J. Dwayne Howell, Ph.D. is professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in the School of Theology of Campbellsville University and was named Distinguished Professor in 2008. He is also pastor of Rolling Fork Baptist Church in Gleanings, KY. Dwayne has written and presented in the area of Old Testament and Homiletics and is chair of the Homiletics and Biblical Studies Section of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is also active in the Academy of Homiletics.
What about today? Influence of women felt at your church today? In what capacities and gifts?
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Life experiences affect our understanding of the world around us. As it pertains to egalitarian views, they are a part of my growing up experience. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in Shively, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville. Raised in a Christian home, church was a natural part of my life. I knew that Sunday mornings and evenings, as well as Wednesday evenings, were spent at church. This was never a burden for me. I always seemed to enjoy church. However, it was not my family’s church experience that led me to egalitarianism. My father worked and made the decisions, and my mother stayed at home and “raised the boys.” While my parents often discussed decisions, my father was always the final arbiter as head of the household. The same was true of my church—men served as the leaders, deacons, and even the ushers.
While the challenge from my pastor’s daughter led me to question my own understanding of the role of women in the church and the home, that was not the end of my egalitarian journey. Through college and seminary, I was constantly challenged to adjust my views on women in ministry by my professors and as I met more and more women who were seeking to follow God’s call on their lives. Today, as both a pastor and professor, I hope that I can aid others in their experience and understanding of the role of women in the church and in the home.