When I came to College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC as Associate Minister in 1986, they saw me as something of a groundbreaker. They’d never had an ordained woman on staff before. In fact, no Baptist church in Greensboro had done such a thing. One elderly member has since confessed to me that while she didn’t vote against me, she wondered why they were calling a woman “when there were so many fine male ministers out there.”
Since that time there has been a long line of outstanding women ministering through that position. (In case you’re wondering, they’ve had the same pastor for twenty years.) The pastor is always quite gracious to me in giving me credit for starting things off. “These are the fruits of your ministry,” he says.
Maybe. But maybe not so much.
I wasn’t there long before I started hearing stories about Lounelle Selle, a non-ordained but no less legendary “education director” who’d ministered some years before me. People remembered Tex, as she was called, fondly and with great respect. I always felt like she’d made my job just a little bit easier. I may have opened a door, but Tex was the one who unlocked it.
I was delighted to see the following story about her in our paper this morning. (click here)
We all stand on someone’s shoulders. Sometimes we know it. Often we don’t. Today, let us remember, give thanks for and celebrate the people who fought for a trail that the pioneers could follow.
I am scheduling my program, “Apple juice, butter cookies and other ways to save a life” in churches for the fall schedule. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re interested in finding out more.