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Historic Bethany Baptist Church to Ordain First Woman


pg15_sfaithholmanBROOKLYN, NY, November 29, 2016 – For the first time in its 133-year history, Bethany Baptist Church will ordain a woman to the gospel ministry. The Ordination Service for Minister S. Faith Holman will be held at Bethany, 460 Marcus Garvey Blvd., on Sunday, December 4, at 4:00 pm. The Reverend Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, Senior Pastor of the historic Brooklyn church since 2014, will preach the Ordination sermon.

“While there are numerous female preachers across New York and the country, this elevation is distinctly an example of ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ at Bethany,” said Dr. Lacey. “It was not until 2008 that a woman (The Reverend Dr. Barbara Lucas) stepped into the pulpit to preach at this church. I am pleased and unashamedly proud to welcome Minister Holman to the full rank and duties of an ordained minister and to present her as The Reverend S. Faith Holman. She is an enthusiastic worshipper, a dedicated nurturer of God’s people and a willing and faithful proclaimer of the Gospel.”

Several female ministers will take part in the Ordination Service, including The Reverend Lisa D. Jenkins, St. Matthew’s Baptist Church, who will preside over the worship service; The Reverend Emma Jordan Simpson, Concord Baptist Church; The Reverend Dr. Sandra Gould, New Jerusalem Baptist Church; and The Reverend Dr. Sharon Codner-Walker, SUNY Downstate. The Ordinand’s daughter, Sheherazade Holman, will minister through song.

Minister Shirlene Faith Holman, R.N., is a native of Brooklyn, New York.  Out of all of her accomplishments, she is most proud of being allowed to nurture and raise her four adult children.  Baptized in 1996 and a Bethany member for 20 years, she was called to preach the Gospel in 1998, and then pursued a Certificate in Christian Ministry from New York Theological Seminary class of 2000. She graduated in 2014 with a Masters in Divinity and is actively working towards A.C.P.E. accreditation to become a Certified Chaplain.

Minister Holman was catechized last month by a 12-man Ordination Council from the New York Progressive Baptist State Convention.  They include: The Reverend Dr. Thomas D. Johnson, Moderator; The Reverend Daryl G. Bloodsaw, Clerk; The Reverend Akin O. Royall, Catechist; The Reverend Karl A. Delk, Dean; The Reverend Randy L. Ware, Timekeeper; and Council Members The Reverend Ronald E. Cook, The Reverend Charles B. Dawson, The Reverend Walter L. DeLoatch, The Reverend Craig B. Gaddy, The Reverend Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, The Reverend G. Maurice McRae and The Reverend Julius A. Sloane.


Bethany Baptist Church is located at 460 Marcus Garvey Blvd., between Decatur Street and McDonald Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Sunday worship services are at 7:45 am and 10:45 am; Sunday School is at 9:45 am. For directions or more information, call the Church Office at (718) 455-8400 or visit

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