The most important ingredient to a successful ministry is the powerful presence of God, missionary to Romania Raegan Glugosh said in the opening session of the "Voices and Faces of Women in Ministry" presentation Wednesday evening. The Network for Women in Ministry held a reception for credentialed women at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, during General Council 2015.
Judy Rachels, Women in Ministry Network director, welcomed over 340 women to the event designed to network and encourage women ministers. Attendees heard from seven credentialed women on the theme of being Spirit-empowered.
"God's presence is His power," Glugosh said. "Seek His presence; be in His presence. You will find all you need to live a Spirit-empowered life."
Sarah Malcolm, who serves as AG U.S. Missions Chi Alpha campus pastor at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, said, "We are reconciling students to Christ so that they can change the world."
Ruth Oberg, lead pastor at Council Bluffs, Iowa, shared her story of being voted in as pastor. She encouraged attendees to be steadfast in their calling.
"Be confident personally," Oberg said. "Do not hold back -- you are never out of your place when you're in the place God put you in."
"A Spirit-empowered woman is not perfect, but she knows who she is in Christ," said Kelly Preston, lead pastor of Eastside Community Church in Columbus, Ohio. "He gives us everything we need to fulfill our callings. He has chosen you, and He will work through you, as you continue to pray for Spirit-empowerment."
Kristi Northup, pastor and worship leader in Metairie, Louisiana, led an original worship song she composed during a time when her husband was struggling with illness. "When Healing Comes" was based on Isaiah 53:5. Northup shared about the season of her husband's illness: "We did not learn as much about church planting, but we did learn about healing."
"I am passionate about being Spirit-empowered because I can live out the call that Christ has given me," said Doretha O'Quinn, provost of Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. "I live out the fulfillment of God's plan through being totally dependent on the Spirit to release the gifts He has given me."
Maricela Hernandez, secretary-treasurer of the Texas Gulf Hispanic District, told attendees that a decade ago, she began praying for God to raise up women, but that God responded that her prayers needed more substance. She began praying scriptural prayers for women, from Romans 12:2, that women would not be conformed to the world; from Proverbs 31, for women to impact their society; and from Joshua 4, for women who will declare His glory to the generations. In 2014, as she was elected to her position, she studied church statistics that helped her realize that her prayers had been answered. The number of credentialed women has increased, and she discovered that in nine out of 67 districts more than 30 percent of credential holders are women.
Nonda Houston, Southern California Network Women's Ministries director, encouraged the audience that, "Since you have now heard these stories, they can become your own. That's the strength of networking -- when we see the power of God working in the lives of others."
Previous Network for Women in Ministry directors Jodi Detrick and Beth Grant concluded in prayers of thanksgiving, blessing, and encouragement for the credentialed women attending.