The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, pastor of Crossroads United Methodist Church in Phoenix, said that at every church where she has served, people have told her they were leaving because she is a woman.
At a large church where she was an associate pastor, a colleague told her that when she was in the pulpit, he could not focus on what she was saying because she is a woman. A man in the congregation covered his eyes whenever she preached.
And there are the numbers:
In their second decade in ordained ministry… 70 percent of men had moved on to medium-sized and large congregations, Mr. Carroll said, based on a 2001 survey of 870 senior and solo pastors. By comparison, only 37 percent of women led medium and large larger congregations.
In the mainline Protestant denominations, Mr. Carroll found that women made up 20 percent of lead or solo pastors. But of the pastors at the top of the pay scale, largely those who lead big congregations, only 3 percent are women. Of all conservative Protestant congregations, 1 percent are led by women, he said; of African-American churches, just 3 percent are led by women.
â€œItâ€™s a combination of age-old customs and democratic myopia: that in the marketplace of ideas and values, men matter most and that by definition, women have to take a back seat,â€ said Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, director of black church studies and associate professor of religion and culture at the
Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
This is getting old. It really is.
(Thanks, as often, to R. Uri Cohen for the link.)