Month: June 2016

Resources for further study of complementarianism and related issues


  1. Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy DeMoss (Crossway, 2002) | This book calls women to return to godly womanhood with insight from Nancy DeMoss, Susan Hunt, Mary Kassian, Carolyn Mahaney, Barbara Hughes, P. Bunny Wilson, and Dorothy Patterson,
  2. Divine Design: An Eight-Week Study on Biblical Womanhood by Nancy DeMoss and Mary Kassian (Moody, 2012) | A study-style book written to challenge and encourage women to understand and embrace the design for who God created them to be.
  3. Mixed Ministry by Sue Edwards, Kelley Mathews, and Henry J. Rogers (Kregel, 2008) | Two Dallas Theological Seminary professors team up with a corporate chaplain to explore common and thorny issues, advising how staff and lay leaders can develop healthy working partnerships in their ministries.
  4. Womanhood Revisited: A Fresh Look at the Role of Women in Society by Anne Graham, (Christian Focus Publications, 2002) | With consideration of how expectations of women have changed throughout history, the author considers current challenges to living in cooperation and not competition with men, equal in value, yet different in purpose.
  5. Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem (Crossway, 2002) | A layperson’s guide to understanding gender role differences.
  6. 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem | This booklet is available as a free PDF download online ( and covers the main points of the popular and lengthy volume, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, in a concise manner.
  7. Ministry in the New Marriage Culture edited by Jeff Iorg (B&H, 2015) | Worth the introduction alone, Iorg pulls together experienced ministers to address biblical and theological foundations on marriage and sexual ethics, with models and methods to guide pastors and laity to address problems they face in a today’s culture.
  8. Women in the Church: Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 edited by Andreas Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner (Crossway, 2016) | The book offers a definitive statement of the complementarian interpretation of the passage on the role of women in the church.
  9. Jesus and the Feminists: Who Do They Say That He Is? by Margaret Köstenberger (Crossway, 2008) | This survey of feminist scholars reveals how they interpret Scripture related to Jesus and his view of women.
  10. God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey by Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger (Crossway, 2014) | With an academic approach and practical application, the authors tackle current issues and accompanying hermeneutical fallacies.
  11. Women Leading Women, the Biblical Model for the Church by Jaye Martin and Terri Stovall (B&H, 2009). The book addresses the biblical paradigm for women’s leadership in the church and encourages women as they lead and train other women, engage the culture and involve other women in ministry. 
  12. Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Carolyn McCulley (Moody Press, 2008) | Drawing from her experience in the feminist world, the author explains the three waves of feminism to show how they hindered God’s vision for women. 
  13. Women on Life edited by Trillia Newbell (Leland House Press, 2016) | In chapters by women from all walks of life, many of them Southern Baptists, the contributing authors make personal application of complementarian principles in their daily lives as mothers, wives of pastors, and activists in the pro-life movement.
  14. Women’s Evangelical Commentary on the Old Testament and Women’s Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament both edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley (B&H, 2011 and 2006) | Comprehensive foundational commentaries on every book of the Bible written and edited by women for women with practical explanation of the complementarian view to equip lay teachers and Bible learners.
  15. The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design by Courtney Reissig (Crossway, 2015) | This book recounts the journey of a wife, mom and writer from “accidental feminisim” to a biblical view of womanhood.
  16. The Role of Women in the Church by Charles Ryrie (B&H, 2001) | Revised edition of a classic resource combining background on the status of women in early times and offers biblical exegesis related to marriage, celibacy, divorce and ministry in the local church.
  17. The Grand Design by Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock (Christian Focus Publications, 2016) | In a culture where confusion about what it means to be a man or a woman abounds, Strachan and Peacock explore the Scriptures to help readers understand God’s grand design for manhood and womanhood.
  18. Men and Women, Equal Yet Different, A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender by Alexander Strauch (Lewis & Roth Publishers, 1999) | This short book was written with those in mind who would like to know more about biblical teachings on gender roles but who don’t have time to read lengthy volumes on the subject.
  19. Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior (True Woman) by Kimberly Wagner (Moody, 2012) | The author explains how women can use their strength to honor the Lord by honoring their husbands and cautions against the temptation to use strength destructively.



