Historical Precedents in an International Context
The Role of Women in the Pentecostal Church
There were two aspects that were part of the Pentecostal Movement from the first decade of the Twentieth Century. The first one was the inclusion of African American members to their services, even though years later there was a racial segregation among the newest churches.
The second was the role of the woman who founded churches, composed hymns, led Bible institutes and performed pastoral and evangelical duties. For example, Florence Crawford founded the Apostolic Faith Church. Sadly, men took it upon themselves to change the conditions of women within Pentecostal churches and took away rights that “apparently” only belonged to men—such as preaching.
All of these changes occurred with the institutionalization of Pentecostal doctrines. The CGMJC implemented, in its early days, part of these bylaws, because for the first 24 years of its existence—between 1972 and 1996—women were not allowed to preach, and their spiritual duties were limited to ministering the gift of prophecy and laying hands. Nonetheless, when Sister Maria Luisa Piraquive took the reigns of the CGMJCI back in 1996, the role of the woman began to recover.
Today, women are eligible for the pulpit. They take prominent positions in evangelistic trips. Women are valued as elders within our church branches. Women minister spiritual gifts, advise newcomers to Church, among many other tasks.