The significance of women’s right to hold leadership roles

My name is Teresa David-Panda. I am 29 years old, born in 1989, in Huambo Angola. I am newly married to Pr. Baptista Alberto Panda.

I come from a family of nine siblings and I am the fifth born. My father is a Evangelical Pentecostal pastor and my mother is a midwife. My father has been in ministry since before I was born, a total of 42 years now. I never aspired to be a pastor or to be married to a pastor, for pastors in Angola put ministry first, congregants second and family last. In our context there are very few pastors who became pastors, because of their fathers.

Being a pastor’s kid is the most frustrating thing in Angola. I don’t remember my father ever playing with us. The only discussion that we had with our father was to give him reports about our results in school. I never wanted my kids to have the same experience. Notwithstanding all of this: God has called me for ministry, and blessed me with a husband who is a young pastor! I came to understand that God’s plans are not the same as ours and they shall never be.

Since I was very little I had this desire to serve God. My desire was to be a teacher to contribute in the department of education in church. For that reason I went to an ISTEL (Evangelical Institute of Theology in Lubango, Angola) where I did a BA in theology from 2010-2014 to serve in teaching ministry in church. I believe that the education ministry in the church, particularly theology, is very important to equip the leaders and members of the church in the more comprehensive understanding on how to interpret the scriptures and apply it.

In 2015, from February –December, I did English programs to learn the language. In 2016 I did my PGDip in Theology with focus on the Old Testament, and in 2017 I started my Master of the New Testament. The Topic of my thesis is: “Women, Teaching and Leadership in 1 Timothy 2:11-15: A rhetorical-critical study, with reference to Angola”. In Angola women are only allowed to take leadership among themselves in spite of the skill or relevant knowledge in leadership. Although women in some areas in the church are now given the chance to learn and teach, in Angola most evangelical churches, if not all, still use 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to silence, subjugate, and restrict the role of women in the church.

This study will attempt to expose the hermeneutical motives to restrict women in church leadership roles using 1 Tim 2, and will also argue the significance of women’s right to hold leadership roles to contribute to the success of the Body of Christ in Angola. I am working towards December graduation so that next year I might start my doctorate program.