First lady of Mizoram
The Baptist Church of Mizoram in north east India has appointed its first-ever female pastor – a bold move in such a male-dominated society.
More than a century after BMS missionaries arrived in Mizoram, Baptists in the north east Indian state have ordained their first-ever female pastor.
Dr R L Hnuni was officially installed at the Assembly of the Baptist Church of Mizoram (BCM) last month.
As Principal of the Academy of Integrated Christian Studies in Aizawl, Dr Hnuni is a respected theologian and an expert in the Old Testament.
She also has a Master’s and Doctorate from the Union Theological College in Bangalore.
Peter Dunn, BMS director for mission, who attended the BCM Assembly believes this new phase in the history of Baptists in Mizoram is a major achievement for women in a traditional, male-dominated society.
He says, “The appointment of Dr Hnuni is unique in this part of India. It was a very emotional ordination ceremony, and my hope and prayer is that this will open the door for other women to become pastors in Mizoram.”
A resolution put forward by the BCM Assembly stated: “It is high time that the Presbyterian Church of India ordain qualified women church workers as pastors and ministers.” It’s a motion that will be put forward to the executive committee of Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod.
Peter Dunn was also in Mizoram to unveil a new plaque commemorating the centenary of BMS work in the state.
After pioneer missionaries J H Lorrain and F W Savidge first set in the hilly, heavily-forested land in 1894, generations of Mizos have been transformed by the gospel of Christ.