Spotlight Story

22 February 2023

Pastor Jacqueline Carpio: Defending Equality for Women in the Christian Ministry

Category: Spotlight Story

Priscilla in the Corinthian church, Phoebe in the church in Rome, Loida, and Eunice, were some of the women recognized in the New Testament for their great impact and contribution to the church and ministry. Jaqueline Carpio is not only one of them, but she is also defending the rights of female pastors to be recognized as ministers with the same responsibilities, rights, and privileges as men – Equality that does not yet exist in all evangelical denominations – .

Jaqueline along with her husband Armando Carpio have been Senior pastors of the Hollywood Church of God in Los Angeles California for 25 years, working for Christian education and ministerial preparation of the hispanic communities.

In addition to the church, Jacqueline is part of different leadership and female empowerment projects, such as the television program "Mujer, Tú eres Valiosa", in which she has served as co-producer and host of the program since 2018. Likewise, she is a member of the Hispanic Leadership Network of the Hispanic Access Foundation, and also leads a long list of academic and community projects.

Jaqueline grew up in the Dominican Republic, reading and listening to the Biblical teachings. At the age of 14 she went to the communities to share the Gospel with the children. “I have a passion for teaching, and I knew that this was my vocation since I was little,” she says.

She studied administration at the Dominican O&M University with the idea of ​​offering his knowledge to the church, and when she had the opportunity, she traveled to North Africa on a mission with the missionary agency Youth with a Mission.

After that experience, Jaqueline immigrated to the United States to serve as an assistant pastor at a church in Los Angeles, California. There she studied for a master's degree in Theology and Pastoral Arts at Azusa Pacific University.

She has been director of Christian education for the Southwestern Hispanic region of the Church of God and has taught in different Bible institutes such as the Latin American Bible Institute in the City of La Puente, California; the School of Missions of the District of the South Pacific, among others. She is also, current member of the Charles Drew University Latino Council of Science and Medicine.

Jacqueline doesn’t master English but from Spanish she has been able to work with Latino migrant populations, specifically pastors' wives, who often provide for their families and the communities in which they work, but do not have a group of support for themselves. “Who does the pastor woman talk to when she feels depressed or anxious? If she is the one who gives that emotional support to others?” says Jacqueline.

But that is not the only issue Jacqueline is concerned about. She has been working hard to advocate for equal rights for women in ministry; in terms of ministerial rank and in being able to participate in the General Council – a group that is normally the official decision-making body and that today is composed only of male bishops – .

“I think the issue is one of interpretation and Biblical Hermeneutics, since for some, according to the Apostle Paul, the role of women was originally interpreted as submission to men and without being able to exercise authority to teach or lead; But, if you dig deeper, you see that what he really defended was the equality of all Christians”, explains Jacqueline.

Jacqueline and a group of women pastors and leaders recently wrote a Manifest explaining how women have historically contributed to the Christian church based on arguments from the Bible itself; as well as other social and cultural aspects where women have transcended today.

However, she is aware that, although there is some support for this initiative and their voices are being heard more, there is still a lack of unity among Latinas aspiring to this ministerial rank in other regions of the U.S. "We need to find a united voice in the U.S. in order to be stronger," she says.

Hispanic Access is inspiring, training, and working with leaders like Pastor Jaqueline Carpio, who have a stake in their community and have the drive for positive change. To help support and continue this work, please consider making a Charitable Donation

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