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The Carner Connection

Jennifer Louisa Carner

J. Wesley Carner and Brenda Finney Carner's Youngest Daughter

Jennifer Carner -Lead Executive Pastor

On September 14, 2017, The House of Hope Atlanta added a significant footnote to its history when Pastor Jennifer Carner was announced as the ministry’s new Lead Executive Pastor.

This appointment by Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., marks the first time in the church’s 141-year history that a woman has been tapped to serve as the Lead Executive Pastor – overseeing all day to day operations.

Prior to Pastor Carner being named Lead Pastor, both Dr. Smith and his predecessor, Rev. H. F. Shepherd, selected women to serve in key positions such as Director of Ministry Operations, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Christian Education. What sets this appointment apart is that it marks the first time that a woman will have oversight with making sure that all of the ministry’s endeavors, ministry planning and business ventures are undertaken with consideration from pastoral, biblical and business perspectives.

Dr. Smith said of Pastor Carner, “I’ve been blessed to watch Pastor Jennifer grow from a child into the powerhouse she is today! One of the high honors of my ministry was having the blessed privilege of ordaining her into ministry almost 10 years ago. Pastor Jennifer is one of the most astute communicators of God’s Word! In the words of the old preachers, she has ‘both the learning and the burning.’ She is uniquely gifted with the ability of ministering in a plethora of ministry settings! She can preach and teach in any environment!”

Pastor Carner moves into this role at a time when many within the evangelical community still point to and interpret certain scriptures to restrict the roles of women in ministry. The Scripture that is most often cited as teaching that pastoring and church leadership is for men only is 1 Timothy 2:11-12: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (NIV). Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Paul says, “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (NIV)


















About Jennifer

I’m not sure if you ever felt this way, but have you ever lived through a series of moments and questioned, is this really my life? I mean, really questioned if the events, which were happening were actually happening to you or someone else? I had several moments like this in 2017. The highs were really high and the lows were really low, but all helped me to grow and learn more about how to survive the storms and not be blinded by the sunshine of life. I guess that is what being in your 30s is all about.

There are several iconic moments I can reflect on so far this year. Again, I was able to host some very successful ministry opportunities at work. This past February, our Sweet Potato Baby Singles event engaged over 150 singles and became standing room only. It was a live concert and dinner with topics we explored to keep the conversations lively. People were blessed by the sense of community this event created.

This past April, our Springfest engaged over 1000 families in and around our community. This is a community festival and egg hunt we hosted on our Southwind campus over Easter weekend. I was both organizer and team lead for this event.

Our Scholarship program was held early this past June. The Scholarship committee and I raised over $55,000.00 in scholarships for high school seniors in our church. I love to see God take our doubts and anxieties and make miracles out of them.

Our Gadgets and Gizmos Vacation Bible School program reached so many students this past week, and most importantly, I saw kids who have been shy and quiet embrace their faith in a very authentic and passionate way. I live for moments like this.

Finally, my personal ministry is gaining traction. I am starting to see exactly what I was created to do as a consultant and mentor for other women in ministry. I can see clearly now that my legacy will be shaping the next generation of young preaching ladies and ministers who will lead us through the next years of uncertainty and radical reconciliation.

So what’s next? I plan to enjoy life, become the best version of myself, and seize every opportunity to grow and glorify God. I wonder who will help me lift Jesus! #free #embracingnow #thisishowresilienceisdone