Cultivating the Faith It Takes: Evangelist Faithe Brooks on Serving as a Woman in Ministry
Evangelist Faithe Brooks is no stranger to sharing her faith with others. But as a woman in ministry, she often faces unique challenges — there’s still much discrimination against women in ministry, even though we’ve come a long way for women in many professions. But despite the challenges, Evangelist Brooks says that she feels called to serve as a woman in ministry and that type of call is one of selflessness. God has given her a platform to reach people for Christ, and she is grateful to do that abundantly.
Since being called into ministry full-time, she has dedicated her life to spreading the gospel and serving as a role model for other women who feel called to ministry. In a recent interview, Evangelist Brooks shared her thoughts on what it takes to be a woman in ministry. When asked about her challenges, she quickly points out that “the hardest part of being a woman in ministry is the faith required to walk in your calling. She says, “Women have always been seen as spiritual leaders, but we haven’t always been allowed to lead from the pulpit.”
With over three decades in ministry, Evangelist Brooks has seen the evolution of the church and how she has practiced ministry. In the Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C), they operate and abide by a constitution that does not allow women to pastor at this time. That premise was based upon various scriptures, such as a woman is not to usurp authority over a man, and women are to be silent when they come to the house of God (I Timothy 2:12; I Corinthians 14:34). However, considering the context of the scripture and culture at the time, many scriptures apply to that particular time.
Her father, the founder of New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ and the First Assistant Presiding Bishop at the time vowed to uphold the Constitution and agreed with it. As his daughter, she understood the constitution and respected the rules; however, she did not (and does not) agree that the regulations regarding women are still valid. Evangelist heavily believes it needs to be updated to address the times we are living in today.
Evangelist Brooks’ father’s church holds a profound and special meaning to her because her father started this church in their home with two people — her mother and her grandmother. Her father, not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, didn’t have the money or means to build their church. However, through his strong faith in God, hard work for the Postal System, and her mother’s dedication, service, and loyalty, they worked together and built the ministry known today. She feels, as their daughter, that to walk away from what they worked so hard for would be a travesty. Because she served her father in ministry and walked as close with him, she knew his vision for the ministry’s future better than anyone else — he shared many things with her about what he desired to do for the church. Nonetheless, she has faith and high hopes that somehow the ministry will rise above the challenges faced and continue to thrive, excelling to the next level.
DEI has become a critical topic in many organizations to balance the scales between ethnicities and gender. When asked how it has affected the way churches open doors for women, Evangelist Brooks has this to say:
“Because we have a black female VP and many women in the political arena, many opportunities are being presented for women across the board. Women have always been able to come to speak and minister within the C.O.G.I.C. However, female pastors are not openly recognized. Women are not called pastors. However, those women who have stepped out to pastor within the organization are referred to as “Shepherdesses.” A male is on the church’s legal paperwork, but the figurehead is the female.”
Women leading in churches have been taboo or not accepted for years — even on the down-low. On the other hand, Galatians 3:28 says there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Evangelist Brooks agrees with this scripture in terms of serving in the ministry. In an interview, she stated that she understands that women can be more emotional than men and that women are considered the weaker vessel in terms of physical strength. However, she does not believe that the differences between men and women physically or emotionally should have any bearing on a woman’s capability to lead a congregation. Some ideas, concepts, and beliefs may have to be tweaked, but that is not a problem or deterrent for a woman leading a congregation.
Set to be installed as the official Supervisor for the Department of Women for the Northeast Jurisdiction in November 2022, Evangelist Brooks desires to ally herself with the women of her jurisdiction so they may fulfill their God-given purpose and destiny and continue her ministry to the masses. This is important to her because she wants to continue her parents’ legacy and uphold the vision of the church she was born and raised in, the Church of God in Christ.