Role model for Baptist women in ministry dies
    March 2 2011 by Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Evelyn Stagg, 96, a trailblazer for Southern Baptist women in ministry, died Feb. 28.

    Born Evelyn Owen in Ruston, La., she was married for 66 years to Frank Stagg, a professor at two Southern Baptist Convention seminaries for more than 30 years, who died in 2001.

    In 1978 they co-authored Woman in the World of Jesus, a work that inspired a generation of women preparing for ministry until more conservative voices seized control of the denomination and went on record against women’s ordination.

    The book addressed women’s roles in the contemporary church by exploring the status of women in the world that Jesus entered, how Jesus related to women in his ministry and the status of women in the New Testament church.

    Between 1935 and 1938, while Frank Stagg was enrolled in the master of divinity program at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Evelyn took the same classes and sat for all the exams.

    In those days the seminary did not grant degrees to women, but she performed well enough that she was asked to grade papers for beginning students in New Testament Greek.

    Throughout their marriage, she worked behind the scenes as the first reader and unofficial editor for dozens of journal articles and 10 books written by her husband.

    In later years Mercer University awarded her an honorary degree to recognize her early scholastic achievement and lifetime of shared ministry.

    She is survived by her three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at a future date. 

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    3/2/2011 1:14:00 PM by Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press | with 0 comments

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