American Civic Life

Women Breaking Through to Top Roles in Black Churches

December 9, 2021

The Rev. Gina Stewart, senior pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church, preaches in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

The Rev. Gina Stewart, senior pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church, preaches in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

Mother Mary Patterson in her Memphis, Tenn. home. In the Church of God in Christ, where only men have traditionally been recognized as ordained ministers or as bishops, women like Patterson have nevertheless played key roles in its Women's Department — which oversees auxiliaries — and in other ways. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

Mother Mary Patterson in her Memphis, Tenn. home. In the Church of God in Christ, where only men have traditionally been recognized as ordained ministers or as bishops, women like Patterson have nevertheless played key roles in its Women’s Department — which oversees auxiliaries — and in other ways. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

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