Wiley Clarkson’s annotated list of gender inclusive Churches of Christ can be found at his website, Where the Spirit Leads. Wiley’s list represents a labor of love and years of work, and with his permission, it serves as the starting point for this crowdsourcing project. Please add to and edit this list so that we can easily provide the most up-to-date and accurate list of gender inclusive Churches of Christ for those seeking this information!
To add to or edit this list, you must register as a website subscriber. Once you are a registered subscriber, you can return to the wiki and then click “edit” at the top right of the wiki frame, add your changes, and save.
Due to the autonomous nature of Church of Christ congregations, the theology and practices of the congregations listed are not uniform. Wiley has developed some “best practices” over the years to provide as full a description of each congregation’s theology and practice as possible. I have streamlined and edited them slightly. Please keep these guidelines in mind, and provide as much information as possible, and please include a hyperlink to the church’s own website. As this project continues, we hope to use this information to create an up-to-date interactive map which can distinguish between churches that practice a fully inclusive gender justice, and churches which practice a limited gender inclusivity.
The guidelines developed for listing these churches are as follows:
a) Are women welcome to use their gifts in leading public worship (leading prayer, giving communion talks, leading singing, and/or reading scripture)?
b) Are women welcome to use their gifts in proclamation by preaching from the pulpit?
c) Are women welcome to use their gifts and knowledge in biblical instruction, to teach all age groups regardless of gender in bible classes?
d) Are women welcome to serve in leadership positions such as pulpit minister, worship leader, deacon, and elder (*not including positions such as children’s minister or women’s minister)?
e) Does the church publish a clear statement of purpose to be an egalitarian church or gender inclusive church on their website?
*We prefer not to list churches where the only position for a woman is the children’s or women’s minister; though this often represents a small step forward, many churches that presently have these staff positions do not allow women to serve or participate in any other part of worship, teaching, or leadership, and thus cannot be characterized as gender inclusive, equal, or just.
Gender Inclusive Churches of Christ: A Wiki Project
Camarillo Church of Christ, Camarillo, CA Alan Beard, senior minister
From an email received from Alan Beard: “I can verify that Camarillo Church of Christ meets the A, B, and C qualifications.”
Conejo Valley Church of Christ, Thousand Oaks, CA. Andy Wall, Preaching Minister
Email from a member:
“Thanks for your work listing gender-inclusive churches. I would encourage you to add the Conejo Valley C of C to your list (Thousand Oaks, Ca). Conditions A, B, and C apply.”
Culver Palms Church of Christ, Los Angeles, CA.Mark Manassee, senior minister
From their website: “God calls men and women to use their gifts in all aspects of the church’s life.”
Palo Alto Church of Christ, Palo Alto, CA Scott Falkowski, Minister
From their website: “We have a number of men and women who serve the church in specific leadership roles.” Women serve as deacons, and in other positions.
Pasadena Church of Christ , Pasadena, CA
From their website: “We are a more progressive Church of Christ that is gender inclusive. We try to live out our Christian walks without the legalism and fundamentalism that has given so many Churches of Christ a bad name. We want a second chance to live out our calling in a fresh way that is enlivened by God’s Holy Spirit…diligently trying to follow Him.”
University Church of Christ, Malibu, CA Rich Little, preaching minister
From their web site: Leadership in worship is not limited to those formally recognized as ministers and elders. You will see Christian men and women from various walks of life taking active roles such as reading Scripture, serving communion, and participating in prayers. We are concerned to include all members in our worship in ways that are biblical, orderly and meaningful.
Littleton Church of Christ, Centennial, CO Collin Packer, Lead Minister
Early in 2013, the Littleton Church of Christ announced an increased role for women in our public assemblies. We seek to be an inclusive community that uses men and women based on giftedness rather than gender. After a long period of study and discernment, the leadership is moving in intentional ways toward a fuller involvement of women. Women are encouraged to teach all ages in our classes. In our worship assemblies, often you will find women saying prayers, reading Scripture, serving communion, giving communion thoughts, and sharing testimonies.
Connecticut Valley Church of Christ Windsor, CT Richard Maddeaux, Minister
“The congregation itself represents a diverse group of servants from a variety of backgrounds; yet as a small congregation, we pursue the integration of each person as an active participant in God’s work in the world. This includes welcoming both men and women to serve. Our belief, after extensive study of scriptures, is that as far as God is concerned there is no distinction between what a man or a woman may do in any gathering of CVCC.”
