The Rev. Dr. Agnes W. Norfleet’s call to the ministry was clear, but the answer wasn’t.
The student who would become the first female pastor/head of staff at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, one of the largest – and wealthiest – congregations in the area, wasn’t sure she wanted to be a pioneer.
In the 1970s, “women were going to seminary, but there was a resistance to women getting called in church [leadership] positions,” Norfleet said.
So she went to college to study French. But Norfleet’s involvement in a young-adult church group pushed her closer to ministry and the calling she believes she was destined for.
Last month, Norfleet, 54, took the reins as the new pastor/head of staff at the 2,600-member Bryn Mawr church, a progressive congregation with a high-profile membership that historically has included the region’s movers and shakers, a $30 million endowment, and a long-standing reputation for community outreach.