When most people think of Black preachers, the stereotype of a fiery older Black man standing in the pulpit belting out scriptures with fire and brimstone probably comes to mind.
Meet Reverend Neichelle Guidry who is bent on changing the trajectory of how women in religion are viewed. Guidry is nothing like this paradigm, but she still making magic happen as the Dean of the Chapel at Spelman College, reports Vice.
“There’s no lack of millennial clergy,” she said. “What there is a lack of is adequate spaces for millennial clergy to be authentic.”
Guidry is working to change the perspectives on female preachers, especially since some folks still don’t believe that women belong in the pulpit.
“It’s not just men who perpetuate patriarchy,” said the 33-year-old single, Black pastor.
“You have women who don’t believe women should be ordained. Don’t believe women should preach. Don’t believe women should wear that dress in the pulpit.”
“This has been my fight—to really shine a light on those systems,” she added.
But the dais belongs to Guidry at Spelman – the mecca for Black women’s education and liberation, where the stories and struggles of women are given an adequate space, she notes.
She moved to Atlanta from the south side of Chicago where she served as the Associate Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ. Guidry has been on a mission ever since to raise awareness, transform the structure and open doors for more impassioned women like herself.
“I felt the weight of my womanhood in the Black church,” said Guidry to Vice. She holds a Ph.D. in liturgy and homiletics, which is the art of preaching and writing sermons.
Being a young, Black, a woman and a millennial, she said, is a “perfect storm of marginalization” in the church.
Guidry realized that there are many other women who feel called to preach, but disconnected when it comes to moving forward. As a result, she created ShePreaches.com a virtual community for Black women in ministry.
Guidry started the website with other young, Black women in ministry and is a space where they can support one another through mentorship, friendship and womanhood.
Check out Rev. Guidry’s sermon “Your Will Be Done” from October 2017 below: