The iconic role and evolution of church mothers


In some African American churches, the time-honored tradition of "church mothers" is still vibrant.

For generations, pastors and congregants have cherished these devout women for their wisdom, faith, and dedication. Church mothers serve in a variety of roles across a broad spectrum. Faithful to the call, they give their time, cooperation, and financial support to the work of the ministry. Often elders before an appointed position, church mothers are competent bible-study teachers, trusted confidants and assistants to the pastor, as well as vital members of their parish.

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