  1. | Biblical Woman, the online home of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Women’s Programs, offers a website including a blog, a host of resources and information about education and events pertaining to women.
  2. | Flourish is the home of the North American Mission Board’s equipping community for ministry wives. Their website is a blog that focuses on family, ministry and spiritual growth through the lenses of a variety of writers.
  3. | Women’s Life is the online home for all things woman at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The website includes blog articles as well as information about education, events and mentoring.
  4. | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, founded in 1987, is the flagship organization for the complementarian movement. It exists to help guide individuals and churches in understanding God’s design for gender, family, marriage and church.



  1. | Produced semi-annually by CBMW, The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is an academic journal that facilitates scholarly conversation on a variety of issues surrounding gender, family and church as they relate to aspects of Christian faith from church history and biblical study to systematic and practical theology.
  2. | For its Winter 2015 issue, the 9Marks Journal focused their articles on ‘Complementarianism and the Local Church.’ The issue, which is 75 pages in length, can be found online in PDF, Mobi or ePub formats. 

Every church has a Diotrephes … but every church also has a Gaius

One of the most discouraging aspects of leading a church is the opposition to missions by a few vocal members. Stand before a congregation and push missions, and you can expect immediate opposition. As I push missions before my congregation almost every Sunday, I regularly receive feedback like: “God is going to save the people that will be saved whether I participate or not;” “I’m not called to participate in missions;” “we have no business taking the gospel overseas when there are plenty of people to reach in our city;” “evangelism is for those who have the gift of evangelism;” “it makes people uncomfortable when you constantly push us to do missions;” and “you talk about missions too much.”

“In the end, let the call of Christ to go and the cry of the lost to come drown out the sound of your Diotrepheses.”

Nathan Lino, SBTC President

The temptation is to let opposition to missions by a few of our members cause the pastor to take his foot off the gas pedal. It’s easy to become discouraged if we lose perspective of what is actually happening. Here is a word of encouragement my fellow church leaders: every single church has members like this … every single church for the 2,000-year history of the local church. Don’t believe me? Check out the book of 3 John.

The book was written to encourage a church that was becoming discouraged and divided over missions because a member named Diotrephes vocally opposed missions in their church. Not only did Diotrephes refuse to do missions himself, he vocally criticized the leaders and his fellow members who engaged in the mission of Christ (vs. 10)! Here’s a word of encouragement: vocal opposition to missions is nothing new; it’s to be expected. Even if the Apostle John himself were pastoring your church, your members who oppose missions would say the exact same things to him that they now say to you! Here’s another word of encouragement: John calls such opposition to missions “wicked nonsense” (vs. 10b), and he did not take it lying down (vs. 10a); in other words, he refused to take his foot off the gas.

Here’s another word of encouragement: the local church in 3 John also had a Gaius (1) and a Demetrius (12a) and other encouragers in the mission like John himself (12b) as well as members whose enthusiastic support of missions is laid out in vs. 5-8. Unfortunately, every church has a Diotrephes, but praise God every church also has a Gaius.

My fellow shepherds, don’t abandon the mission because you are intimidated by someone speaking “wicked nonsense.” Wisely and lovingly push your congregation to engage the mission of reaching our cities and the nations. 1,000 people are moving to Texas every single day. There are still 3,000 Unengaged Unreached People Groups. There are still 5,000 Unreached People Groups. The fields are white unto harvest. In the end, let the call of Christ to go and the cry of the lost to come drown out the sound of your Diotrepheses.

Dads, give your family a gift on Father”s Day

I still remember the worst Father’s Day gift my brothers and I ever gave my dad.

We sat on the edge of my parents’ bed that late-1980s Sunday morning with eyes full of excitement as my dad unwrapped his brightly colored Jams shorts and T-shirt emblazoned with a cartoon, surfboarding Tyrannosaurus Rex. To his credit, he acted like he loved this bizarre outfit that no self-respecting 40-year-old man would want to wear in public. 

From corny to cliché to cringe-worthy, Father’s Day gifts are notorious for being bad, but good dads see beyond the ugly ties and receive them with joy and gratitude.

But, dads, let me challenge you to turn the tables on your family this year. What if, instead of receiving gifts, you gave your family a gift this year? What if you gathered your family around you and committed to lead them spiritually for the next year through regular family worship?

