By Salaam Green
For the Birmingham Times
A number of women pastors and preachers throughout the Birmingham metro area are making a difference. These women of God effectively lead congregations to follow Christ through corporate evangelism that allows them to promote healthy communities and mentor women and youth.
Among the local women having an impact are Associate Pastor Sheila Williams of Hopewell African American Methodist Episcopalian (AME) Church in Birmingham; Executive Pastor Mikela Williams of Agape Ministries in Fairfield; and Minister Tonya Wilson of New Beginning Christian Ministries in the Kingston community.
Women have always been prominent at the annual session of the National Baptist Congress which holds its 110th annual session June 12-17 in Birmingham.
On Tuesday, June 14, Dr. Sheila M. Bailey, President of Sheila B Ministries of Dallas, TX, is the featured speaker at the Women of Wisdom luncheon. The event is at noon in the Sheraton Birmingham Ballroom.
“Females don’t do anything different than men. We are just as called,” said Pastor Sheila Williams. “Acts 2:17 says, ‘I will pour out my Spirt on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy.…’ We do what we are supposed to do.”
Pastor Sheila Williams, alongside her husband Pastor Roosevelt Williams III, has been serving and promoting healthy communities since 1992. As a board-certified counselor and social worker, she leads by example to further the church’s mission of helping the congregation and surrounding area grow in the knowledge of the word and see the will of God.
On Tuesdays, Sheila Williams teaches a midday Bible study for senior citizens that reaches about 20 to 25 people within the congregation and community. On Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m., Hopewell AME opens a soup kitchen, where Sheila Williams serves as a mentor alongside the Daughters of Zion ministry, which was founded under her leadership.
Sheila Williams also has been elected to serve as the coordinator of a unique food-delivery service through the AME church’s district feeding project, which operates out of the Daniel Payne Community Plaza Building in Birmingham. The food truck travels every month to different locations, delivering healthy food to communities while evangelizing the word of God.
“As the coordinator, I am proud to have been chosen to lead a call of action that provides healthy food options to citizens of this city and state,” Sheila Williams said. “Females are just as capable, available, and flexible. I never grow tired. It energizes me to serve this community and evangelize the cause of Christ and see so many come to know Him as a result of this initiative.”
Mikela Williams, executive pastor of Fairfield’s Agape Ministries, believes her success in ministry and community evangelism comes from the encouragement and support of her pastor and mentor Dr. Calvin Moore, senior pastor of Agape Ministries.
“He is an awesome pastor who believes in me sometimes more than I believe in myself. He uplifts me, giving me opportunities based on my gifts,” Mikela Williams said.
Agape Ministries is planning a community picnic in July, where diverse congregations throughout the city of Fairfield will unify through corporate evangelism.
“As a woman ministering and leading a congregation, I have unique insight as a sister, daughter, and mother,” Mikela Williams said.
In addition to mentoring her own children’s friends while supporting aging parents and family members, Mikela Williams conducts one-on-one biblical counseling sessions in her home and at the church, expanding her reach to lead people to Christ in nontraditional settings.
Minister Tonya Wilson of New Beginning Christian Ministries is a board member for the Exchange Club Center for Parents and Families in Birmingham and serves as a voice for the needs of single mothers and youth in the Kingston community.
“I left my corporate human resources job to accept the calling to preach,” said Wilson, who provides outreach with her husband Pastor Sylvester Wilson. “In the role of community preacher, I help prepare single mothers and young women for workplace and life success. My ultimate goal is to teach Christ in such a way that young women see that they have value.”