Called into the ministry at an early age, Iona E. Locke, D.D., Th.D., though gifted, anointed and with an obvious love for the Lord, suffered at the hands of men who would teach, preach and practice that even women with her enormous gifts were limited by their gender and not expected to succeed in what is still perceived as a man's world. After becoming a world-renowned evangelist, she served other leaders in various churches until 1994 when God called her to found and pastor, Abyssinia Christ Centered Ministries. In obedience to the call of God, Dr. Locke stepped out on faith to birth the ecclesiastical alliance, Christ Centered Ministries Assembly, over which she was consecrated bishop in 2001. Her elevation to pastor and then to the bishopric was not met with a chorus of approval. Many who applauded her gifting as an evangelist could not receive her as a pastor and fewer, even, as bishop.
Poised To Emerge, originally the title of Bishop Locke’s doctoral dissertation, offers insight to the struggle over gender apartheid from a perspective of those who were held hostage by tradition and institutionalized sexism, which yet have strongholds over religious practices today. It will provide inspiration to those going through the process of evolution from fear to freedom and it will inform others who stand watching the struggle that any system that holds a group of people to less than their capacity for full involvement and contribution, holds the entire body at less than its ability to produce.