First Ladies Acting First Class
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 3/23/2018, 6:05 a.m.
Upon their husbands answering the call to minister, preachers’ wives stood alongside their husband in a supportive role. Even when their husbands would further follow the path as a shepherd of God by heading a church, wives remained supportive in their new role as First Lady. However, today’s First Ladies are more than supportive for they are as big a public figure as their significant other leading ministries of their own and making their own marks on the community. Standing right beside their God-fearing husband, First Ladies are answering the call to minister to God’s people in a first class way. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Houston Style Magazine spotlights five First Ladies from the top five largest African American megachurches in the city.
Pastor Bridget E. Hilliard
First Lady of the New Light Christian Center
Forty-three years ago Pastor Bridget Hilliard sealed her commitment to God and family when she married Bishop Van Hilliard. She became his wife on a Saturday night and his permanent First Lady the very next day when he was installed as pastor of his first church. She has been by his side living a virtuous life following the goals they set years ago of loving God with their whole heart, loving the people God sent, and living by His word.
Following this pattern has allowed Pastor Hilliard to be blessed and be a blessing to many across the country through her various acts of ministry. She redefined the First Lady role once she co-founded the New Light Christian Center with her husband thirty-four years ago. Since then her witness and philanthropy was elevated to be a teacher, mentor, and, of course, a preacher to the church’s 20,000 plus membership. In the process, she co-founded the Association of Independent Ministries to mentor other pastors, author books to use as a tool to change lives and even once was the senior pastor at New Light’s Beaumont location. One of her greatest legacies besides her three daughters and four grandchildren is the gift she continues to give to the current generation of women and the next generation of girls to win in life through the Women Who Win Conference and the B’s Girls Foundation.
Pastor Mia K. Wright
First Lady of the Fountain of Praise
More than two decades ago Pastor Mia K. Wright took the hand of Pastor Remus E. Wright to start an incredible journey together. Trusting God, the pair embarked on the path of guiding the congregation of the then South Post Oak Baptist Church with its then 150 membership in 1991. Twenty-seven years, one name change, and 20,000 plus members later, The Fountain of Praise has become one of the country’s most influential churches with inspirational leaders. All because Pastor Wright decided to trust God, allow Him to lead her, and take the limits of her life.
Now for the past eighteen years since entering the ministry, the highly sought-after speaker is fulfilling her passion while helping others to pursue their own. She relishes in taking broken people, places, and pieces and making them whole and filled with purpose. The founder of one of the largest faith-based conferences for women, Metamorphosis, utilizes her faith coupled with life skills learned and her own personal enrichment to positively impact lives to transform people for the better. This effort has spawned five other programs to ensure that no one soul is left behind. The mother of three has chosen to broaden her reach with the release of her first book, ‘Unthinkable’ that challenges people to follow the path of biblical characters who did the unordinary to experience the extraordinary.