Today’s worship service centers on John 4:1-42, Jesus encounter with the woman at the well. Julie Gaines sermon is entitled “Surprise!”. Worship leaders include Art and Beth Wright, Sanctuary Choir, Julie Sisson, Bya Wann, Brynne S., Jessica Corbitt and the Church Staff.
Today, we join dozens of Baptist Churches around the world in recognition of Martha Stearns Marshall, an eighteenth-century Separate Baptist preacher. She often stood alongside her brother Shubal Stearns and spoke at Baptist meetings. Martha also assisted her husband Daniel Marshall in his churches and preached to his congregations. In 1810, Virginia Baptist historian Robert Semple wrote of Marshall’s contributions to Baptist work, “Mr. Marshall had a rare felicity of finding in this lady, a Priscilla, a helper in the gospel. In fact, it should not be concealed that his extraordinary success in the ministry, is ascribable in no small degree, to Mrs. Marshall’s unwearied, and zealous co-operation. Without the shadow of a usurped authority over the other sex, Mrs. Marshall, being a lady of good sense, singular piety, and surprising elocution, has, in countless instances melted a whole concourse into tears by her prayers and exhortations!‘”
In 2007, Baptist Women in Ministry instituted the Martha Stearns Marshall Day of Preaching to invite churches to encourage women to preach. On the first Sunday of February each year, we will join together to celebrate hearing the voices of women as they preach in pulpits across the United States. As more women enter the ministry, churches have a greater opportunity to welcome them into their pulpits. Today, we welcome and offer gratitude to Julie Gaines, one of our own, as she steps behind the pulpit to preach the Gospel.