Book Description

“Who is she? What is she like?” “She is a lot more down to earth than I thought.” “She is always trying to run something.” “She should be more active in the church.”

There is no lack of curiosity or opinions about the woman who serves as First Lady in Black church. Spoken and unspoken, there are expectations associated with being married to the pastor. Yet, every woman in the role approaches it differently depending on who she is, what her husband expects and the context of the church. Through a collection of 19 personal stories of African American pastors’ wives diverse in age, denomination and standpoint, The First Lady explores how these women define and negotiate their diverse roles as pastors’ wives while balancing the expectations of both their husbands and congregations.

What Others Are Saying!

  • The First Lady is filled with wisdom in an intimate manner, from individuals who live life through a faith lens, and yet sustain their humanity, humility and sensibility.”

    Dr. Stephanie Helms Pickett
    Director of the Women’s Center, Duke University
  • The First Lady represents a much-needed contribution to bridge the gap between scholarship and “mother wit” through the lens of black women in the church who are often seen, but not heard, nor asked about our diverse experiences as wives of pastors.”

    Rev. Dana Patterson Nelson
    First Lady of Second Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo.
  • “This book is a brilliant compilation of powerful life-changing experiences from pastors’ wives from around the globe that’s sure to inspire pastors’ wives, while giving pastors and laity alike the opportunity to understand what it’s really like to walk in our shoes.”

    Rev. Felica R. Thompson
    First Lady and Director of Women's Ministries Simon Temple A.M.E. Zion Church, NC

The First Lady Contributors

Canise Bean
Dianne Cleaver
Sandra Crowder
Stephanie Crowder
Judith Davis
Gail Dudley
Terri Gaiter-Sutton
Louise Garr
Andrea Hayles
Joycelyn Lewis
Rhonda Raney
Rita Russell
Ann Shaw
Denise Stovall
Wanda Taylor-Smith
Emelda Tolbert
Carolyn Traylor
Vanessa Ward
Pamela Wooden