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NEWS RELEASE:  Kathwood Baptist Church Calls First Female Pastor


January 22, 2014

Kathwood Baptist Church is pleased to announce that Rev. Beth McConnell has been called as full-time pastor, effective January 19, 2014 according to John Bradley, chair of the Leadership Council. This marks the first time that a woman will lead Kathwood Baptist.

Rev. Beth McConnellRev. McConnell, a graduate of University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., received a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. She was associate pastor of Greenlawn Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C. for 11 years. Since then, as part of the pastoral staff at Providence Church in Charlotte, N.C., her duties included adult education, missions, discipleship, and other pastoral ministries.

According to Marion Aldridge, former Coordinator for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina, “Beth McConnell is one of the finest pastors I know. Kathwood Baptist Church is fortunate to have her as our new pastor.  We were colleagues for almost a decade and her many gifts coincide perfectly with Kathwood’s theology and personality.”

Pam Durso, Executive Director of Baptist Women in Ministry stated, “I am thankful and excited for this new season of ministry for Beth at Kathwood Baptist Church for I know that her new church family will be greatly blessed as I have been by her kind, hospitable spirit, her invitational leadership, and her faithfulness to live and preach the gospel message.”

Christy McMillin-Goodwin, Associate Minister, Oakland Baptist Church, Rock Hill, S.C. and Former Moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and of CBF of South Carolina, further confirmed, “Beth has led and served the local church and the larger Baptist family with distinction, wisdom, and compassion.   It is my prayer that her leadership at Kathwood will strengthen that church and its members to serve as the body of Christ in the world.  I hope that more churches will feel led to hire women as senior pastors and that more girls and women will sense God’s call into the ministry due to the leadership of Beth at Kathwood Baptist Church.”

Rev. McConnell is married to Dr. Tandy McConnell, Charles Ezra Daniel Professor of History at Columbia College. They have a daughter, Claire, who is in the eighth grade.

Kathwood Baptist Church, a progressive presence in Baptist life in the Columbia area for 50 years, was a leader in the formation of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. Our understanding of Baptist faith and practice is expressed by our emphasis on freedom in biblical interpretation and congregational governance, the participation of women and men in all aspects of church leadership and Christian ministry, and religious liberty for all people. For more information, visit  

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