Everything is changing at a rapid pace. There are many ways in which these factors are reflected in our lives, such as the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the way we speak, the cultures we belong to, our views on life, as well as the women we see.
It is Paul’s intention that a woman learn in quietness and submission in order to follow the Word of God. The role of a woman as a teacher or as an authority figure over a man cannot be assumed. Adam was the first, and then Eve was the second. Adam was not deceived; the woman was. 1 Timothy 2:11-14
As Paul also points out, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. In Christ Jesus, you are one. Gal 3:28. According to the scriptures, Paul was particularly concerned about “order,” or how things should be done. Joel 2:24 says, “Prophesying and admonishing is for everyone.” While we are one, there should be order. Gen 1: God made the lesser light rule by night. His reason? We need order. Darkness, terror, and fear fill the night season. To withstand that season, God created a helpmate. “Women should rule, not overrule”. They can take a place of leadership, not become the god of all.
Bible Verses Supporting Female Pastors From History
Pastorial offices are given by God to shepherd his flock. Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Huldah, Abigail, and Esther are the female pastors mentioned in the bible.
Abraham was told by God to follow Sarah‘s advice (Gen. Rabbah 47:1) and to do whatever she told him. In addition, Abraham would erect Sarah’s tent before tending to his own on their journeys (Gen. Rabbah 39:15). Despite not being seen as a prophetess.
Mariam, however, is quite popular. According to Exodus 15:20-21: Miriam, Aaron’s sister, grabbed a tambourine and led all the women out dancing with tambourines; she replied: Sing to the Lord, for he is gloriously triumphant; horse and chariot have been cast into the sea.
Deborah is a prophetess we all know. Old Testament prophet and heroine Deborah (Judg. 4 and 5), who inspired the Israelites to conquer their Canaanite oppressors (the inhabitants of the Promised Land, later Palestine, that Moses spoke of before the Israelites conquest it); the “Song of Deborah” (Judg. The Bible’s section 5 is perhaps the oldest, providing a contemporary glimpse into Israelite civilization in the 12th century BC.
The Gospel of Luke mentions Anna the Prophetess. This Gospel describes her as an elderly woman of the Tribe of Asher who prophesied about Jesus. When Jesus is presented at the Temple, she appears in Luke 2:36–38.
Several passages in the Hebrew Bible mention Huldah as a prophetess, including 2 Kings 22:14-20 and 2 Chronicles 34:22–28. On the order of King Josiah, Hilkiah approaches Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah to seek the Lord’s advice after discovering a book of the Law during renovations at Solomon’s Temple.
Rabbinic interpretations identify Huldah and Deborah as the principal professed woman prophets in the Nevi’im portion of the Hebrew Bible, although Miriam is mentioned in the Torah and an unnamed prophetess is mentioned in Isaiah.
There is a beautiful story in 1 Samuel 25 about submission and deliverance. Abigail is a lesser-known Bible heroine, a humble woman married to a scoundrel. She pleaded for her husband’s safety before an approaching enemy by combining her wisdom and wealth.
Queen Esther exposed the plot to destroy all Jews in the Persian Empire as a result of her status as queen, the favor of the king, and the prayers of her people.
Esther was supernaturally placed in her position to speak out on behalf of her people even though she did not predict the defeat of her enemy, as Deborah did. Thus, she became a spokesperson for God. In Judaism, she too is considered a prophet.
Churches with Female Pastors
The following are notable and popular female pastors and their respective churches where they minister:
1. Kathleen Maria MacPherson
Kathleen Maria MacPherson was ordained as the first woman priest of the American Catholic Church in the United States, ACCUS. The first three female siblings to become rabbis in America were ordained in 2012: Ilana Mills, Jordana Chernow-Reader, and Mari Chernow.
Orthodox and Catholic traditions prohibit women from becoming priests. Priests are supposed to embody Jesus’ likeness, a male figure, according to Catholic doctrine.
2. Darlene Zschech
She is an Australian Pentecostal Christian worship leader and songwriter. Known as a pioneer of modern worship, she was the worship pastor at Hillsong Church.
She began her career at age 10, starring in Happy Go Round for children. Her father introduced her to the church where she met her husband Mark Zschech when she was 15. As soon as they were married, they moved to Hills Christian Life Centre in Sydney, which would later become Hillsong Church.
3. Bobbie Houston
Australian pastor Bobbie Houston is a famous New Zealander. In the year 2022, Houston and her husband, Brian, left the Hillsong Church in Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Australia which they had been pastoring for more than a decade. Upon the opening of Hillsong Church in 1997, she launched the annual Colour Your World Women’s Conference as part of Hillsong Women, a foundation established by Hillsong Church to empower women. The women’s ministry of Hillsong Church is known as Hillsong Women.