Stamford Church of Christ Stamford, CT. Dale Pauls, Senior Pulpit Minister; Naomi Walters, Minister-in-Residence
“is a multi-racial, gender-inclusive Church of Christ. We honor as our spiritual heritage those attempts that began in America early in the 19th century to restore the life and spirit of Christianity as envisioned by Jesus and his apostles.” Another early leader in the full equality and inclusion of women in all areas of church service, ministry, and leadership
Northlake Church of Christ, Tucker, GA Carson Reed, Senior Minister
“Because we believe that every person has gifts to serve the church and the world, we welcome both men and women to participate in all ministries and in our worship assemblies. If you would like to learn more”
The Lakeview Church of Christ, Chicago, Il Sean Wicks, Minister
From an email from Sean Wicks: The Lakeview Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois transitioned to being a fully gender-inclusive church in 2010. Since the transition, Lakeview has a 5-person leadership team consisting of 2 women and three men; women regularly participate/have access to all elements of our worship service, including leading worship, giving our welcome address, delivering communion thoughts, praying, reading scripture, making announcements, and preaching a sermon. We are trying to be a gift-oriented church, concentrating on putting to work the gifts of each person in our community.
added on 02-16-13
Franklin Church of Christ Franklin, Indiana Guy Langston, senior minister
From an email from a member/ex-elder: “Women- Serve as Deacons and Ministry Leaders. Oversee communion, Serve communion, Open the service, close the service, Lead the congregation in prayed, Teach in mixed groups, are ministry Leaders. On two occasions have given the Sunday morning lesson (Sermon if you wish), are on the worship team, play instruments, sing solos, duets, etc.”
Church of Christ in Columbia, Maryland K. Rex Butts, Preaching Minister
by Email: “We are a gender inclusive church which affirms the spiritual gifts of both Christian men and women who serve with our church as ministry leaders as we as during worship (offering prayer, communion meditations, reading of scripture, and serving on the worship team
Brookline Church of Christ, Brookline, MA ministers: Chad Smith, Nate Lollar, others
“When worshipping at Brookline you will notice that women participate in public worship more than you may be used to in most Churches of Christ………….Brookline seeks to use the gifts God has given us without regard to gender because we have found two distinct imperatives that compel us to do so. The first imperative is clear in the doctrine of creation. God created humankind as equals-“male and female he created them”.”
Pittsfield Church of Christ, Pittsfield, MA Russell Moody II and Charles Young, ministers
“Our assemblies are intentionally relaxed. Our leadership seeks to utilize the giftedness of all our members. This means that men, women and children may be participating in our worship under the oversight of our elders. We understand the passages in both I Timothy and I Corinthians (often cited to limit women’s participation) to be a corrective of chaotic circumstances. When “decency and order” and “edification” are the norm, everyone is encouraged to participate.”
Ann Arbor Church of Christ Neighborhood Church, Ann Arbor, MI Darryl Canty, minister
From email from Darryl Canty: “At our church we believe that women can do anything except be an elder.”
added on 12/28/2012
Rochester Church of Christ, Rochester Hills, MI. Adam Hill, Minister of the Word
Rochester Church is committed to nurturing and empowering every disciple to most faithfully utilize their gifts in service to Christ, Christ’s Kingdom, the church, and the world. To this end, women regularly use their gifts in our worship assemblies by reading scripture, leading prayer, giving communion talks, leading singing as a part of the praise team and in solos, and participating in dramas. Within our adult Bible classes, women serve as part of our teaching teams, and regularly teach adult Bible classes of both genders. In addition, women are regularly invited to co-preach alongside the Minister of the Word. While women do serve as Ministry Leaders and Pastoral Care Ministers (we do not have “Deacons” as an office currently, although, were it added, women would certainly be included in that office), as of now (Sept, 2013) women are not given the role of Shepherd (elder) or Minister of the Word. While not fully egalitarian at this point, we are committed to justice and inclusion and growth as we live out the gifting and blessing of God together.
Trenton Church of Christ, Trenton, MI. Charlton Taylor, Senior Minister
From an email from Charlton Taylor: “women serve communion, give announcements, sing on a standing praise team, read scripture, participate in drama, teach, serve as ministry leader and we also have women serving on our Vision Team, one of our primary leadership teams.
Troy Church of Christ, Troy, MI.
“After many years of studying and prayerfully reflecting on women’s roles in our public gatherings, our church family concluded that part of being true to Scripture was to include women in various capacities while embracing unity and peace. The result is that both men and women share in the responsibilities of serving during our assembly through Communion, Bible Reading, Prayer and Testimony.”
