Double Jeopardy: Racism and Sexism -- By: Tina Saxon

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 03:3 (Summer 1989)
Article: Double Jeopardy: Racism and Sexism
Author: Tina Saxon

Double Jeopardy: Racism and Sexism

Tina Saxon

The Rev. Tina T. Saxon is a D.Min. candidate at Andover Newton Theological School

The view from my window here at Andover Newton Theological School is quite picturesque. The small chapel in the background of deep green grass is surrounded by many beautiful trees, enhanced by a warm sun as we near spring’s end. This is fertile soil for contemplating past events of my life while looking toward a future as warm and bright as this day.

It was four years ago this very month, May of 1985, that I received a Master of Divinity degree and also was ordained into Christian Ministry at an American Baptist church in West Newton. It also was at this time over 32 years ago, at the age of 18, that I announce my “call” to my family as we were finishing up dinner one Sunday afternoon after church. “I want to be a pastor. I want to preach about Jesus Christ and His healing power and love. That’s all I want to do for the rest of my life.”

My aunt and uncle were gathered along with my mother and me. My uncle, a long-time deacon in the Baptist church, yelled, “Answer me, where did you get such nonsense? Show me in the Bible where God called a woman to preach?” My mother and my aunt had always been my inspiration for the many times I had “spoken” in church services. They encouraged me to teach in Sunday School, organize Baptist Training Union at our church, begin a Gospel choir, raise money for the building fund, lead prayer and Bible groups. This and more all by the time I was 18! Yet, now they were silent as my uncle yelled. My mother quickly left the dining room, went into the kitchen, and began to wash the dishes. My aunt sat there head down, absolutely silent.

I could not “show” him where this came from. I could only “feel” this was what God wanted for me. So I ran out of the room, too. Why didn’t my mother and my aunt come to my aid? They attended church quite often. Their faith was very strong, and I wanted to be like them. Now, they were denying the very thing they had taught me. I could not understand this. I read into their silence that in some way they agreed with him. I felt let down and unsupported. It took me twenty years to get over this feeling and answer my call.

All of this is past. I have been the Interim Pastor at three different churches. I have served as Associate Pastor of two churches. I am confident that what I “felt” thirty-two years ago was truly the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. My course work for the Doctor of Ministry Degree is completed. I am planning to graduate in May of 1990. I hope that day will be as beautiful as this day.

My doctoral project proposal concerns itself with the iss...

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