Women in Leadership

Tales from the Cult is a website dedicated to preserving important artifacts from a church in Eau Claire where horrific spiritual abuse took place over several years. If you haven’t read the About This Site page, please do so before reading any article here.


There is a long conversation to be had here about the debate within religious sects regarding women having roles in churches.

The church I grew up in employed female pastors1. They were fully ordained and were equal to their male counterparts. Many people had a problem with that. I never understood why.

My current church, post-Valleybrook, has only one pastor, and that pastor is male. At one point he talked about how the denomination comes down on women in leadership, and from what I remember (and please don’t hold me to this, I might be remembering this very wrong) the gist is that women can absolutely be leaders within the church, but they should not be pastors. I can’t remember if they can be Elders/Overseers/Deacons2. I don’t think they can.

So, I’m just going to jump into the document here. Doug wrote this paper on Valleybrook’s stance on women in leadership. It’s a point of view. Take from it what you will, it is merely presented here to be preserved.

You can download it here, and it’s available on the Media page.

As a reminder, the Discussion page is available if you’d like to talk to other readers about the content. You’ll need to make a free account to be able to post, but that’s only for accountability purposes. (Example, if your comments are consistently abusive in nature, I can just take away your commenting privileges. Likewise, once you’ve made your first comment, future comments from you won’t be held for moderation )

One last bit of housekeeping, there is one post yet to come today, and then I’m off for the weekend. I’ll be back with some audio posts on Monday!


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  1. It also employed gay pastors, which was fairly divisive for the church. 
  2. For Valleybrook, they’re called Overseers. For my current church, they’re Elders. For my original church growing up, they’re Deacons. They all do pretty much the same thing. There was at least one female Overseer at Valleybrook that I knew of. 
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