East Sunshine Church of Christ, Springfield, MO Jay Baker – Coordinating Minister
“Male and Female Participation— While it is non-traditional in many Churches of Christ for women to participate in public roles in worship, at East Sunshine women participate in a variety of ways that we believe are biblical. We believe that men and women are gifted by the Holy Spirit in a way that builds up the church and brings praise to God. In the New Testament, both men and womenused their gifts in the worship assembly for these purposes”
Mid-County Church of Christ, Richmond Heights, MO Jeff Kryder – Senior Minister
“Mid-County Church is a place where people from the Saint Louis area can learn about and experience a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.” Mid-County is a congregation where women take part in leading worship and teaching adult bible classes.
Monmouth Church of Christ, Tinton Falls, NJ
From an email from Ashok Bruno, Elder, Monmouth Church of Christ: “We allow women to serve as deacons, welcome the congregation, read scripture, and make announcements.” The following link is to a MS Word 97 document on their web site regarding the role of women at Monmouth http://www.monmouthchurch.org/Reference/Misc/Role%20of%20Women.doc. I have converted the document to html for those who do not have access to MS Word 97: Role of Women
Los Alamos Church of Christ, Los Alamos, NM Tim Stidham Pulpit Minister
“Service in worship is not limited to those formally recognized as ministers or elders. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. You will see Christian men and women from various walks of life taking active roles such as reading Scripture, preparing us for communion, and participating in prayers. We want to include all members in our worship in ways that are, biblical, orderly and meaningful.”
new addition on 11-05-12
Montgomery Church of Christ, Albuquerque, NM Pulpit minister position: open at this time
Received from a member: “We only recently enacted a policy to allow women to SERVE communion, deliver messages for the bread and fruit of the vine and the offering message. Today, for the first time, one of our former elders’ wives BAPTIZED a woman with whom she has been studying. The elders are now ALWAYS accompanied by their wives…in encouraging people to come forward at the end of services, in attending training programs for elders, etc……. We have an excellent Praise Team and Worship Leader, our services are wonderful. We also have a female Children’s minister and had a female Administrative minister……”
Manhattan Church of Christ New York, NY Dr. Thomas Robinson, Senior Minister
“A community of people on a spiritual journey together. We are striving to grow in devotion to God and in service to people.” Not fully gender inclusive at leadership level at this time but was one of the leaders in including females in most areas of church service, ministry, worship, and teaching. They have gender equality and inclusive teaching material on their resources page.
West Islip Church of Christ, West Islip, New York Jesse Pettengill, minister
“is dedicated to serving the community and spreading the ministry of Jesus. We praise God joyfully and reflectively in worship services designed to let everyone participate—men and women, young and old.” This congregation is an early leader in the gender equality and gender inclusive movement. It had the first husband and wife preaching team in the churches of Christ. West Islip is fully inclusive at all levels of church involvement and leadership.
Cole Mill Road Church of Christ Durham, NC Patrick Messer, pulpit minister
by email from Patrick Messer:
Lead singing, prayers, communion meditations, and welcome in worship service along with serving communion
Teach classes of all ages with participants of any gender
Serve as Youth and Families Minister
Serve on our Ministry Coordinating Committee (replacement for deacons) to lead various ministries of our church
Female Ministry leaders listed on website along with rest of MCC members
Providence Road Church of Christ, Charlotte, NC Jeff Walling, Senior Minister
Providence Road has two unique services. The early service is a traditional service. The late service is a contemporary service which includes female participation in the service as noted by an online video on their web site explaining their services.
Dayspring Church of Christ , Edmond, OK
This information was received via email from Linda King, Adult Education: “Dayspring Church of Christ in Edmond, Oklahoma, has been practicing gender equality (or as some describe it, full gift inclusivity) for over 15 years. We have no gender-specific offices, roles, or traditions in our congregation’s life and practices.”
East County Church of Christ, Gresham, Oregon
Minister of the Word, Lewis Robinson
–Is gender inclusive and may be added to your list, with A,B, and C applying. Women sometimes lead prayer, give communion talks, serve communion, sing on praise teams, teach mixed auditorium classes, do guest preaching, and serve as ministry servants (deacons).
Agape Church of Christ, Portland, Or Ron Clark, preaching minister.
By email from Ron Clark: “is fully gender inclusive church that is focused on outreach and empowering people, especially women, to do ministry.”
