Area Church Has Mostly Female Pastoral Staff - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/21/03 - Longview

Area Church Has Mostly Female Pastoral Staff

Reverend Lynne Settlemyre and Reverend Becky Henson both say they heard the call to the ministry, but in very different ways.

Lynne began her career as a 'faith and life' teacher. "Went to Loredo and taught in a methodist school once again enjoyed the faith and life and decided that that was really where my calling was," says Lynne. A few years later Lynne was appointed as senior pastor to Greggton United Methodist church in Longview.

Becky volunteered in the church for 20 years before finally going into the ministry. "And then started feeling those drawings to the ministry again in a different way. That's when I returned to seminary," says Becky. Becky arrived in Longview five weeks ago as the associate pastor. She says the congregation accepted her. But that acceptance isn't felt by all Christians.

Some people we spoke with say God did not intend for women to be pastors. "No I don't think it's biblical that women should be pastors," says Jeri Edmunds. Her husband Bill agrees,"I don't think women should be pastors. I think there are many important roles that women play in a church but pastors not one of them."

How do the reverends answer their critics?

"It was to the women first that Jesus appeared as the risen Christ and told them to go and share the news and I understand preaching to be just that. We share the news that Jesus is the risen Lord," says Lynne.

Both Lynne and Becky say despite their critics, as long as God chooses them, they'll follow.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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