Twenty years ago her church was a handful of family members with her as the pastor.
When I met her in person, I immediately recognized a heart that beat in tune with the gospel and a desire to share Jesus with as many as possible. She is highly organized, intelligent, and loving. She’s also not afraid to take on huge challenges for the Savior.
Because of religious, political, and cultural values, it is common in China for women to fill the role of pastor in their congregations. What is not common is the independence her church enjoys. Her church is an unregistered church but it has been allowed to grow to several hundred souls in worship each week, to maintain a nicely appointed facility, and to reach out into the community with preschool and other important programs.
The church Ms Deming started has grown to sufficient size that she has two male assistant pastors who are in their twenties. Both have received seminary training along with on the job training in her church. Her plan is to transition out of her position as head pastor in the next couple of years to allow her associates to assume leadership. She sees male pastors as a step toward improved congregational health and as better aligning with the Scriptures.
Ms Deming has been a friend of 316NOW for a number of years. She has taken several of our online Bible institute classes. We are grateful to be able to stand alongside her, providing her with encouragement and helping her grow spiritually, while patiently working and praying to lead her to a fuller understanding of all the Scriptures have to say to her and her church.