Bahai News -- The State - Minister has forged path as a leader Posted on Mon, Mar. 31, 2003

Minister has forged path as a leader

Brenda Kneece grew up in the small town of Monetta and discovered God's love at her small childhood church, Bethel Baptist.

That knowledge led to her ordination as a Baptist minister.

In late 1999, she became the first woman to serve as executive minister of the South Carolina Christian Action Council, a public policy agency with 21 member denominations and denominational governing boards.

Kneece, 51, was also among the first eight Southern Baptist women ordained in South Carolina, and among the first 40 nationally. She also became one of the first women elected to serve as Baptist Student Union president in South Carolina.

"The opportunity to serve the diverse Christian community is both challenging and fulfilling," Kneece said in a recent interview. "It's wonderful to be in an environment that welcomes and encourages relationships with the whole family of God, including our Muslim, Baha'i and Jewish neighbors."

Under her leadership, the council has continued its active tradition of addressing public issues, including predatory lending; children's needs; interfaith dialogue; environmental and civil rights issues; and concerns raised by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the current war in Iraq.

The Christian Action Council under Kneece has continued its tradition of interfaith dialogue, and after Sept. 11, 2001, took part in efforts to foster understanding among different faiths in South Carolina.

Kneece often serves as a supply pastor and interim pastor for Baptist churches. Before beginning her work at the council, she worked with the staff of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and also as a chaplain for an orphanage, a nursing home and police department.

She also is a former public school teacher, seminary residence counselor and served as pastor of a church in Virginia.

©Copyright 2003, The State (SC, USA)

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