Deuteronomy 6:5—which Jesus considered the greatest commandment—says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” What’s interesting is that the verses that follow explain one of the primary ways families love God with all their heart, soul and might:

“… And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

These verses are the foundation of a practice known as family worship or family devotions that Christians have participated in for centuries. It’s simply setting aside one or more days per week to read the Bible, talk about it and pray together. And Scripture is clear that the father should take the lead when possible.

If you’re like me, the idea of leading your family to make this a regular pattern is both exciting and scary. Most men, even those who are spiritually mature, can feel inadequate or unprepared for such a task. So many questions/objections come to mind—What do we do? How long should it be? What if I’m not that knowledgeable about the Bible?

First, let me just say that if you feel your blood pressure raising as you think about these questions, you’re not alone. Second, let me encourage you to buy yourself a Father’s Day gift to help guide you—Donald Whitney’s practical and concise book, appropriately titled Family Worship.

For less than $10 and fewer than 75 pages, this is the perfect jumpstart to leading family worship. The book includes a discussion guide that you could read with your wife or another dad, and as an added bonus, you can sign up for a free five-day email course on family worship at

After a short survey of Scripture and church history showing the value of family worship, Whitney dives into the how-tos and what-ifs. One of the things I like about Whitney, which can also be seen in his book Praying the Bible, is that he doesn’t overcomplicate things or give too much “how to.” For example in this book, he says family worship is comprised of reading the Bible, praying, and singing, and can last as little as 10 minutes. Those looking for detailed guidance on nuts and bolts won’t find it in this book, which is probably good. One of the things I’ve learned is that flexibility is key when leading family worship, and Whitney provides enough structure to get you off the runway, but he allows each family to determine the best flight path.

Whitney also answers some “what if” questions, such as “What if the father is not a Christian?” or “What if your children are very young?” or “What if there is a wide range of ages among the kids?” Overall, the book is a quick, helpful read for families of all ages and spiritual maturity levels.

Imagine years from now, sitting with your kids and grandkids talking about Father’s Day, and one by one your children speak of the greatest Father’s Day gift you ever gave them—the spiritual legacy you gave them as you regularly taught them what it looks like to love God with all your heart, soul, and might through family worship.

Evangelicals gather for two-day conference on complementarianism

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Twenty-seven leaders in the evangelical community gathered to address attendees of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s (CBMW) Together for the Gospel pre-conference April 11-12 in Louisville, Ky. The conference, themed “The Beauty of Complementarity,” was designed to give attendees a chance to hear from an array of voices on complementarianism—the theological viewpoint held by Southern Baptists and many other evangelicals that distinguishes men from women in regard to roles and functions while ascribing equal value to both genders. 

The conference topic was not without controversy, with a large portion of those posting to the official social media hashtag #CBMW16 criticizing CBMW organizers for promoting patriarchy and limiting women’s involvement in certain church and family roles. Speakers, however, stood firm in their alignment with complementarianism, citing biblical texts that shape the view and noting their recognition that the issue of gender roles is one wrought with controversy.

“As we gather in this room, I am reminded how counter-cultural this very event is,” Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said at the outset of his 15-minute talk.

CBMW tasked Allen with addressing complementarianism and the disappearance of men. Allen cited statistics demonstrating that men no longer dominate the workforce, that one-fifth of able-bodied men are unemployed, and that 60 percent of both college- and master’s-level graduates are female. While these statics are telling about society and culture, Allen said what he most wants to examine is the state of the home and church.

“Regrettably … we acknowledge and we see around us that practically speaking, many of our churches are practically bereft of male leadership,” Allen said. “And many churches abide in a subtle fog over what biblical manhood should look like. In many of our churches, biblical men are like corks of testosterone bobbing in ponds of estrogen.

“We have to acknowledge that pop evangelicalism has not done much to help. Even within the church, much of the emphasis on manhood has not been very helpful at all, and it sends us—encourages us—toward two different erroneous poles. One of these poles has said in essence to be a better man, to be a better Christian man, men should become more like women: more thoughtful, more caring, more romantic, always mindful of expressions of romance and dutifully carrying them out. The other pole, alternately, at times sounds much like a beer commercial, frankly, glorifying machismo, gruffness and honoring the strong arm. Through this, the church must recover biblical manhood, Christian masculinity—what we might think of as ‘sanctified testosterone.’”

