Women’s Leadership Consultation at Golden Gate Seminary

Who is My Neighbor? Reaching the World at My Doorstep.

“We live in a very diverse world, even in our own neighborhood,” said Ann Iorg, wife of Golden Gate Seminary President Jeff Iorg and host of the 2013 Women’s Leadership Consultation, a yearly conference which rotates between the six Southern Baptist seminaries. This year's conference theme was "Who is My Neighbor? Reaching the World at My Doorstep." It was designed for women leaders and future leaders in the local church, and attended by ministry directors, teachers, ministry leaders' wives, and other women who serve in the church.

Mrs. Iorg welcomed more than 200 women on February 23, noting that “Jesus challenges us to be observant and reach out to those around us. No one person can do everything, but together we can make quite a difference in the lives of people both near and far.”

The women who attended came from both near and far, from the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, Washington, and Nevada, as well as the speakers who came from across the U.S. More than 35 churches were represented, and several languages were spoken.

The keynote speaker was Alicia Wong, a Golden Gate grad who currently serves as Assistant Professor of Women’s Ministries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. Wong discussed Luke 10:36-37, the scripture verse for the conference, “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor? The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.” Wong explained that your neighbor can be anyone, not constricted by racial or geographical boundaries. “This parable demonstrates we are to be neighborly to everyone along the way on our journey, not only our next door neighbor,” she said.

In addition to Wong’s two keynotes, 14 seminars were offered by a variety of Southern Baptist women leaders including “Studying the Bible for Personal Growth and Teaching” led by Dorothy Patterson, Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and wife of seminary president Paige Patterson. Chris Adams, Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources, presented “Why Have a Women’s Ministry?” Eva De La Rosa, specialist for Women’s Ministries and Missions, California Southern Baptist Convention, led “Faces in the Crowd,” and Ann Gill, Director of Samobang at Golden Gate Seminary and a pastor’s wife, led a Korean Language Seminar.

Darlene Jolly, church mission leader and former member of CA FasTrak Women’s Leadership Team in Sacramento, described how she attended “because of the theme, which is so appropriate here in California. Also, the tremendous state leadership team and national conference leaders were a draw. Not only was I enlightened and encouraged by the conference activities, it was an incredible inspiration to be a better leader to others.”

Courtney Veasy, a Golden Gate alum and itinerant speaker for women's and teenage girl conferences, stated that she attended the Women's Leadership Consultation “because it gave me a chance to reconnect with my friends and other female ministry leaders in the Bay Area.”

Janai Powell, a current Golden Gate student as well as administrative assistant to President Iorg, explained that she attended “because I see how important it is to be edified, encouraged, and educated by other women in ministry. I loved the whole-group sessions where we could all worship and learn from the speaker together, the specialized sessions where we could hear on a specific topic of interest to us, and the more intimate setting at the afternoon café where we could hear of other women’s ministries around the world.”

Mary Nell McCoy, a retired music teacher and co-chair of the music department at San Lorenzo (CA) Unified School District, is also the wife of a Golden Gate professor. She serves at Petaluma Valley Baptist Church in the music program and on their Missions and Personnel Committees. “Since I just retired last year, I’m finally able to attend this conference, and I brought a carload of women from church with me. In addition to the seminars, I enjoyed seeing people from different churches, many of whom I had not seen in a long while.”