Editor’s note: The following essay appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Eikon.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) is an evangelical denomination of roughly 2,000 churches and 500,000 members in the United States. A. B. Simpson started the movement in the late nineteenth century as a multi-denominational coalition of Christians and churches committed to taking the gospel to the unreached people of the globe. It solidified into a denomination in 1974 and continues to exist with a focus on sharing Christ with the nations.
I grew up in the C&MA and then spent almost ten years in the Southern Baptist tribe. When I returned to the C&MA, I was made aware that national leadership had opened up a discussion about the appropriateness of applying the label of “pastor” to women serving in official roles in local churches. In fact, President John Stumbo, in his report to General Council 2019, the highest level of legislative authority in the C&MA,…