We are Cooperative Baptists, which bears great significance from other forms of Baptists.
For one, CBF was formed during a time when the local autonomy of the church was being threatened by blanket and strong-armed creedal statements.
CBF’s founding leaders and churches wanted to empower local congregations to live out God’s calling with conviction, contextualization, and authority.
One of the dividing points among Baptist churches at the time of CBF’s founding was the exclusive language used by the Convention against women in ministry. There were enough churches and clergy that stood up to say that we affirm an individual’s call to serve God and God’s church, no matter their gender.
As a congregation that affirms people’s calling into the ministry through all leadership forms within the church, ordination, and empowering of staff, we celebrate Martha Sterns Marshall month.
Martha Stearns Marshall served as a Baptist pastor during the eighteen-century. Along with her husband, David, Martha served the Mohawk Indians. At the start of the French and Indian War, the Marshalls left New England. Settling in Virginia, the couple were influenced by the Philadelphia Baptist Association. During this period the couple was baptized into Regular Baptist tradition.
Eventually the Marshalls settled in Sandy Creek, North Carolina. Here they founded the first Baptist church in the state, along with Martha’s brother, Shubal Stearns.
The couple founded many more churches in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.
Since 2007, Baptist Women in Ministry has invited Baptist churches to participate in Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching by having a woman preach during February. This annual event has been a profoundly significant source of joy and discovery for many women and churches.
This is an opportunity for us to publicly voice our support of women in ministry, to be counted with other Baptist churches in celebrating the calling and gifts of women, and to remind your congregation that God does indeed call women to the work of the kingdom.
Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching provides us all with a chance to celebrate God’s good work in our midst.
On Sunday, February 16, UBC will celebrate Martha Sterns Marshall month. Our guest preacher for the morning will be CBF’s Janeé Tisby.
Janeé is CBF Arkansas Executive Director for Together for Hope.
After serving with Teach for America, a national organization committed to placing teachers in under-resourced school districts, Janeé joined CBF’s Together for Hope in working with people in the 20 of the nation’s poorest counties through a long-term commitment.
Janeé will also be featured during the spiritual formation hour, 9:00-10:00 am, in the Fellowship Hall for a lecture. We hope your Sunday School class will join the conversation.