Allen went on to offer five practical ways to foster the reappearance of biblical manhood in the church and home, including frankly telling a church when a qualified man is not available for a position rather than playing “word games” in changing titles so that a woman can fill the role out of pragmatism. 

Trillia Newbell, a freelance writer and author who serves on staff with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, gave her testimony to the group of how she came to leave feminism and embrace complementarianism. Newbell said she grew up a liberal “holiday Christian” who was fully pro-choice and held Oprah as her role model.

Newbell said after she was saved in 1998 at the age of 19, God changed the entire course of her life. 

“Something radical happened to my perceived notions of rights when God captured my heart with his gospel. Nothing was the same,” Newbell said. “As my heart began to be transformed, so was my worldview.

“I don’t have a strong desire to fight with the world or to fight with feminists or anyone. My desire is to proclaim Christ. He gave me new life, and I know that he can do that for anyone—anyone listening, anyone out there, anyone you’re reaching out to. He does it. He transforms hearts. He transformed mine.”

Courtney Reissig, author of The Accidental Feminist, also gave her testimony during the conference, explaining how the Lord turned her once-rebellious heart toward a complementarian mindset. She described the journey to complementarianism as a “bumpy one,” and recalled that while her Christian family practiced the Bible’s teaching in that respect, she did not grow up knowing the term. Ultimately, God used her family and his Word to solidify in her mind an understanding that all humans are created equal as image bearers of God but that men and women have distinct roles.

Heath Lambert, executive director at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and associate professor of biblical counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also spoke, reminding attendees of the words of Psalm 119:37: “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things.” Tying the verse to the current trends, even among pastors, of looking at pornography, Lambert talked about how counter-complementarian the specific sin is.

“If you look at pornography, you are not a complementarian,” Lambert said. “Everything about pornography undermines everything about complementarity.”

During a panel discussion, Southwestern Seminary’s Candi Finch, a theology professor in women’s studies, was asked what gender role-related issues arise in the classroom where she trains women for future ministry. 

“I’ve been distressed of late because while I’m excited that we’re encouraging women to do what they are biblically encouraged to do, I think some complementarians have gone too far,” Finch answered. Referencing 1 Timothy 2, she addressed those who claim that “as long as a woman is not authoritatively teaching, she can do whatever she would like in the church.”

“They’re saying as long as she is not the pastor, she’s not the authoritative teacher. That’s not what that Greek word didasko means. There’s not authoritative teaching and unauthoritative teaching,” Finch said, adding that such a distinction is unhelpful and unbiblical.

Also speaking during the pre-conference were Gavin Peacock; Thomas White; Danny Akin; Grant Castleberry; Anthony Moore; Sam Allberry; John MacArthur; and John Piper, one of the CBMW’s founders and co-editor of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a foundational book on complementarianism. Video of the sessions can be viewed at

CBMW president juxtaposes world”s view of gender & roles with Scripture”s

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Owen Strachan, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), said that instead of a culture thriving thanks to movements of feminism and egalitarianism, society is crumbling because of them. In a message April 11 at CBMW’s conference on “The Beauty of Complementarity,” Strachan pointed to the rise in marital separation and divorce and the effects of “hookup culture” on college campuses as just two areas of society negatively impacted by movements of the previous century.

“This is in the age, by the way, of the great social experiment that has seemingly triumphed over the kind of viewpoint that we are talking about in this conference. This is supposed to be when our culture is enjoying the spoils of egalitarianism and feminism,” Strachan said. “Instead, young men and women are experiencing profound heartbreak, are on all sorts of medication, need hours of counseling. And we have to realize this is not a successful revolution.”

In rapid-fire fashion, Strachan offered 10 thoughts on how important complementarity is to human flourishing, juxtaposing things the world says with responses from a biblical worldview. 

Of the 10, Strachan first touched on the creation order.

“The world says that there is no such thing as hard and fast manhood and womanhood,” Strachan said. “Complementarity says, in response, the man and the woman are God’s own invention. We have been taught that the age of creation is the preeminent matter in Genesis 1. … But please note this, in Genesis 1, the apex of creation is not [the earth]. It is man and woman. It is male and female. That is the apex of God’s super-intelligent design, his creative work. It’s not the trees. It’s not the Grand Canyon. It’s man and woman. That is God’s masterpiece. What does that tell us about whether manhood and womanhood are important? Does that perhaps signal something to us in our theological systems about how we should think about anthropology?”

