50 Women You Should Know
Jo Anne Lyon: Church and Denominational Leader
Jo Anne Lyon has a résumé with more facets than an expensive diamond. She has served with her minister husband, Wayne, and is the mother of four and grandmother of six. Her degrees come from state and private universities, not including five honorary doctorates. She is an adjunct professor of church and society at two graduate schools and publishes frequently. Board memberships range from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the National Association of Evangelicals to five colleges and universities.
Two high-profile positions highlight her story: She founded World Hope International, an independent relief and development agency focusing on education, enterprise, and community health. And she has also led the Wesleyan Church denomination since 2008 as general superintendent, publishing books like The Ultimate Blessing (Wesleyan Publishing House).
The early history of the Wesleyan denomination is closely tied to the antislavery movement. It was also the first denomination to ordain a woman in America in 1856. More than 150 years later, Lyon pioneers the anti-trafficking movement to free women and children from sexual slavery in the 21st century. She has become an international voice for the 27 million trafficked every year.
Though Lyon holds prominent leadership positions, she humbly crusades to feed the hungry, serve the poor, bring justice to the oppressed, and preach salvation to the lost. She embodies the Wesleyan Church's goal to "fulfill the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment." It's no wonder that many Christian leaders, including World Relief president Stephan Bauman, say, "Jo Anne is one of my heroes."—Leith Anderson, president, the National Association of Evangelicals
Carolyn Custis James
President of the Whitby Forum and founder of Synergy Women's Network, Carolyn Custis James encourages women to pursue their callings. Her many books include Half the Church (Zondervan) and The Gospel of Ruth (Zondervan).
Anne Graham Lotz
Anne Graham Lotz, who founded the evangelistic nonprofit AnGeL Ministries, is a dynamic Bible teacher and evangelist. Infertility, miscarriages, and depression marked the early years of her marriage, but these experiences became the soil out of which her ministry grew. Her books include Just Give Me Jesus (Thomas Nelson) and Expecting to See Jesus (Zondervan).
Joyce Meyer's messages are carried on hundreds of television and radio stations through Joyce Meyer Ministries. She combines biblical insights with stories of being sexually abused as a child and her failed first marriage, teaching others how to relate to God in the midst of pain. She has written over 80 books, including Eat the Cookie … Buy the Shoes (FaithWords) and Power Thoughts (FaithWords).
Cofounder of Saddleback Church, Kay Warren, with her husband, Rick, advocates for those with HIV/AIDS and their orphaned children. Her most recent book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough (Revell), explores her own response to suffering. She also coauthored Foundations, a systematic theology course used in churches worldwide.
Amy Julia Becker: Author and Speaker
At 34, Amy Julia Becker has stirred one of the great philosophical conversations of our time: "What does it really mean to be perfect?"