sbc.net. The task force needs the help of all Southern Baptist women!

See preliminary survey results below and the Woman to Woman article in this issue for a unique glimpse into the women’s task force meeting.

Women’s Ministry Advisory Council Members:

Rhonda Kelley, chairwoman
Adjunct Professor Of Women’s Ministry, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary;
Member of First Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana

Chris Adams, Senior Lead Women’s Ministry Specialist;
Member of Long Hollow Baptist Church, Hendersonville, Tennessee

Jacqueline (Jacki) Anderson, Pastor’s Wife, Women In Ministry Director, Executive Assistant;
Member of Colonial Baptist Church, Randallstown, Maryland

Tabitha Barnette, Pastor’s Wife, Speaker;
Member of Peace Baptist Church, Decatur, Georgia

Brandi Biesiadecki, Pastor’s Wife, Writer, Speaker, Women’s Minister;
Member of First Baptist Church, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Linda Cooper, WMU President;
Member of Forest Park Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Lourdes Fernandez, Lawyer;
Member of Riverside Baptist Church, Miami, Florida

Candi Finch, Professor Of Theology In Women’s Studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary;
Member of Hope Church, Fort Worth, Texas

Ann Iorg, Seminary President’s Wife;
Member of First Baptist Church, San Francisco, California

Elizabeth Luter, Pastor’s Wife, Women’s Ministries Director;
Member of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana

Davee Ly, Pastor’s Wife, School Teacher, Speaker, Sunday School Director;
Member of First Hmong Baptist Church, Morganton, North Carolina

Ana Melendez, Hispanic State Women’s Consultant;
Member of Iglesia Cristo Es Rey, Bolingbrook, Illinois

Mary Mohler, Seminary President’s Wife;
Member of Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky

Trillia Newbell, Director Of Community Outreach, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission;
Member of Redemption City Church, Franklin, Tennessee

Rhonda Rhea, Pastor’s Wife, Columnist, Speaker;
Member of First Baptist Church, Troy, Missouri

Myra Sermon, Registered Nurse, Nursing Consultant, Sunday School Teacher;
Member of Grace Filipino Church, Woodbridge, Virginia

Ashley Unzicker, Church History Songwriter, Rapper, Seminary Student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary;
Member of The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina

Angela Um, Pastor’s Wife, Founder/CEO of Boston Academic Consulting Group;
Member of Antioch Baptist Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Women's Ministry Advisory Council survey results

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September 2016 Edition
Volume 25, Issue 1
September 2016