A Meeting We'll Never Forget

St. Pauls used to be governed by an all-male Church Council and Session. The Session is where the power was. This was its desciption: "The Session is the voting body of the Council. It is self perpetuating and selects its membership from male members of the Congregation. While its duties are defined by the Constitution and By-Laws, its principal responsibility is to annually elect members of the Council. In addition, it should approve the annual budget submitted by the Council, and appraise the results of program activities and financial operations."

That old-boys club was burst open at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation on January 28, 1968. The minutes from that meeting read: "A motion was made by Jean Pierson and seconded by Dorothy Burhop to amend the consitution of the church to provide for women members to serve on the Session and Council. This motion was referred to the next Session meeting."

The Session approved the change, and the 1969 Constitution and By-Laws was revised to read: "Candidates for the Church Council shall consist of men and women who hold membership in the Session." Jean Pierson, who made the motion, was the first female member of the St. Pauls Church Council.

Fred Trost, Senior Pastor at the time, wrote this in the church newsletter about the 1968 Annual Meeting:

"One motion which passed unanimously called for the Session of St.Pauls Church to change the Constitution and By-Laws to permit women to be elected to the Session and thereby also to the Council. The women  were well organized and put their idea across with hardly a whimper from the men. All in all, it was a very wonderful day and a congregational meeting we shall not forget."