A Kentucky woman is making history in her new position as a church leader in Alabama. The Reverend Debbie Wallace Padgett is making her mark on history in a couple ways. This fall the Eastern Kentucky native became the first female Methodist Bishop in Alabama. Padgett is also the first woman from Kentucky elected to such a position. She believes ministerial opportunities for women are growing all the time.
“More and more doors are opening for women. There are more and more women in seminary in the United Methodist Church. So, I believe that women will continue to serve faithfully and effectively in places where they have not served before,” said Wallace Padgett. The North Alabama Conference includes over 700 congregations. There was a published report that her reception there was sometimes tearful. “It does evoke emotion sometimes for people to see someone who they identify with in a role where there’s not been a person with whom they identify in that way previously. So, it’s not unusual, but it’s not something I really expected,” added Wallace Padgett. Padgett returned to Lexington last week to participate in a fundraising event for the Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center in Estill County.