Tell ’em Why U Mad (Entry 1): Lament of a “Black Lady Preacher”

A few years ago, while riding down Billy Graham Highway in North Carolina, my recently deceased father informed me he didn’t “like black lady preachers.” Thanks Daddy… There have been a few times that I’ve had to identify myself to my father: “I’m your daughter”, “I’m a woman”. But I chose at that moment not to inform (or remind) him that I was indeed a “black lady preacher”. (I don’t know how much of a lady I am but ya know…)

 

A few years later I am yet again in a car with a friend, a Seventh Day Adventist pastor and his friend, a Seventh Day Adventist woman. Unlike my father I’d never met this woman before. So I had no reason to expect her to know I was a minister. But my friend the pastor just had to start up a debate.

“So what do you think about women being ordained?” He asks her in a very nonchalant way, knowing full-well all the crap I’d been going through trying to get ordained. I think he was trying to get us to fighting. Or maybe he was trying to show me how liberal he was compared to his people. I don’t know. I didn’t care. I just wanted to jump and roll out of the car to avoid once again getting my feelings hurt and my call belittled by some traditionalist crazy-Jesus-wielding woman. 

In response to his question she begins to make noises in protest “Uh-uh, oh no!” She goes on for about 45 seconds making incoherant noises. “No! You know how I feel! I don’t believe in that!” And then my friend the pastor asks me (again very nonchalant-funny trickster), “what do you think?”

“Me??? Have you met me? Were you not there when I told my stories about trying to get ordained??? I’m getting ordained.”

“Oh you are?” says the quintessential church lady.

“Yes” says the dumpy Jesus girl.

“Oh…”

Well, it only took her about 5-6 seconds to remove her foot from her mouth and effectively climb out of that moment of humility. Instead of engaging me, the one now trying to find a way to jump out of the car and off the Brooklyn Bridge, she turned back to my friend. If she couldn’t save the heathen in the back seat at least she could save her pastor. “The Bible is very clear… women have their place and it’s not in ordained ministry. Jesus only had twelve disciples and none of them were women.”

Yes, sister, women have lots of “places” in the bible and I guess technically none of the women were ordained to parish ministry. Many of the “places” led to death, rape, mutilation, being married off to men who didn’t want them and least of all namelessness (remember “the woman” in every other Biblical story).

But don’t want to deal with that right now. What I want to do is go back to Jesus. You know him right? That dude our faith is based on, and who we ignore for the sake of our tradition.  Jesus loved and trusted women. The Gospels give an account of women doing all sorts of things. What was consistent though was they always loved Jesus with unmatchable intensity. And more than any of the men in the Gospels they were open to the reality of Christ’s ministry. They experienced what the men couldn’t get to. They believed what the male disciples simply could not rap their brain around. It was one of the 8million Marys who first saw Jesus when he rose from the dead. If this is how we are defining womanhood, I kinda like it. I kinda like getting that front row ticket to the “Jesus experience”. And my only desire in ordained ministry is to move other people into that same level of witness and experience of the mercy and grace that comes from a personal relationship with God through Christ. 

So my sister, if this is something you don’t “believe in”, I can’t help you. I honestly don’t need your belief in me. If you need maleness to access God, so be it. And God bless you. But as for me I’m going to keep on moving forward and be a spiritual companion for those who seek something different. 

The Mad Preacher

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5 Comments

  1. Tell ’em why you mad, Son!!!
    Arent the Seventh Day Adventist the Mormons? Im a lasped Heathen, so Im confused. LUUUV this blog. I will link it to mine.
    See you later,
    Me

  2. Dominique…you betta bring it sista! I’m sorry I didn’t discover (or pay closer attention!) to your blog before. You have a fan!

    One day, I’ll restart my blog! 🙂

    K

  3. I’m quitting my day job and becoming a purple wearing cheerleader.
    I have found that you will encounter resistance as a woman in leadership period(if you really are about something= empowering people and creating change). The crazy thing is people (some people) use belief systems and religion(s) as an acceptable forum to voice their “beliefs”. It is so true that many mask their issues with themselves or their mommas, or some woman, as gospel- and this extends beyond Christianity alone. I say keep steppin.

  4. Dear Ric,

    You’re very unoriginal but at your request I will argue with your scripture using scripture:

    Does this sound familiar to you?
    ‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on

    all
    people.
    Your sons and

    daughters
    will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
    18Even on my servants,

    both men and women
    ,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.

  5. Dear Ric,

    You’re very unoriginal but at your request I will argue with your scripture using scripture:

    Does this sound familiar to you?
    ‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on

    all
    people.
    Your sons and

    daughters
    will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
    18Even on my servants,

    both men and women
    ,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.


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