Westside Church of Christ, Hillsboro, Or Aaron Metcalf, minister
Verified by email: “Westside Church of Christ in Hillsboro, Oregon is gender-inclusive in worship, teaching and most leadership (we don’t have women serving in the role of elder at this time). Women do lead worship, pray and read scripture publicly, lead the L.S., teach adult bible classes and help lead Westside’s overall ministry efforts.”
Woodmont Hills Church, Nashville, TN.
Dean Barham, senior minister; Meredith Moseley, church life minister; Joan Gregory, minister of caring services; David Sessions, youth minister; Claire Frederick, children & family minister; Robin Brannon, worship minister; Jesse Baker, middle school minister; Reid Hillin, college minister.
The Woodmont Hills Church recently announced a policy change that invites women to serve in all roles with the exception of elder, pulpit minister, and primary worship minister. Women are on staff as various types of ministers, they serve as deacons, lead public prayers, read scripture, present devotional thoughts, give testimonies, deliver communion meditations, serve communion, and sing on the praise team. Women have led worship during special assemblies (Sunday and Wed. nights) and women regularly teach adult bible classes.
Otter Creek Church of Christ, Brentwood, TN
Mike Runcie, Executive Minister; Josh Graves, Preaching & Teaching Minister
Otter Creek Church invites men and women to serve, based on giftedness, in ministry, worship gatherings (communion, prayers, music, readings, testimony), deacon/deaconess oversight leadership, all forms of adult education and spiritual formation. We are still wrestling with what it means to be a community based on giftedness through baptism.
Maury Hill Church, Columbia, TN. Russ Adcox, senior minister
Published on their website: Our belief is that women can participate in any activity of the assembly and serve in any capacity of the church with the exception of serving as an elder or senior minister.
Bering Drive Church of Christ Houston, TX. Dr. Jeff Christian, Preaching Minister
Possibly the oldest fully gender inclusive church in Texas with “a mission to bring people into a relationship with God, in a community of Jesus’ disciples, seeking Biblical, nondenominational Christianity, and serving others in the compassion and power of the Holy Spirit.”
Burke Road Church, Pasedena, TX Ken Boggs, preaching minister
This church has male and female deacons listed on their website.
Highland Church of Christ Abilene, TX Jonathan Storment, preaching minister
By email: “Highland Church of Christ is not totally inclusive at this time but it does have several women ministers on staff and women are utilized in the worship.”
Heights Church of Christ Houston, TX Dr. Lynn Mitchell, preacher Ann Bayliss, co-preacher
“We welcome Ann Bayliss, our new co-preacher, to Heights Church of Christ!” This is a fully egalitarian Church of Christ.
Mercy Street Church of Christ Abilene, TX. Stan Baldwin, minister
The Mercy Street Church of Christ is a new church planting that is a multi-racial, multi-cultural, gender-inclusive Church of Christ. Read about this Church of Christ in an article published by theReporterNews.com, an online news site for Abilene, Texas.
Minter Lane Church of Christ Abilene, TX. Albert Acosta, pulpit minister
Received via email from Albert Acosta: “We currently are characterized by the categories A and B”.
Plymouth Park Church of Christ Irving, TX John Ketchersid, minister
By personal conversation with John Ketchersid. An ecumenical, gender-inclusive, kingdom-centered body of Christians serving the city of Irving, TX. This congregation is fully gender inclusive at all levels of service, ministry, and leadership.
Preston Road Church of Christ, Dallas, TX Wade Hodges, lead minister
Received in an email from Wade Hodges: “women pass communion and read scripture on Sunday mornings. Also make announcement. Women teach co-ed classes on Sunday mornings on some occassions.”
Southwest Central Church of Christ, Houston, TX. Steve Sandifer – Pastoral Care Minister
From their website: “Another tradition we have here at SWC is the participation of women in our worship services in prayer, reading or serving the Lord’s Supper. After years of study, we have come to see God leading us to this practice as a way of declaring that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).”
Southwind Church, Mansfield, TX Lonnie Gentry, Minister
Southwind is a fully egalitarian church. From an email from Lonnie Gentry: “We are a young and small church, but we are fully committed to gender inclusiveness. At Southwind, a woman can do anything a man can do. Women serve on our board, as shepherds, lead worship, have preached, etc.” From the website: “Many (but certainly not all) of our members have backgrounds in Churches of Christ and/or Christian Churches. As a result, we participate in some activities associated with these churches (like Leadership Training for Christ). In belief and practice we are at the more progressive end of this fellowship (compare The Hills Church of Christ or Compass Christian Church)”
Sunset Ridge Church of Christ, San Antonio, TX. John Harp, Senior Minister
From their website: “We are a gift-inclusive church, meaning leadership in worship is not limited to men or those formally recognized as ministers or elders. You will see both men and women taking an active role using their gifts such as leading singing, reading Scripture, presiding over and serving communion, and participating in prayers. We strive to include all members in our worship in ways that we believe are biblical, orderly and meaningful.”