Strachan gave three specific replies he would suggest offering to those who argue that issues of manhood and womanhood are trivial and less important in the grand scheme of theological doctrines. 

“Now the gospel is paramount for Christians,” Strachan said. “Christ is our head, but even in speaking of that language, I’m using complementarian verbiage. Am I not? If somebody says to you within the church that manhood and womanhood are really not that important—‘they’re nice little doctrines that if you want to kind of geek out and focus on those, we can have a club for people who are hopped up on manhood and womanhood, but the rest of us really aren’t going to focus on that stuff’—you tell them these three things:

1 No doctrine of the Word of God is small. No doctrine. None of it is unimportant. God doesn’t give you a ranking system in Scripture for any doctrine. You don’t have the privilege, you don’t have the right, to rank any doctrine. 

2 Humanity is the apex of creation. 

3 If we even say, ‘The gospel is foremost in our thinking,’ which is true, which I affirm, it is. What is the gospel but the message—the eternal message—the undying truth that Jesus died for his bride? You could say it this way: ‘The gospel has a complementarian structure. Complementarity is not the gospel, but the gospel cannot be vacuumed out of this complementarian structure. It is not possible for us to do if we will hold to what the Word of God teaches.’”

Strachan explained that the church is not formless nor its shape open to interpretation, but Scripture prescribes how it should operate. 

“We recognize the teaching from Scripture on church leadership as a blueprint,” Strachan said. “It is not an office that Paul prohibits women from holding in 1 Timothy 2; it is a function. He does not say women cannot be an elder. He says that he does not permit a woman to teach a man or exercise authority over him. We need to hold fast to this teaching. Brothers and sisters, hear me clearly: My eyes are wide open. We are battling on this point today. We hold this—it can feel like, ‘Oooo, that’s a bridge too far.’ But it is a function. Go back to the Scriptures. Don’t take my word for it. Search them. Is this what Paul prohibits?

“If this sounds too rough to you, then I fear that you may need to work out your submission to Scripture because this is basic Bible teaching when it comes to complementarity. Of course we also must say this, that if women are not teaching in the church, then it is being unfaithful to God’s plan. Women must train women, right, per Titus 2? Sometimes people say to me, ‘As the president of CBMW, do you support women teaching in the church?’ And I say, ‘If women are not teaching in the church, something is terribly misfiring.’ Women are called to train other women, especially in homemaking, discipleship, in building a home, in managing a home—these are things that are highlighted by Paul in Titus 2.” 

In addition to serving as CBMW president, Strachan works as associate professor of Christian theology and church history at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Video of his session at the CBMW conference can be viewed at

Prestonwood Pregnancy Center celebrates 25 years of saving lives

RICHARDSON As nurse sonographer Laura Tatum employed the handheld Doppler, an infant heartbeat reverberated through the small room. The client’s boyfriend, sitting in a corner and scanning his smartphone, ignored the sonogram projected on the large screen despite his girlfriend’s attempts to get his attention. 

Upon hearing the heartbeat, the boyfriend suddenly looked up. Staring at the monitor, he exclaimed, “That’s a life!” 

That day, another abortion-minded couple made a decision for life, one of 42,000 pregnancies preserved since the founding of the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center (PPC) in 1991. 

“A baby was saved that day,” said Leanne Jamieson, director of the center since October 2015. 

“We try as much as possible to do a same-day sonogram because that is often where a changed view happens. Statistics [confirm] that between 70 and 80 percent of abortion-minded women, if they have a sonogram, will change their minds and choose life.”

Leanne Jamieson, Prestonwood Pregnancy Center director

“We try as much as possible to do a same-day sonogram because that is often where a changed view happens. Statistics [confirm] that between 70 and 80 percent of abortion-minded women, if they have a sonogram, will change their minds and choose life.” 

Jamieson’s route to the PPC was circuitous. After serving in women’s ministry at Houston’s Second Baptist church, Jamieson served in a similar role at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. Following the death of PPC director Michelle Thames last year, Jamieson was invited to step in.

“I bring a fresh perspective to the pregnancy world. I didn’t come up through the system. I asked a lot of questions,” Jamieson said, adding that her experience in women’s ministry has helped her take a “different look at things.”

