Women in Black Baptist circles knew that it was a matter of time before one of their own was named to lead a major church organization.
Female clergy describe having a sense of anticipation for years before this summer’s elevation of the Rev. Gina Stewart to president of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, a 124-year-old movement of about 10,000 volunteers and contributors based in Maryland.
“We knew Gina Stewart was going to become the president in 2021,” said the Rev. Leslie Callahan, pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Callahan said “there was excitement and energy” as Stewart rose in the ranks of the society from second vice president to first vice president to its top position.