Opinion | Church

Remembering Virginia Patterson, a Leader Before Her Time

The late missionary, professor, and CEO went where few Christian women had gone before.

Christians have always believed that virtue is not so much taught as caught. Since we acquire qualities more by example than instruction, Scripture advises us to select our friends and mentors carefully. For this reason, I could not be more grateful to have worked beside Virginia Patterson for more than 15 years.

We first met at Wheaton College, at the conference of Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) in 1993. Of course her reputation preceded her. While serving as adjunct faculty at Wheaton College and also Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Patterson was nearing the end of a distinguished career as president and CEO of Pioneer Clubs, a position she had held for 27 years. I was awed by her achievements as a leader and author, yet realized she was a humble woman of few words. Her sharp mind fueled her capacity to listen and discern. No wonder there was always admiration in the air whenever Virginia's named was evoked. It seemed everyone in CBE turned to her for wisdom. In this we were ...

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