“We deal not just with women here but sometimes with the men that join them, so it’s more of a family ministry than a women’s ministry.”

The center’s focus is not just on being “pro-life,” Jamieson said, but rather also “pro-love.” This philosophy permeates the organization, as does intentionality about reaching the millennial generation.

“Pregnancy centers need to evolve. The millennials are changing how they want to intake information. If they can YouTube it, they are not going to come to us for it. We want to develop a relationship. We want to be there and walk with them. And so that means we are here for the long haul if they will allow us to be.”

PPC Facts

  • In 2015, 2,800 clients received services and counseling
  • In 2016, on track to reach 4,000 clients
  • Center depends upon its 9 staff members and 80-90 volunteers
  • Since 1991, the center has seen 62,000 women
  • 2,300 salvations since 1991, including 78 so far in 2016

Part of walking with millennials means still offering classes in parenting, but also digitizing publications, giving clients the ability to make and confirm appointments by text, continuing rewards programs for free car seats and diaper coupons, implementing downloadable computer apps and even installing a 24/7 crisis phone line. 

Jamieson said she expects the crisis phone line to be operational this summer. A new prayer app, Friends of Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, became available in early May.

To address client needs, PPC has begun a mentoring program for young mothers involving career counseling, assistance in pursuing higher education, resume writing and interview coaching, including a partnership with Upscale Resale to help clients acquire outfits for job interviews. PPC is also in the process of developing partnerships with child care centers.

“We want to help the young mother more holistically,” Jamieson said. “We are not here just to give, but we want to help her with those tools … so that she can successfully manage life and this child.”

The center also offers referrals to medical professionals, adoption agencies and other resources.

The pregnant woman has three choices: abortion, parenting, and parenting by giving up the child for adoption, Jamieson said, noting that one in four pregnancies also ends in miscarriage.

“Women will say, I cannot have this change my life. Well, your life has changed the moment you got pregnant. The question becomes, in what way is it going to change? We will talk to them about options.”

One option is adoption. “We try to provide clients with the true picture of what adoption looks like. We will refer to several different adoption agencies,” Jamieson said.

For women who choose to keep their babies but lack support systems, PPC has begun a new program called the Cuddlers, women sent out in pairs to visit clients after the baby is born. 

With a paid staff of 9, the center depends upon its 80-90 volunteers who commit to serve weekly at the main center or with a mobile sonogram unit. These volunteers, mostly client advocates, “are the hands and the feet of the ministry,” Jamieson said. “Without them, we would not be able to see the number of clients that we do.”

That number is growing. In 2015, 2,800 clients received services and counseling at the main location and the two mobile units, the latter deployed to socio-economically underserved areas. Thus far in 2016, Jamieson reported, that number is on track to reach 4,000. Since 1991, the center has seen 62,000 women.

Part of each client visit includes a gospel presentation by staff or trained volunteers. Not only does the client hear the gospel, but so does everyone who comes in with her. These “divine appointments” have resulted in more than 2,300 salvations since 1991, including 78 so far in 2016.

PPC also offers an abortion recovery program called Hope Restored, involving a confidential small group Bible study lasting several months and meeting in the safe and neutral location of the center. “The woman [who has had an abortion] needs to know that Christ died for her and that he forgave her, if she knows him,” Jamieson said. “Often her biggest issue is that she needs to forgive herself.”

Prestonwood pastor Jack Graham, whose vision it was for the center, said in a May 6 radio interview on KCBI’s “Coffee with Creamer,” that the PPC is part of Prestonwood’s commitment to “engage the vital issues of our time: poverty, injustice, abortion.”

Graham called PPC the “child” of a pregnancy center started at his former church in West Palm Beach, Florida. Remembering an occasion when he had preached against abortion, Graham recalled feeling God speak to him: “What are you going to do about it?” Thus the West Palm center was founded.

“Prestonwood Pregnancy Center is an outgrowth of that,” Graham said, referring to the fact that he brought the ministry idea with him to Texas.

On Mother’s Day, May 6, a yearlong celebration of the silver anniversary of the PPC began at Prestonwood. The stage of the worship center was adorned with blue, pink and white flowers representing babies and souls saved during the PPC’s 25 years. Pew envelopes provided the congregation with opportunities to give. A mobile sonogram unit in the church parking lot provided a glimpse of the work, as did the airing of a 25th anniversary video.