4. Tope Ogunnoiki
Presiding minister of Grace Ville Chapel International is Reverend Mrs Tope Ogunnoiki. Even if you don’t know her, you’ll be drawn to her by her pleasant smile and style of dressing even if you don’t know her. Besides her panache for looking good, she also understands the depth of God’s word and knows how to apply it.
Having worked hard to be the best that she can be for her parishioners, Reverend Tope Ogunnoiki inspires and motivates them through her faith. Especially for women who love to listen to God’s word and want to see a frequent turnaround in their lives, her church has become the most sought-after online.
5. Faith Abiola Oyedepo
Faith Abiola Oyedepo is a Nigerian pastor, teacher, and role model for millions of Christian women. Living Faith Church Worldwide founder David O. Oyedepo is her husband. At Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria, the church is known as Winners’ Chapel International.
Born on February 5, 1958, Faith Oyedepo is a jazz singer. The University of Ile-Ife awarded her a Bachelor’s degree. She became a full-time minister after graduation. She currently serves as Vice President (Education) and Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University. The Healing Scriptures and Raising Godly Children are among her popular Christian books.
6. Juanita Bynum
The famous American televangelist, author, actress, and gospel singer Juanita Bynum. As an author, she has authored a book called The Threshing Floor. According to the New York Times, she is known as one of the most prominent black female television evangelists in the country. She has recorded three albums, Gospel Goes Classical (with Jonathan Butler) (2006), Piece of My Passion (2007), and Morning Glory (2010), which are included in her discography.
7. Victoria Osteen
Victoria Osteen, an American author and the co-pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, is an American author and co-pastor. She is married to the famous pastor Joel Osteen, one of the most famous pastors in the world. It is also worth mentioning that she is also John Osteen’s daughter-in-law.
Victoria Osteen was born on March 28, 1961 in Huntsville, Alabama, to Victoria Iloff and James Osteen. During her childhood, she attended a Church of Christ where her mother, Georgine Iloff, taught Sunday school and where her father, William Iloff, served as a deacon. Despite studying Psychology at the University of Houston, Victoria did not graduate from the program.
After marrying Joel Osteen in 1987, she served as a pastor at Lakewood Church with him for many years.
8. Joyce Meyer
The Joyce Meyer Ministries is an organization led by Joyce Meyer, who is an author, speaker, and president of the Joyce Meyer Ministries Foundation. Her ministry has its headquarters in the suburban town of Fenton, Missouri, just a few miles north of St. Louis. During the summer of 1943, she was born Pauline Joyce Hutchison in south St. Louis, Missouri.
The story about Meyer’s father sexually abusing her was revealed after she married Dave Meyer, an engineering draftsman, on January 7, 1967. It was revealed that Meyer’s father sexually abused her after he returned from the military following World War II. A couple of years ago, she became an associate pastor at Life Christian Center, a charismatic church in Fenton, Michigan.
Eventually, Meyer resigned in 1985 and founded her own ministry, initially called “Life in the Word.” She began hosting a radio show, but in 1993, her husband suggested that they start their own television ministry. Several years ago, Enjoying Everyday Life became a program that has aired ever since.
9. Margaret Idahosa
The words “woman of many parts”, “mother”, “friend” and “mama”, are the best way to describe Bishop Margaret Idahosa, a woman of many parts, a mother and friend. She is the Archbishop of the Worldwide Church of God Mission, Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, and Vice President of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches.
Margaret E. Benson-Idahosa is the wife of the late Archbishop of Church of God Mission International, the Most Reverend Dr. Benson-Idahosa. With several branches and hundreds of thousands of members worldwide, the ministry is led by the late Most Rev Prof. Benson Idahosa and is currently under the leadership of the Archbishop of the ministry. As well as pastoring the Faith Miracle Center Church, which has a capacity of 5,000 people every week, she is also on the board of directors.
10. Nicole Lamarche
A former beauty pageant titleholder, Nicole Lamarche is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and a former member of the United Church of Canada (UCC). Aside from winning the title of Miss California 2003, she also finished as the fourth runner-up for the title of Miss America 2004.
A graduate of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, Nicole Lamarche holds a Master of Arts degree in theology, as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion. After serving for a number of years as a pastor for the Cotuit Federated Church on Cape Cod, she relocated to northern California, where she founded a new congregation of the United Church of Christ called Urban Sanctuary.
The UCC of Boulder, Colorado, called her to serve as minister in 2019.
