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Posted: February 28, 2013 8:33 p.m.

Female pastor makes history

Newly installed Pastor Billie Cox of Macedonia Baptist Church in Conyers is keen on announcing that there’s a girl in the pulpit and invites the community to come experience the difference.

"It is very much different," said Cox. "Just as women and men are different — our styles are different, the way that we love the people and nurture the people. Emotionally it’s different because I’m not afraid to allow a tear to fall if it’s a tearful moment. For women, it’s OK to show our passion and compassion for people where men will be more reserved. I’m not constrained like that. I’ve always loved on people. I’m just a girl. I’m all girl, and I don’t let being a pastor stop me from being a girl.

Previously an associate pastor at Bethlehem Baptist in Covington and then the director of Christian ministries at Springfield Baptist in Conyers, Cox is now making history as the first female pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church, located at 1052 Barton Street, Conyers. The church will celebrate its long history of 140 years this October.

Cox was officially installed on Feb. 24, with the service held at Springfield Baptist Church to accommodate the anticipated large crowd. Macedonia Deacon Randolph Jones said the installation service was a great service with a great turn out and that it was really a very joyous occasion.

Cox was called to serve at Macedonia Baptist on Sept. 28, 2012, and officially began her duties as pastor of Macedonia on Oct. 8, 2012. She explains that up until her installation service, her role at Macedonia was as pastor-elect and that the installation service is the consummation of the marriage between her and the church.

Deacon Jones said the process of selecting Pastor Cox to serve at Macedonia involved speaking with the congregation regularly, as well as praying, fasting and reading the Scripture to make sure they were on the right track and headed in the right direction.

"We wanted a pastor…and I’ve said this to her, ‘We want you to pastor the church, not the church to pastor you.’ So far, up to this point, she has done a wonderful job of pasturing the church."

Cox’s motto of "We are on this journey together," proved to be true as she was instrumental in coordinating the efforts to help with the tragic event a Conyers’ family where a house fire left four of the five Glass children dead. Reeba Glass and her children have been longtime members at Macedonia. The surviving Glass family members, Reeba, her son and her mother have since been back to church.

"I don’t think that anybody walks through life alone," said Cox. "We all have people who are with us, whether they are a part of our everyday life or not. No man is an island unto himself. We are all on this journey. We all came from heaven and we are all on our way back."

Cox describes herself as a teaching minister where she is not only ministers to her members but also teaches them. Her leadership includes the 2013 theme of Crossing Over – Moving in a new direction (Philippians 3:13-14).

"I don’t mean for that to mean that we’re leaving everything that is traditional behind," Cox said. "I mean for it to bring us up to the 21st century. What that looks like to me in terms of doing ministry is called the divine art of neighboring. We have to be out in our communities and we have to reach people in our communities. It’s not enough for us to come [to church] on Sundays and be isolated and not know what’s going on. I think that with the tragedy that happened with the Glass family, it just let us know how much we’re needed in the communities around here."

Cox is also a bi-vocational pastor. In addition to her full-time position as pastor, she is also a full-time loan officer at a Conyers company dealing with residential mortgages.

Originally from Lanett, Ala., Pastor Billie Cox and her husband Minister Lemuel Cox moved to the Conyers area in 2000, and they currently live in Covington with their 10-year-old granddaughter Taylor. They have three adult children.

"We are truly excited," said Deacon Jones. "I have never seen the people fully energized about a new pastor and heading into a new direction."

Sunday worship is at 11 a.m., with Soul Café (Sunday school) at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesday night Life Chapel (Bible study) at 7 p.m.

To find out more information about Macedonia Baptist Church or to contact Pastor Billie Cox, email her at bbcox2012@gmail.com.

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