The Archives

Who Run the World: Women Positions Assertively Progressing in the Church

In women’s budding journey in society we see images of people like Oprah Winfrey or First Lady Michelle Obama as women who are strong and powerful individuals. But why is it easier to gravitate towards a man’s leadership and not a woman’s? Maybe it’s because our country’s leadership positions in presidency, for example, have all been men? This is an observation that constantly lingers in my head for portrayal of women in media, and I realized this issue isn’t excluded from church.
I aimlessly scrolled down Instagram, and saw that on July 24th Dr. Dorinda Clark Cole (1/4 of legendary gospel group The Clark Sisters) had the honor of being the FIRST female preacher to bring forth the Word during North Central Jurisdiction’s Holy Convocation. Host, Bishop J. Drew Sheard of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ held this momentous occasion in Detroit, Michigan. I watched the live stream and in case you wanted to know, her message was from Matthew 20:1-7 & St. John 9:4 for the subject: “If You Expect to Get Paid on this Job… Don’t Stand Around Idle, Go to Work!”
Dr. Cole is one of my favorite preachers, and people may argue about women being called that but I feel if you are an individual that can deliver God’s message with strong conviction and honesty, it shouldn’t matter the messenger’s gender. I think people in the body of Christ can often get caught up in past traditions and miss a God moment. With this being said, why did it take 2014 to make this happen for the Church of God in Christ? I love Dr. Cole's passion and readiness to bring forth God's word because (1) her way of presenting the Bible is like none other, and (2) she uses her perspective & life experiences to grab everyone's attention. She’s the epitome of being a Christian with integrity.
Dr. Cole captivating the congregation.
 In any denomination, churchgoers have a way of limiting women’s ventures of producing innovative ideas. But studies show that roughly two-thirds of women make up the congregations in black and white churches, yet women have insignificant leadership prospects. Quite frankly men just feel intimidated by a woman’s ability to command an audience and in this case a pulpit, but women simply add to the kingdom. Journalist and ordained minister J. Lee Grady speaks on the subject of women preachers in Charisma Magazine saying, "[…] [t]his is why the biblical definition of a family is a father and a mother. If a child needs both parents to learn the ways of God (see Prov. 1:8-9), then surely we need instruction from both men and women in the church." I concur and add that the Bible praises women and encourages their leadership.
Women are powerful individuals and together we make just as much of a difference as men do. We should be treated as equals in the church, workplace, and all around civilization because we’re intelligent, influential and uncompromising. Our society has definitely progressed from past decades of misogynistic ways, and I’m extremely glad Dr. Cole became that pioneer for female preachers that evening; however, this is only the beginning for more doors opening for females.
Also, catch Dorinda Clark-Cole's performance this week on BET's Sunday Best!