Welcome to the Hillcrest website! I am so thrilled to be a part of Hillcrest Baptist Church and that you decided to stop by and see what we’re about! As your pastor, I want to be sure to have clear communication with members and visitors. This page is dedicated to just that. Please check back often to hear from me or to get in touch with me. I look forward to hearing from you! Do check back often, as we will be adding new ways to worship, minister and motivate!
From Our Pastor
Tuesday – Friday
9:00 – 4:00
Please call the church office to set an appointment.
Charlie began serving Hillcrest in March of 2020. He has served as a pastor in three previous congregations; his last pastorate in Louisville, KY was for 29 years. He is a graduate of Oakland City University with a BA in Biblical Studies and holds his Master’s from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a focus on Pastoral Ministry and Christian Education.
Charlie and his wife Mendy have been married for 38 years. They both grew up in Michigan and have continued to be life-long Michigan fans. They have 3 daughters; Abbey, Elizabeth and Emily, and one son, Andrew, with one grandson, William. When not pastoring, Charlie enjoys gathering with his family, spending time on the gulf, playing golf and watching the University of Michigan. Go blue!
From Pastor Charlie
Can Women Teach in the Church?
There have been several ‘doctrinal questions’ presented to me since arriving as your pastor; a few such questions have included: ‘What does the Bible say about divorced men serving as deacons?’ or, ‘Does God really desire all men to be saved?’ and ‘Are women allowed to teach men in the church?’
Recently while preaching through 1 Timothy, several weeks were devoted to one of the most controversial texts in the New Testament: 1 Timothy 2:8 – 15. In verse 12, Paul issues two prohibitions; first, “I do not permit women to teach,” and second, “I do not permit women to have authority over men.” Both prohibitions are specifically referring to the context of the church.
So, to answer the question, ‘Can women teach in the church?’ First, it needs to be understood that this is not a ‘blanket statement.’ In other words, this prohibition should not be understood and applied literally. There are many other instances where Paul commands that women are to assume teaching roles. For example, in Titus 2:3 – 5, “the older women of the church are to admonish (teach) the younger women.” We also know that Timothy was taught by his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois). So, this prohibition is not to be understood as a ‘blanket statement’ forbidding women from having any teaching roles in the church. Women receive the same “spiritual gifts” as do men,
which may include a “gift” of teaching for the edification of the church.
This leads to the next logical question, ‘can women in the church teach men?’ My position is that women in the church should not assume the teaching role and authority of an “elder” (see 1 Timothy 3:1 – 2). Paul prescribes that the church of Ephesus (as well as all New Testament congregations), identify men who have good spiritual character who also are “apt to teach,” publicly set them apart, and recognize them as the “elders” who “oversee” the life of the congregation. Due to the “headship” order designed by God in Genesis 2 and 3, as well as that which is described in 1 Corinthians 11:3, the office of “elder” should be limited to men who are “apt to teach.” The characteristic of an elder being “apt to teach” means, this brother understands the bible, is effective at explaining what it means, and can properly apply it when making leadership decisions for the health of Christ’s church. I understand Paul to be saying, “I do not permit a woman to teach” in the position of an “elder” (pastor, bishop or overseer).
I do not understand this first prohibition from 1 Timothy 2:12, to be a literal interpretation where women in the church are never placed into teaching positions, even if men are in the audience. Jesus issued the Great Commission to all of us (men and women alike) to “make disciples” which involves teaching the Word. Certainly in Acts 18:24 – 26, Aquila and his wife Priscilla are working together to teach Apollos, “explaining to him the way of
God more accurately.” Additionally, Paul exhorts the whole congregation in Colossae (men and women), to “teach and admonish one another, letting the Word of Christ dwell in them
richly” (Colossians 3:16). The apostle Paul writing to correct some issues within the Corinthian congregation does not forbid “women from praying and prophesying” in the church so long as “their heads are covered,” which was a cultural sign of being “submissive” (1 Corinthians 11:4 – 6).
While the bible is clear that men are to live “godly lives” seeking to provide spiritual leadership in their homes and in the church, such leadership does not prohibit them from working together with their wives and other Christian women in the church to teach God’s Word. John Piper, in his book Freedom to Minister says it very well regarding women in the church, “when you look throughout the New Testament, you see women teaching, helping, serving, equipping and spreading the Gospel. The fields of opportunity are endless for the entire church to be mobilized in ministry; male and female. Nobody is to be at home watching soaps and reruns while the ‘world burns.’ God intends to equip and mobilize all the saints under the leadership of a company of qualified men who take primary responsibility for leadership and teaching as elders in the church.”
So, regarding women teaching in the church, should they be allowed to minister the Word to:
- a small group of ‘mixed adults’?
- a group of teenage guys?
- an adult SS class with her husband?
- a young married couples’ SS class?
- some type of equipping or training class?
Those are practical questions worthy of careful consideration and prayer by the church’s “elders”, along with a possible designated staff person. The “elders” would be responsible for overseeing those who teach, what they teach, and in what settings.