Christian Chronicle

The journey that led a church to appoint female elders

‘It needs to be the whole body,’ Sheila Bost says of men and women leading and preaching.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

LOS ANGELES — In the early 1960s, then-Abilene Christian College — a Texas higher education institution associated with Churches of Christ — had different rules for male and female dorm residents.

Sheila Bost, now a grandmother of 12, remembers that she couldn’t study at the library certain nights because the women had an early-evening curfew.

The same policy didn’t apply to men.

“It just didn’t make sense,” Bost said, recalling her feelings at the time.

Full coverage: Women in the church

That experience came to mind as the longtime Christian reflected on her spiritual journey, notably her 2018 appointment as one of two female elders of the Culver Palms Church of Christ.

For decades, the west Los Angeles congregation — which draws about 150 English and Chinese speakers to its Sunday assemblies — has wrestled with the roles of men and women in church leadership.

As far back as the 1970s, late minister Frank Pack, then the chairman of the Bible department at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., suggested that “women could do anything men could do,” Bost said.

Not until years later did Bost’s own Bible study lead her to the same conclusion, she said, but “Frank planted the seed in my heart.”

Read the full story.

This story appears in the March edition of The Christian Chronicle. 

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