Baptist Women in Ministry Month of Advocacy

Fresh off our discussion of The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr, we are invited to spend the month of March advocating for women in ministry.

Baptist Women in Ministry (BWIM) is a national organization that recognizes, celebrates and advocates for women called by God to ministry. Here is a link to their website.

Northside Drive Baptist Church has a long legacy of women in leadership- from ordaining women as deacons as well as to gospel ministry.

 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship began with a strong commitment to women in ministry, yet in 2021 of 1,422 CBF congregations only 105 were served by female senior pastors or co-pastors. Further, a 2021 report by BWIM showed that 63% of women in ministry say that they have had to fight for a place at the table. 59% have said that they have been overlooked and silenced in their ministry settings.

The text of the report explains, “While the systems that prevent women from breaking through the glass ceiling exists in most fields of work, women in Christian ministry face unique challenges when they are met with theological beliefs systems that dispute their capacity for leadership.”

While progress has been made, we have a long way to go towards full egalitarianism.

The issue of women in ministry made headlines last week- with a connection to Northside Drive Baptist Church! The headlines concern our own Donette Lee’s niece Stacie Wood and her husband Andy Wood who are pastors at Saddleback Community Church in Orange County, California. Andy was recently named the successor to Rick Warren (of Purpose-Driven Life fame). Saddleback then named Stacie a teaching pastor. The Southern Baptist Convention responded by ousting Saddleback from the denomination. Here is a link to a helpful article on the subject. 

One way that we are participating in BWIM’s Month of Advocacy is by intentionally inviting a woman to preach from our pulpit during the month of March. (Certainly not unique for us.) On Sunday, March 26, we have invited Milligan Burroughs to preach from our pulpit. Milligan is a student in the Master of Divinity program at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Read Amelia’s interview of Milligan in an upcoming Pinnacle.

BWIM has created an interactive calendar with daily opportunities to advocate for women in ministry. I encourage you to join me in participating in these activities. Here is a link to the March advocacy calendar.

The Apostle Paul (albeit with a mixed record on this issue) said it this way, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

May it be so among us.

Rev. Scott Hovey |

Posted by Scott Hovey with

We are Going Back to School!

I shared in worship that I’ve been accepted to the Doctor of Ministry program at Candler School of Theology at Emory University.   
Allow me to share some background. I’ve been considering D. Min. programs for many years. While at my last church, I was accepted into a Doctor of Ministry program at San Francisco Theology Seminary. I was set to begin in the summer of 2022. Becoming pastor of Northside Drive Baptist Church changed my thinking. I pushed the time-frame back and considered my new ministry context. Atlanta is home to many wonderful seminaries. I have been familiar with Candler School of Theology for many years. In 2001, when I was choosing a seminary for my Master of Divinity degree, Candler was high on my list- finally beat out by Duke Divinity School. This time Candler came out on top. 
The Doctor of Ministry program is a three-year program designed for working pastors. It is tailored to the student’s ministry context. What that means is that we will be working together on this degree! My focus will be exploring how Baptist churches (like ours) can make theological moves to de-prioritize individual salvation (current American evangelicalism) while prioritizing the role of biblical justice and transformation. In other words, how can (Baptist) churches be good news in this world. 
My hope is that we (you and I) can express what makes Northside Drive Baptist Church so unique and chart a course for a future grounded in a transformed community seeking to discover healing and wholeness in relationship with the world around us. 
I would love to share more. Come and talk with me if you have questions. 
Get ready, we start this fall! 

Posted by Scott Hovey with

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Cinema has a technique called ‘breaking the fourth wall.’ It happens when a character turns to the camera and interacts directly with the audience. Think Ferris’ Bueller’s Day Off. It is often a moment of clarity or explanation. It is a moment that breaks with convention when we are invited directly into the story. It can be engaging, if not a bit shocking.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is a strange story that appears in the middle of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Jesus on a mountain with the inner circle of his disciples- Peter, James, and John- becomes dazzlingly white and speaks to Elijah and Moses. It is a strange story told without explanation.

The Transfiguration has always struck me as an event that breaks the fourth wall. The curtain gets pulled back for a moment of clarity. The disciples (and us by extension) see things as they really are. Engaging, if not a bit shocking.

Sometimes we too need a moment of clarity. Sometimes we need a break in the story to catch our breath, to see things as they really are. Sometimes we need a peek behind the curtain.

This Sunday, we celebrate the event of the Transfiguration as we consider Matthew’s telling of the event. Each year the Transfiguration comes to us on the final Sunday before Lent. Perhaps this is the clarity we need to step into the penitential season. Perhaps this will be the break in the fourth wall for which we long.  

Join us in worship as we peek behind the curtain.

Posted by Scott Hovey with


div id='cloud'