On the outside looking in, the world of preaching may appear to be dominated by men. However, once you enter into that world, you’ll quickly discover a plethora of women, who are gracefully raising their voice to combat sexism, racism, and the many issues that continue to plague the Black community. Neichelle Guidry, 30, founded “She Preaches” to create a digital space for Black millennial women in ministry to raise critical dialogue on the issues that we face in our vocation. Originally from San Antonio, TX, Neichelle has made Chicago her home as she serves to fight for justice and spread the gospel, while rocking a killer red lipstick.
JET: What brought you to Chicago?
Rev. Neichelle: I came to Chicago to begin my doctoral studies at Garrrett-Evanglical Theological Seminary. I was hired at Trinity United Church of Christ shortly after I moved to Chicago.
JET: What is your role at Trinity?
Rev. Neichelle: I’m the associate pastor to young adults and the liaison to Worship and Arts Ministries. I help to create and expedite all ministry to 20-somethings, and I provide administrative and theological assistance to all of the worship and arts ministries.
JET: What was your vision for starting “She Preaches?”
Rev. Neichelle: I started “She Preaches” in 2012 with the original intent to create a digital space for Black millennial women in ministry to raise critical dialogue on the issues that we face in our vocation. Today, “She Preaches” is on the cusp of becoming a professional development organization that provides continuing education, mentoring and fellowship to millennial Black women in ministry, beginning in Chicago and growing out to about three other cities by the end of 2016.
JET: You recently spoke at The Justice Conference here in Chicago. Tell us about this experience.
Rev. Neichelle: It was a great experience. In addition to meeting several people whose ministries have inspired mine, I got to preach a message about social justice, racism, and sexism to a large audience of people who might not have otherwise heard such reflections. The highlight was giving the prayer that concluded the entire conference, after the sermon. The Spirit was incredibly palpable and moved in such a powerful way. To see a theater full of people lifting their hands and their voices to Christ was transformative.
JET: Leave us with a word of encouragement.
Rev. Neichelle: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9
For more information and to keep up with Rev. Neichelle, visit www.revneichelle.com.