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Rev. Mildred Roscoe returns home to serve

admin | 3/22/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Born into a family filled with ministers, the 54-year-old Rev. Mildred Williams Roscoe was always active in the church. But it wasnt until 1996 that she felt called to follow in her elders footsteps. Since then she has worked diligently to meet the requirements of pastorship in the African Methodist Episcopal church including receiving her bachelors and masters degrees. She was ordained as an elder in 2008 and was assigned to her first church in Hastings in 2009. It was exciting and it was an eye-opening experience, she recalled.I got a different reception being a woman minister in a small town. Surprisingly, some of the women in the congregation were not as accepting of a woman pastor and I think part of the resistance that I got was because I had a more hands-on style of leadership. Last November she became senior pastor of Salters Chapel AME Church in Brownsville. The move was a homecoming in many ways for the native Miamian. I have been rejoicing about being back home, she explained. And Ive discovered the South Dade Cultural Center and I help the elderly in my community. And while being back home could make for some distractions, Roscoe says Salters Chapel is her first priority. Miami, I think, is a little bit more prepared for women and I didnt have any type of resistance at Salters, Roscoe said. What we have are very dedicated members who love their church and were working to grow and increase our membership. Established in 1888, the church, which has approximately 60 active members, will be celebrating its 124-year anniversary in May. In addition to traditional ministries, the church has provided a day care center for the community for a number of years. At the end of the day, I want to be able to say that I was there for my people and that they can depend on me thats where I find my joy, she explained. Meanwhile, Roscoe believes she was inspired to strengthen her faith by the women and role models in her life. For example, she still vividly recalls how her mother-in-law responded to the death of her brother-in-law. According to Roscoe, she said: God is too wise and too all-knowing to ever make a mistake. Wow, I want to have that kind of faith, she said.