Did you know that Atlantic Baptist churches have ordained more than eighty women since the 1950s? These pioneering women overcame many challenges to follow the call of God in their lives. Yet their stories have remained largely untold.
Thanks to a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, these women’s voices can now be heard. Called to Serve is a new oral history project that amplifies these women’s voices. The project preserves, shares, and analyzes the stories of women ordained to the ministry by Baptist churches in Atlantic Canada. Although it is not a project of the Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies, its goals and audience are similar to those of ACBAS.
I am pleased to lead this project and am grateful for the significant efforts of research assistants Taylor Adams and Hannah Roberts. So far, our team has interviewed around twenty-five women. Hannah notes, “It’s interesting to speak with each woman and find the unique parts of her story. Every interview creates a story that otherwise wouldn’t be told.”
Our interviewees have spent time serving as ministers, missionaries, chaplains, and in various other roles. Some have described significant challenges they have faced in ministry. Others, such as ACBAS administrative committee chair Rev. Dr. Carol Anne Janzen, have yet to experience this. Dr. Janzen affirmed, “I’m not discouraged. I have ample opportunities for ministry in whatever role I choose.”
We hope that as women and men listen to interviews of women like Dr. Janzen, they will be inspired to serve in ministry and provide opportunities for more women to serve without obstacles in Atlantic Canada and beyond.
You can listen to Called to Serve interviews on our website or as part of our podcast. A new episode releases every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also follow us at @calledtoserveproject on Facebook or Instagram.
Tell Your Story
Are you a woman who was ordained by an Atlantic Baptist church? We want to hear your story! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-585-2223. We look forward to hearing from you!
Melody Maxwell, PhD
Associate Professor of Christian History,
Director, Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies