A Woman As Senior Pastor
On November 1, Nancy Hastings Sehested will become senior minister of the 235-member Prescott Memorial Baptist Church in Memphis. When she assumes that post, she will become the only woman to pastor a church affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
Prescott Memorial is dually aligned with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Women’s ordination has been a controversial issue in the SBC, which in 1984 passed a resolution opposing women pastors.
Sehested, currently associate pastor of a Southern Baptist congregation in Georgia, will become one of only four women to serve as senior pastor in the SBC, and one of only 11 to serve as either pastor or copastor of an SBC-affiliated congregation. However, there are an estimated 450 ordained women in the denomination.
A native of Texas, Sehested is the daughter and granddaughter of Southern Baptist clergymen. Her husband, Kenneth, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and executive director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.
“Women are finding it more and more difficult to find positions in SBC agencies, in churches, on campuses,” she told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “These aren’t easy times for women.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities, in a study requested by Congress, says the nation’s public schools are failing to adequately teach history and literature. The agency said the situation is caused by an overemphasis on the process of learning at the expense of content.
“Instead of preserving the past, they [educators] more often disregard it, sometimes in the name of’ progress ...1
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