The adventures and misadventures of a woman pastor.

There was a time when many Christians presumed that the office of pastor and elder were limited to men. When I (Alexa Ho) entered into pastoral training in a local Baptist church, the leadership was filled with only men, except for one woman from the children’s ministry. Women pastors were basically unheard of in many denominations, let alone empowered to preach on a Sunday pulpit.

But times are changing, and female leadership is on the rise. Many churches in many denominations are starting to include women in their pastoral office and board of elders.

Discussions are still ongoing about who is right – complementarians or egalitarians make their case on women leadership in church. But is there a middle path? Evangelical Pauline scholar Professor FF Bruce, when asked by NT scholar and popular author Scot McKnight on his thoughts about women in church ministries, said – ‘I’m for whatever God’s spirit grants women gifts to do’.

Regardless of where you stand, Safespace is talking to a very gifted woman that has taken up God’s calling to be a pastor, whose ministries include preaching and teaching. As if that was not enough, she has also taught in seminary – both in English and Bahasa Malaysia languages. Safespace is glad to have Pr Melissa Chan chatting with us, allowing us a window into the life of a woman pastor.


Pr Melissa Chan

Pr Melissa Chan recently obtained a Master in Theology from the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary, having previously graduated from Seminari Theoloji Malaysia with a Master of Divinity. Prior to entering full-time pastoral ministry, she graduated with an MSc in Medical Microbiology from Universiti Sains Malaysia. She is currently the Executive Pastor of PJEFC.