Being a female pastor in a man’s world
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO – When Hattie Jackson felt she was called by God to become a pastor, she decided neither her race or her sex would prevent her from fulfilling her calling.
“I grew up Baptist and started preaching, but they wouldn’t ordain me. They would license me, but not ordain me,” Jackson said. “I’m just as much a preacher as any man.”
Jackson earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Montevallo. She also earned a bachelor’s in theology from the Tennessee School of Religion, and recently completed her doctorate studies in theology. She also published her second book, “He Speaks Through Her Too,” which is a collection of 25 of Jackson’s sermons.
“If God can trust Deborah to be over all the men of Israel, he can trust a woman to be over a church,” she said.
Although she was ordained originally as a Methodist pastor, Jackson currently serves as an associate minister at Liberty Baptist Church in Alabaster.
“I heard one preacher say that all women are is incubators,” she said. “If that’s true, then why did God give us a brain? I love motherhood, but that’s just one of our functions.”
Jackson said women have natural gifts that enhance their pastoral efforts.
“Nurturing comes in as a pastor, and women are automatically nurturing and caring, main characteristics for a pastor,” she said. “If God called them (men) to pastor, then he’ll equip them with what they need. But with women, they automatically bring this innate nurturing ability to the table.”
Last year, Jackson had the “worst year of (her) life,” she said. She lost her counseling job, went through a divorce, had to move out of her house and experienced a car wreck. In 2011, she met her current fiancé at church, finished her book and completed her doctoral studies. During all of this time, however, she focused on her calling.
“Our job is to get people saved. That should be the fight, not male or female, black or white. That’s the battle we should be fighting. We don’t have time to say men are better than women. It’s not important.”
“I will be a preacher until I die. It’s my calling in life,” she added. “I have a pastor’s heart.”
For more information about Jackson, visit Hattiecjackson.com.