The Rev. Tamara R. Jackson, “Sacred Safe Spaces” Special Project Coordinator for the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey, led two Bible studies on the New Testament story of The Good Samaritan. She called for attendees to “see” their neighbors and to treat them with Christ-like love, pointing out that Jesus did not cross to the other side of the street to avoid persons, nor did he bypass Samaria. Rev. Jackson pointedly asked attendees, “Do you, like Jesus, have a heart for people? What is your ‘heart condition’?” During her presentation, Jackson also spoke briefly about the “Sacred Safe Spaces” initiative she leads in her region to aid congregations in serving as safe spaces for women, children, and others who have suffered physical, sexual, and other forms of abuse.
Emilie Rodriguez, convenor of the national leadership team of AB GIRLS and member of the First Mexican Baptist Church of San Diego, and Jennifer Leneus, coordinator of Young Adult Women’s Ministries with AB Women’s Ministries, and member of the Haitian Baptist Church at the Crossroads in Newark, New Jersey, brought a powerful message about the identity of American Baptist Women’s Ministries today and into the future. Worship leader Hornrette Washington, Minister of Music Emeritus at the Antioch Baptist Church of Corona, New York, led worship through praise and song. The day was a celebration of gratitude for God’s spirit moving through women’s ministries past, present, and future.
The 100th anniversary of American Baptist ministry with girls was observed during Women’s Day by featuring participants of the concurrent G.I.R.L.S. Leadership Academy in worship and highlighting girls’ ministry. Additionally, Women’s Day was the launch of the 65th anniversary celebration of American Baptist Women’s Ministries, to be concluded at the national women’s conference in July 2016.
During the annual meeting of AB Women’s Ministries, held as part of the afternoon session of Women’s Day, the 2015 slate of national officers was elected, including the Rev. Angel L. Sullivan as national president for 2015-2018.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.