Judy Rachels, an original member of the national task force for Women in Ministry and a former district Women's Ministries director, has been appointed the new chairperson of the Network for Women in Ministry.
Rachels, who served for more than 15 years the Southern California District as Women's Ministry director and whose husband, Ray, served as the district's assistant superintendent and superintendent for more than 25 years, is a graduate of Evangel University, Springfield, Missouri, and earned her master's degree in Leadership at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, California.
Having had parents in ministry, Rachels especially credits her mother for creating in her a passion for preaching, teaching, leading and administering. The skill set has served her well in a multitude of roles over the years, including public school teacher, youth and senior pastor's wife, women's ministries director, staff pastor, author and sought-after speaker.
Rachels, who has traveled extensively for speaking engagements, will begin her duties as chairperson on November 1, 2013. She follows the former chairperson and longtime friend, Dr. Jodi Detrick, who chose to step down from leadership to pursue other career interests.
"Jodi is a wonderful friend and a marvelous leader," Rachels says. "As chairperson, my hope is to continue to open opportunities for ministry for credentialed women. I look to do this by raising awareness within leadership of the viable and highly prepared staff of women in the United States and around the world, working to network them into available positions of leadership." Currently there are 7,815 female ministers in the U.S. Assemblies of God.
Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood expressed his pleasure in the selection of Rachels. "Judy is a fantastic communicator and organizer, with a passion to see women fulfilled in their calling. I believe she will continue to be a motivating leader of excellence who inspires others to action through her wisdom, wit and unquestionable devotion to Christ."
Judy and Ray have been married for 51 years. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren. They make their home in Huntington Beach, California.