Tahoka Church of Christ, Tahoka, TX. Steve Bonner, Minister
by email: “Women have been included in the worship by serving communion, making announcements, and reading Scripture.” and a conversation with three members on 04/28/2012: “Two women will be installed as deacons on Sunday, May 6, 2012”
The Hills Church (Richland Hills Church of Christ): North Richland Hills, TX. Rick Atchely, Minister
The following information is supplied by a member: “we have women leading prayers in worship, also on occasion, little girls leading prayers in worship and reading Scripture in worship, also women leading worship. We are working toward getting women to serve communion and to usher”
The Hills Church of Christ West Ft. Worth Campus Ft. Worth, TX Kyle Kiser, Campus Minister
The West Ft. Worth Campus of the Hills Church of Christ is about two years old and is located in far west Ft. Worth on I.30. Women presently lead prayer, worship, and participate in other worship activities. According to a member of this campus of The Hills Church of Christ, over the next year, there are plans to move steadily to a much stronger egalitarian position at all levels of church involvement and worship.
The Vine Church, a church of Christ fellowship, Temple, TX Sean Palmer, minister
From Sean Palmer: “We have women ministry leaders, women teach mixed adult classes, women have made announcements, women sing solos and sing on our praise team, voice prayers in small groups, lead prayer on Wednesday nights, and make Wednesday night devotional talks. We sing both accapella and instrumental, but more instrumental. We have long been considered the more progressive and non-traditional church of Christ in our area.”
University Avenue Church of Christ, Austin, TX Eddie Sharp, Minister
From their website: “Thank you for your interest in University Avenue Church of Christ. In our worship services, women are asked to sing, read Scripture, offer prayers, make announcements, and help with the Lord’s Supper.”
added on 05/30/2013
Roanoke Church of Christ, Roanoke, VA Keith Wagner, minister
Received from member Mike Brown: “Roanoke became gender inclusive in the early 90s after a period of study and discernment.”
added on 01/05/2013
Springfield Church of Christ, Springfield, VA
From their website: Everyone is invited to participate in our worship services. On any given Sunday, we may have men, women, the young and the old singing, reading scripture, serving communion and leading prayer. For some in our tradition, this is unusual. You are invited to read our thoughts on this here
added on 04/24/2013
Federal Way Church of Christ, Federal Way, WA Ben Ries, preaching minister
by email from Ben Ries: “If you were to come on a Sunday morning you will find both male and female voices present in our worship. Women will often lead our welcome/call to worship, read scripture, pray, pass communion trays, lead our practice of dwelling (a kind of lectio divina) and share testimony. Women also teach adult bible classes, sometimes by themselves, sometimes in partnership with others. We also have a women ministry leaders (aka deaconesses) and a woman youth minister who leads our 7th-12th grade ministry.”
Mandrake Road Church of Christ, Madison, WI Roy Ratcliff, minister & elder
by email from Roy Ratcliff: “we use women in the worship to help lead worship by leading prayer and Bible reading, we use women to teach adult Bible classes, and we have a woman deacon.”
Followers of Christ, Brantford, Ontario Rick Gamble, minister
from an email from Rick: “Women participate in every aspect of our worship, including leading communion and preaching, and Susan is our worship leader. It’s truly remarkable what God can do and how he can bless his people when you unshackle more than 50 per cent of his people to attain their full potential. Unlike most churches from our heritage, we also involve women in congregational leadership. Our leaders are identified through an extensive Spiritual Gifts investigation we do every three years or so, and gender is not used to exclude anyone.”
(Followers of Christ is a Restoration Movement church with roots in the Churches of Christ. Also, Rick publishes an email titled Cross Current, which is a true, historical story with a Christian application. The archive for Cross Current is on my personal web site at http://www.clarksons.org/CrossCurrent/crosscurrent.html)
Stoney Creek Church of Christ Ontario
From an email a member: “women serve by being worship leaders, leading prayers, and serving communion…women teach at all levels, including adult classes…one woman on our Servant Leaders team”
Shelbourne Street Church of Christ, Victoria Daniel Patstone, associate minister
Women serve as deacons and are identified on their web site.