Matters of Faith Dr. Outlaw

More women are taking leadership roles in churches including serving as the head pastor and preaching on Sunday mornings in the pulpit.

Dr. Patricia Outlaw is a professor and a preacher... she says if a woman is called to serve... she should serve.

Dr. Outlaw: "I 've been preaching for 30 years in


Dr. Outlaw has been not only preaching... but also teaching pastors here at Beeson Divinity School.

She has a PHD in psychology and went to seminary after she says she was called by God.

While women in the pulpit is new to some denominations... she says for the African Methodist Episcopal... that was all changed in the 18 hundreds by one woman.

In our denomination women have been in ministry for a long time... going back as far as

Greenaway Lee who in 1819 was recognized by Bishop Allen who's the

founder of our denomination... prior to that time he would not consider

women preaching she was a member of Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia.

The pastor who was supposed to preach

that day got up to preach but couldn't preach. And the story is

Greenaway Lee got up and she finished his sermon and Richard Allen was

in the audience... and from that day forward women were permitted to


She says scripture referring to women being silent... is taken out of context in the Bible.

Dr. Outlaw: "This notion of women keeping silent.. if women were to keep silent

in the church today the churches would not continue as they are because

60 percent of the congregations are women.... in some cases 75 percent.

as quiet as its kept women run the churches.

Women undergird our churches... women teach

The Sunday Schools... they teach bible studies. they have the suppers..

I'm not surprised that women are answering the call to ministry.

Women have always played a role in ministry.... to pastor or not...

it's still debatable."

When asked if she thought women should pastor a church, she responded this way.

Dr. Outlaw: "Well I'm pastoring so you know where I stand on that, and our

denomination supports women pastoring churches."

But what about people who say she shouldn't be in the pulpit?

Dr. Outlaw: "Opposition is good in a sense cuz the opposition opposed

Jesus but that didn't keep him from doing what he was destined to do.

And if I know that God has called me to preach then I need to

do what I need to do to equip myself to be the best preacher, to be the

best teacher and to do what God has called me to do. My purpose is to do Gods will and to teach his people and to preach his word and that's what I focus on."