For more information, visit and download the free “Friends of Prestonwood Pregnancy Center” app at

A personal note from Jim Richards

To God be the glory! Thank you for your prayers, cards, texts, calls, gifts and personal visits in response to my recent surgery. I am blessed to be able to announce that I am returning to limited ministry through the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention June 1, 2016. While I am not 100%, my recovery has progressed to the point that my doctor said I can resume my duties. I look forward to serving the churches of the SBTC.

Criswell graduates include 47 Texans

DALLAS—Of the 54 students who graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Criswell College, May 14, 47 were Texans.

James Clayton Cox of Kemp, Texas, earned an associate of arts degree.

Receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees were David Owen Armstead of Mesquite, Barrett Winfield Brady of Dallas, Marshall Brooks Brady of Dallas, Christian Anthony Cook of Anna, James A. Davis of Forney, Hector Raul Espino of Ennis, Valerie Clara Garcia of High Island, Sarah Elizabeth Hebert of Houston and Christopher Michael Keeley of Arlington.

Other Texans who received bachelor of arts degrees at Criswell were Marilyn N. Kissentaner of Dallas, Clayton Paul Knight of Lexington, Alexis Nicole Krivit of Arlington, Matthew Jordan LaBry of Little Elm, Jonathan Paul Manning of Mesquite, Paul Allen Morrison of McKinney, John Wesley Newhouse of Dallas, Sora Kim Pak of Coppell, David Alfonso Pena of Brownsville and Jacob Aaron Randle of Elkhart.

Bachelor of arts degrees also were conferred on Texans James Thomas Christopher Riley of Aubrey, Michael Scott Samuels of Euless, Jacob Ryan Sessions of Fairfield, Kasha Nicole Smith of Forney, Katrina Gipson Stone of Emory, Timothy Washburn Stone of Emory, Noe Valdez of Midlothian, Darrell Vang of Arlington, Alfred Wayne Vaughan of Dallas and Matthew Wayne Ward of Elmo.

Texans earning Master of Arts degrees from Criswell were Roslyn Denise Broach of Rockwall, Shawn Renee Burgs of Houston, David Anthony Burnett of Austin, Randall Scott Clarke of Odessa, Michael Robert Cooper Jr. of Mabank, Dawna Lynn Duke of Dallas, Richmond Cheyenne Goolsby of Celina and Edward Dwaine Huber of Houston.

Also receiving Master of Arts degrees from Criswell were Texans Curtis Michael James of Nacodoches, Sophia Torres James of Duncanville, Henry Jay Kiser Jr. of Mesquite, Tarrick L. McGuire of Dallas, Michael Brandon Metts of Fort Worth, Hayden Cole Moore of Dallas and Luke Nathanael Roller of Dallas.

Two Texans received Master of Divinity degrees from Criswell: James Wendell Knox of Arlington and Jonathan Njuraita Mugo of Wylie.

Criswell College is an affiliated ministry with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Women”s roles in SBC focus of advisory council

ATLANTA— A diverse group of 18 women is studying the perspectives and strategies women in Southern Baptist churches bring to the God-given task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

They comprise the Women’s Ministry Advisory Council appointed by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. The council joins a list of advisory councils Page has appointed to provide insight into the needs, desires and goals of the many groups represented in SBC life.

“We are excited about encouraging our leaders in women’s ministries across our convention,” Page said when he announced plans to form the council. “Women, we appreciate you, and you are not alone!

Click here to read TEXAN Special Report on Women’s Roles in Ministry


“In each [advisory council] meeting, we have sought to educate and encourage various demographic subsets about the ‘proven and effective cooperative framework’ of our Southern Baptist Convention, foster open dialogue, and instill the essence of any and all concerns,” Page said. “We have sought to encourage confidence in the SBC way of doing missions.”

In Their Own Words

Women in Ministry

“Neo-complementarianism is exploring how to apply the biblical parameters regarding gender while fully utilizing women and their giftedness in the local church. This is a good thing! Our seminaries are graduating hundreds of bright, well-trained and biblically astute women. Will they only have opportunities to serve in women’s ministry or children’s ministry? While I believe those are two crucial ministries for the local church, surely they aren’t the only ones where women can creatively use their leadership skills and theological education, whether on a staff or in lay leadership.