11. Funke Adetuberu
When you hear her speak you will surely get tears in your eyes, and you will marvel at what God has done in her life. Besides mentoring the depressed, she is also living a life full of bloom that shows the rewriting of all history can be credited to God, because he is the one who rewrites all history. A popular female pastor in Ibadan and Nigeria, Funke Adetuberu, is one of the most famous female pastors in the country. Nelson Adetuberu’s pretty wife is based in Ibadan and pastor of Faith Chapel International. She strikes you as someone who has laid her life on the altar of God and has a deep passion for her calling. However, her story is not about her calling but about the manifold grace of God.
12. Suzan Johnson Cook
Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook is a pastor, motivational speaker, and diplomat who became the first woman and African-American ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. She was raised in Harlem by a trolley driver and a public school teacher.
A graduate of Emerson College, Teachers College at Columbia University, and Union Theological Seminary, she has a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry. Her experience includes leading interfaith delegations in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and various Caribbean islands. A global Christian humanitarian organization, World Vision, has also supported her humanitarian efforts.
13. Tina Bawa
She is very popular in Abuja and married to a business magnate, Dr. Godfrey Baw Shitgrum, MON, making her one of the very few female bishops in Nigeria. She is also the founder of the Tina Bawa Ministries, which was founded by her mother. She is an experienced Christian homemaker mentor and passionate intercessor with a unique prophetic gifting and calling to the women in the church. The call to ministry came to her in 1999, and she has been serving ever since.
14. Neichelle R. Guidry
Having been ordained a minister in 2010, Reverend Guidy has been a spiritual daughter of the New Creation Christian Fellowship of San Antonio for which she earned her degree of ordination. The Dean of Spelman’s Chapel honors her. She was awarded the William Sloane Coffin ’56 Award for Peace and Justice in 2019.
Also, Guidry is passionate about creating a ministry space for Black millennial women. As a virtual hub for these women, shepreaches.com is a place where they can connect.
15. Prathia Laura Ann Hall
The late Reverend Dr. Prathia Hall, a theologian and Civil Rights Movement activist, must be included on any list of notable Black female preachers. She comes from a lineage of preachers, as her father was a Baptist minister. One of the first Black women to become a field leader in southwest Georgia, Hall joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) after graduating from Temple University.
Eventually, she became pastor of Mount Sharon Baptist Church in Philadelphia, her father’s church. His famous “I Have A Dream” speech is widely credited as an inspiration for King. During a prayer led by Hall at Mount Olive Baptist Church, King was in the audience. Hall passed away on August 12, 2002.
16. Jacqueline E. “Jackie” McCullough
Bishop Jacqueline McCullough is a renowned preacher, gospel musician, and author. In Pomona, New York, she is the senior pastor of The International Gathering at Beth Rapha. Additionally, McCullough leads Daughters of Rizpah, a nonprofit outreach ministry. She seeks to answer questions that stand between Christians and true contentment in her book, I Hate My Life: Winning The War Against Covetousness & Discontent.
17. Vashti Murphy McKenzie
Bishop Vashti McKenzie is a prolific voice in Baltimore’s faith community. She became the first woman to hold an Episcopal office position in the 200-year history of African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 2000.
President Barack Obama appointed the University of Maryland graduate to the inaugural White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships President’s Advisory Council. According to the Huffington Post, McKenzie ranked 50th among the most powerful religious figures worldwide in 2014.
18. Sarah Jakes Roberts
Millennial women of faith can look up to Sarah Jakes Roberts, daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes. Touré Roberts and she co-pastor The Potter’s House at One LA and The Potter’s House Denver. She is also respected for her testimony. The insecurity and depression she experienced after becoming pregnant at 14 have been openly discussed.
Eventually, she had to decide: settle or evolve. Her choice was the latter, and in 2017, she launched a company called Woman Evolve. The goal of this ministry is to transform women so that they can realize their full potential. Having become a wife, mother, businesswoman, and the author of four books, Roberts is living proof that our fears and insecurities do not define us as individuals.
19. Renita J. Weems
The Reverend Dr. Weems is the co-senior pastor of Ray of Hope Community Church, which is located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is well known that she is a biblical scholar, a minister, and a writer, who is an authority in the field of spirituality and feminist theology. Besides being a professor of biblical studies at Vanderbilt University, she was also the first Black woman to deliver the Lyman Beecher Lecture at Yale University as well as a scholar of biblical studies.
The truth is that there is no reason for you to leave a church simply because it has a woman pastor, unless you have some sort of personal conviction to do so (Romans 14:23), since blanket prohibitions of women in ministry are not supported by the Bible.
Women pastors are often prevented from being pastors by cherry-picking verses taken out of context and not understanding the original Greek in which they were written. Women’s exclusion from ministry is only justified by disregarding Biblical examples where God calls and equips them for ministry.