Women Preach Sunday

In honor of  International Women’s Day (March 8, 2024), the USA Western Territory held its first annual “Woman Preach Day” on Sunday, March 3.  The goal was to have as many pulpits in the territory to be filled by women.

From left to right, top to bottom: Captain Dora Stearns, Captain Mysti Birks, Major Toni Halstad, Captain Dina Cisneros, Captain Maureen Lawliss, Major Monica Covert

We celebrate the beautiful heritage that we as women have in The Salvation Army. Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army, was an accomplished preacher and wrote a pamphlet entitled, Female Ministry or Woman’s Right to Preach the Gospel in 1859, which systematically refuted claims that women shouldn’t preach. She wrote,

“[W]e think that we shall be able to show, by a fair and consistent interpretation…[t]hat not only is the public ministry of  woman not forbidden, but absolutely enjoyed by both precept and example in the word of God.  She also wrote, “And we find from Church history that the primitive Christians understood it; for that women did actually speak and preach amongst them we have indisputable proof.”

From left to right, top to bottom: Major Noelle Nelson, Captain Bridget McCort, Captain Stephanie Pavlakis, Captain Jamie Stokes, Captain Tanya Pemberton, Major Dina Graciani

Colonel Genevera Vincent, Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries challenges us with these words: 

“As women we have been given a sacred privilege of preaching the Living, Breathing Word of God. This is a privilege not to be taken lightly but one that should fill us with joy…we get to share the Word!  As women, God has gifted us with a voice, He has given us something to say—so let’s avail of every opportunity to use this God given privilege and preach the Word with power and conviction.”

From left to right, top to bottom: Captain Deanna Markham, Major Harryette Raihl, Captain Felicia LeMar, Captain Stephanie Philpot, Major Lawry Smith, Captain Martha Apuan

We had three retired officers also participate: Lt. Colonel Shawn Posillico preaching in Prescott, AZ, Major Flo Murray preaching in Sitka, AK and Major Willdonna Rich preaching in Concord, CA.

From left to right: Major Flo Murray, Major Willdonna Rich, Lt. Colonel Shawn Posillico

Not only officers, but soldiers shared the morning message. Kittura Wimer preached at San Diego Centre City Corps, CA. Ellen Lasater preached in Auburn, CA. Alina Santamaria preached in Flagstaff, AZ while her mother, Major Sybil Smith preached in Torrance, CA.

From left to right, top to bottom: Kittura Wimer, Ellen Lasater
Alina Santamaria, Major Sybil Smith

Commissioner Colleen Riley, Territorial President of Women’s Ministries shares this from her heart:

Women who are called by God, it is our privilege to share His gospel with the world. Let’s take up the mantle and preach. The world for Jesus.” #womenpreach

From left to right, top to bottom: Captain Amber Ohl, Major Jennifer Masango
Major Shevaun Malone, Captain Heather Baze, Captain Heather Pope

Congratulations to the Alaska Division, who had all their corps, including the three run by single men, fill their pulpits with a woman preacher!

From left to right, top to bottom:
Major Jennifer Erickson-King, Captain Serena Woods, Captain Monica Kyle, Major Tina Bottjen,
Captain Heather Witcher, Captain Belle Green, Major Barbara Wehnau, Major Gina Halverson,
Lt. Rosie Tollerud, Captain Minhee Lee, Captain Michelle Josephson, Captain Shelby Qualls

Women, your voices needs to be heard.  We pray that women will continue to fill our pulpits and preach the Word of God.  Start preparing now for next year, when we celebrate “Women Preach Sunday” on March  2, 2025.

From left to right: Commissioner Colleen Riley, Colonel Genevera Vincent