In 2015, the late Senior Bishop J.C. Howard expressed his vision for leadership development among the women of the First Born Church of the Living God, Inc. and from his vision, the National Women’s Board was organized. His vision was to have the Board chaired by the National Missionary and its members would be various women active in their local churches, on the District and the Diocese. The idea was to have women in various leadership capacities, and the laity to give perspective from all levels. Senior Bishop Howard chose three of the members, Pastor MadineCamon, Mother Ethel Smith, and Overseer Malessia Johnson, to serve on the Board. The remaining members were chosen according to their willingness to serve, recommendation by their Diocese Bishop, and/or their active work locally, on the District, or Diocese. On March 22, 2015, the additional names of the members of the National Women’s Board and the purpose of the Board was submitted to Senior Bishop Howard and he approved. The members selected to serve on the board were: Dr. Malessia Johnson, Pastor MadineCamon, Minister Candace Johnson-Wilridge, Mother Ethel Smith, Minister Peggy Holmes, Pastor Brenda Burse, Pastor LaRonce Hendricks, Evangelist Bobbie Prioleau, Minister Betty Mose, Missionary Lashonda Cohen, Deaconess Alberta Fields, Deaconess Charlotte Hempstead, and Sis. Nancy Jackson.
The National Women’s Board mission is to:
- Equip and empower all women for the mission of winning souls for Christ.
- Give the women a greater voice in the church and to establish effective leadership.
- Promote a unified Board for advice/suggestions to address issues, concerns, and ideas of women; act as a liaison between the Executive Board, Bishop’s Council, the Senior Bishop, and all women of the FBC, Inc.
- Strengthen, organize, and train the current and future women of the FBC, Inc.
- Bring issues related to the spiritual, mental, physical health and wellness of women to the forefront for discussion and resolution.
Organization and planning for the first National Women’s Conference began in 2015. The plan was to have a two-day conference, August 27-28, 2015 in North Carolina. However, Senior Bishop J.C. Howard transitioned June 26, 2015, and the planning of the conference was deferred until further notice.
In 2017, under the leadership of Senior Bishop Titus B. Deas, Sr., the Women’s Board received the approval to resume with the National Women’s Board and resume with planning the National Women’s Conference for June 20-22, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.Additional members were added to the Board to ensure more support, better dissemination of information, and to strengthen the voice and functionality of the Board. The members added were: Missionary Cherry Parks, Min. Octavia McKenzie, Elect Lady Dorothy Wilson Pastor Melody Howard-Brown, Elect Lady Tina McGauley, and Missionary Kalista Flynn-Carter.
The first National Women’s Conference was a huge success. The Women’s Board today continues to empower, to strengthen, to motivate, and to train others for a great work. There are numerous opportunities to fellowship, win souls, and exercise our gifts from God. We will continue to promote activities for building and edifying the Body. Our ministry will be stronger and our goal is to connect with every female in our organization and continuously compel others to come to Christ. "Oh yes! It can be done and it shall be."