I am a girl
I am the senior pastor of The Healing Place Ministries of Alexandria.
I am a girl.
I am the Preacher’s Coach. God has anointed me to help women preach with conviction, clarity and confidence.
I am a girl.
I am the Creator of The Preacher’s Academy where I serve and support women to Discover Their Calls, Accept Their Calls and Master Their Call. I help them to be D.A.M. Good.
I am a girl.
I am an international bestselling author of two books, Sermon Prep Made Easy, and Silent Not Me: Reimagining the Biblical Text That Keeps Women Out of the Pulpit.
I am a girl.
I have a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a Master of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary of Dayton, Ohio. Am I boasting? Probably so. But, I do so in the Lord. I do so to honor my parents, grandparents, brothers and all of those who believed in me when I could not believe in myself. I do so because I rebelled against those who declare “girls are to be seen and not heard.”
Many people will dismiss your accomplishments and credentials because you are a spirit housed in a female body.
People will dismiss your credentials, your call, your gifts and your anointing because you are a girl.
It took me years to answer my call to preach because I couldn’t reconcile the fact that God called me to preach. Did God read and approve of Paul’s statement Ce in 1 Corinthian 14:34 that he prohibited women to remain silent in the church. Hadn’t God read Timothy’s words “A wife should learn quietly in complete submission. I don’t allow a wife to teach or control her husband?”
Is God confused about what the Bible says a girl can and cannot do? What should I do with this burning deep within? What am I do do with this call to preach? Besides the preachers who I listened to when I was growing up taught that God did not call women to preach. I believed them and there was no reason for me to believe anything else.
Yet, I was basing my theology on the teaching and preaching that did not consider The how, what, when, where and why of the text. You see context matters. Until preachers are no longer lazy and do the work of investigating the text, excavating the text, interrogating the text and exegeting the text, we will continue to do harm to those in the pew. I call that malpractice in the pulpit. If it’s true that we must understand why Paul would tell the slave to go back to his master, we must be willing to understand why Paul told the women in the church at Corinth to remain silent in the church. By the way, Paul was not talking to women universally he was talking about women in the church at Corinth.
Now, I know that when my Sunday School teachers and other spiritual leaders on the local, state and national level told me that I can be anything that I set my mind to and worked hard for they really didn’t mean everything because they didn’t think that I should or could preach. What they actually meant was I could be whatever society’s pre-defined boxes had already set up for me. They meant that I could be a newspaper reporter. They meant that I could be a teacher. A nurse. A lawyer or stretching it a bit I might could be the president of the United States, but never in a million years would they mean I could be a preacher. I COULD NOT BELIEVE FOR ME THAT I COULD BE A PREACHER.
In 2002, I was faced with a decision. I AM CALLED TO PREACH. I AM NOT CALLED TO BE AN EVANGELIST. I AM NOT CALLED TO BE A MISSIONARY. I AM CALLED TO PREACH. Do I obey God or obey humans?
Can I just tell you that I struggled with this? Yes, I knew that I was gifted and I was built for this. As a child saying those poems in Greenfield Baptist Church, I never said my poems the way Mrs. Jennings wanted me. I always had a preachy voice. In fact, they called me womanish, a way of saying that I didn't know my place. When they called us womanish, they were saying that we were acting in ways that went outside of the boundaries or the lines that were drawn for us.
Today, I proudly say that I am womanish. I do color outside of the lines. I live to challenge and erase the lines that society and even the church have drawn for me.
Yet, in 2002 I had to make a real womanish decision and say “YES LORD.” Well, actually God through a sermon Pastor Hargrove preached on Isaiah 6:1, “In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne....,” agitated the hell out of me. Later that night in a dream God simply said: it’s me or your family, specifically your mother.” Early the next morning, I called Pastor Hargrove and said it’s time. I’m ready. Of course, he had already told me a year earlier after I announced my calling to teach that if my spirit wasn’t at peace God was calling me to a higher level.
I stood before Zoe Outreach Ministries to announce my calling to preach. After church, I called my brothers, Derrick and Kevin Brown, and later that night I called my mother and she simply said, I’VE BEEN WONDERING WHAT HAS TAKEN YOU SO LONG.” Did you hear what my mother said, I’VE BEEN WONDERING WHAT HAS TAKEN YOU SO LONG?
May I suggest to you that people may try to dismiss you, overlook you and bypass you, but when you have been chosen, anointed, and called with purpose IT AIN’T NO WAY AROUND IT.
In May 2003, I preached my first sermon. My family came from Louisiana and Texas to hear this girl preach her first sermon. Even though many still hadn’t wrapped their heads around me as a preacher and I probably will never preach in their churches from the pulpit, they love me and support anything that I do. They are the first to make sure that I have everything I need to Master My Call and be the best at what I do.
One year later, God moved me back to Louisiana. I’m like God, YES WHY DO I HAVE TO GO BACK DOWN THERE? YOU KNOW THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN WOMEN PREACHERS. Again, while sitting in my closet as I packed shoes with the assistance of my sister, Gloria Denise, God simply said, YOU WILL OPEN DOORS FOR OTHERS. YOU WILL PREACH IN PULPITS NO WOMAN HAS PREACHED IN BEFORE. And true to God’s words, I have preached in pulpits in Louisiana as the first woman to do so. Because of God’s promise to me and God’s purpose in my life, I REFUSE TO PREACH FROM THE FLOOR. I do not take preaching engagements that will restrict me and draw a line in the sand. Now, many people will say it doesn’t matter where a woman stands. Well, if it doesn’t matter where one stands, let’s take all of the pulpits out of the church and everyone stand on the floor. I am a preacher. I am licensed and ordained and I preach from the pulpit. You can’t have my gift and dismiss my gender.
You see God used my marriage to a crack addict to move me from Louisiana to Wisconsin so that God could improve me. That’s why the marriage didn’t kill me. That’s why I didn’t lose my mind. That’s why I don’t look like what I’ve been through. That’s why I praise God the way I do. That’s why I preach, and that’s why I’m determined to serve and support women, who are wrestling with whether or not to answer God’s call.
I do so because I am a girl with power, precision and purpose.