Role model for Baptist women in ministry dies
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
March 02, 2011

Role model for Baptist women in ministry dies

Role model for Baptist women in ministry dies
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
March 02, 2011

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Evelyn Stagg, 96, a trailblazer for

Southern Baptist women in ministry, died Feb. 28.

Born Evelyn Owen in Ruston, La., she was married for 66

years to Frank Stagg, a professor at two Southern Baptist Convention seminaries

for more than 30 years, who died in 2001.

In 1978 they co-authored Woman in the

World of Jesus, a work that inspired a generation of women preparing for

ministry until more conservative voices seized control of the denomination and

went on record against women’s ordination.

The book addressed women’s roles in the contemporary church

by exploring the status of women in the world that Jesus entered, how Jesus

related to women in his ministry and the status of women in the New Testament


Between 1935 and 1938, while Frank Stagg was enrolled in the

master of divinity program at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in

Louisville, Ky., Evelyn took the same classes and sat for all the exams.

In those days the seminary did not grant degrees to women,

but she performed well enough that she was asked to grade papers for beginning

students in New Testament Greek.

Throughout their marriage, she worked behind the scenes as

the first reader and unofficial editor for dozens of journal articles and 10

books written by her husband.

In later years Mercer University awarded her an honorary

degree to recognize her early scholastic achievement and lifetime of shared


She is survived by her three children, six grandchildren and

three great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at a future date.

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