Hendersonville church calls second woman pastor
Associated Baptist Press
May 12, 2009

Hendersonville church calls second woman pastor

Hendersonville church calls second woman pastor
Associated Baptist Press
May 12, 2009

HENDERSONVILLE — Providence Baptist Church in Hendersonville

has called Julie Merritt Lee as pastor, succeeding its first pastor Gail

Coulter, also female.

Tabernacle Baptist web site

Julie Merritt Lee

Many female ministers run into what they term a

“stained-glass ceiling” that blocks them from achieving the role of senior


Coulter was assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in

Asheville before becoming Providence’s first pastor in 2002. Providence sought

membership in the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), but

determined to affiliate nationally with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

(CBF) instead of the Southern Baptist Convention.

That decision, coupled with calling a female pastor,

prompted two Baptist associations to refuse to accept the church, making it

ineligible to receive church-starting funds from the state convention.

The CBF-NC and five CBF-related churches sponsored the new


No record of contribution to the work of the BSC has been

recorded from Providence since at least 2005, according to BSC offices.

Lee, a 2005 graduate of Baylor University’s George W. Truett

Theological Seminary, currently is a pastoral resident at Wilshire Baptist

Church in Dallas.

George Mason, Wilshire’s senior pastor, said Providence

Baptist Church is making a good choice.

“Julie is a gifted and capable pastor,” Mason said. “Whether

preaching, teaching, counseling, leading worship, raising and managing a

budget, or casting a vision for the church, Julie knows the work and is ready

for the challenge. Our church heartily acknowledges and recommends her pastoral

gifts and graces.”