ABHMS provides grant to encourage Asian American women in ministry

Participants of ISAAC’s Gender Summit

Among the ways that American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is doing its part to encourage and undergird Asian American women in ministry is via the Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (ISAAC).

A Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, ISAAC seeks to help clergy, lay leaders and theologians to serve the Asian American Christian community. Earlier this year, ABHMS provided a grant that helped to fund ISAAC’s “Imagining A More Equal Pulpit” initiative, including a recent Gender Summit that addressed the challenges faced by women of color in ministry.

“Seeing the current ecclesial structures as an obstacle solely because of their gender, many women at the summit viewed church planting as the avenue to fully exercise their gifts to preach, to build a healthier church culture and, thus, build the body of Christ as lead pastors,” ISAAC Executive Director the Rev. Dr. Young Lee Hertig writes in a report to ABHMS. “Women leaders who are called by the Holy Spirit to pastor were uplifted when a few women pastors shared about how they planted several thriving churches and ministries.”

Said a participant, “This Gender Summit gave me encouragement to continue forward in the call that I received from the Lord.”

More than 45 Asian women affiliated with ABHMS’ Asian Ministries are ordained, while more than 20 are lay ministers, according to the Rev. Florence Li, ABHMS national coordinator of Asian Ministries.

“ABHMS’ Asian Ministries strongly supports ISAAC in lifting up Asian women in ministry in North America,” says Li. “Asian Ministries also seeks to partner with American Baptist Women in Ministry and various ecumenical bodies to recognize the gift and calling of women, clergy and lay. More work needs to be done, as the calling of women is rising.”

Additional information about ABHMS’ Asian Ministries is available online.