“[We must] remain firmly tethered to Scripture. We cannot add more to Scripture nor remove anything from it. Like most pastors’ wives, I have worked in just about every area of the church with the exception of RAs! In 45 years I have never known one woman who intended to ‘usurp authority’ from the pastor or male leadership. I hope when women are excluded or passed over for leadership, it is on the basis of the biblical gender parameters (such as being a pastor or elder) or that she is simply not qualified for the position, rather than on a general suspicion of women trying to control men.”

Susie Hawkins, Author, Speaker

Advisory council member Chris Adams, senior lead women’s ministry specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources and a member of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., praised Page’s efforts.

“Many women in Southern Baptist churches do not feel valued as leaders though they want to make a kingdom difference,” she noted at the advisory council’s first meeting. “The fact that the SBC Executive Committee has asked about women in our churches is huge. Thank you for affirming the value of women and encouraging the use of our spiritual gifts in ministry.”

Rhonda Kelley, an adjunct professor of women’s ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where her husband Chuck Kelley is president, chairs the council.

“While the SBC has always valued the worth of women and followed the biblical guidelines for female roles in the church,” Rhonda Kelley said of the group, “there is a sincere desire to increase the involvement of Southern Baptist women in biblically appropriate ways at all levels of the convention and to provide the support services to maximize their service.”

Kelley, a member of First Baptist Church in New Orleans, referenced LifeWay Research indicating women comprise about 52 percent of church congregations. Historically, she said, women have often been the majority in church attendance and in participation in service projects.

Southern Baptist women are encouraged to participate in the council’s online survey at In addition, comments may be emailed to

Kelley described input from women across the SBC as “essential for the task force to complete its important assignment.” 

The advisory council will work throughout 2016 and present its findings to Page in an official report, expected to focus on ways to increase women’s participation in church and SBC life. The inaugural meeting was held Jan. 7-8 in Atlanta.

Questions considered by the council at the first meeting centered on the ministries, training and resources the SBC provides for women; effective evangelistic methods and resources in reaching women with the gospel; any additional support women might need from the SBC; and recommendations regarding women’s ministry to be made to the SBC Executive Committee.

Women from 14 states comprise the council, representing different age groups, stages of life, ethnic backgrounds, and ministry positions. 

Joining Kelley and Adams are:

  • Jacqueline “Jacki” Anderson, pastor’s wife, Women in Ministry director and executive assistant, Colonial Baptist Church, Randallstown, Md.;
  • Tabitha Barnette, pastor’s wife and speaker, Peace Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga.;
  • Brandi Biesiadecki, pastor’s wife, writer, speaker and women’s minister, First Baptist Church, Bartlesville, Okla.;
  • Linda Cooper, Woman’s Missionary Union president and a member of Forest Park Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Ky.;
  • Lourdes Fernandez, an attorney and a member of Riverside Baptist Church, Miami;
  • Candi Finch, professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a member of Hope Church, Fort Worth, Texas;
  • Ann Iorg, wife of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary President Jeff Iorg and a member of First Baptist Church, San Francisco;
  • Elizabeth Luter, wife of Southern Baptist Convention immediate past president Fred Luter and women’s ministries director of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans;
  • Davee Ly, pastor’s wife, school teacher, speaker and Sunday school director at First Hmong Baptist Church, Morganton, N.C.;
  • Ana Melendez, Hispanic state women’s consultant and a member of Iglesia Cristo Es Rey, Bolingbrook, Ill.;
  • Mary Mohler, wife of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler and a member of Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.;
  • Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach for the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and a member of Redemption City Church, Franklin, Tenn.;
  • Rhonda Rhea, pastor’s wife, columnist and speaker, and a member of First Baptist Church, Troy, Mo.;
  • Myra Sermon, registered nurse and nursing consultant, and a Sunday school teacher at Grace Filipino Church, Woodbridge, Va.;
  • Ashley Unzicker, church history songwriter, rapper, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student, and a member of The Summit Church, Durham, N.C.;
  • Angela Um, founder and CEO of Boston Academic Consulting Group, and wife of the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Cambridge, Mass.