Tara Beth Leach: A Pastor in Love with the Church

By Julie-Allyson leron

As a Nazarene Pastor, Tara Beth has served in churches in Upstate New York, Naperville, IL, and Oak Brook, IL. She holds an MDiv from Northern Seminary where she also worked as a Teaching Assistant for Scot McKnight. She now serves as the Senior Pastor at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene.

“I was called into ministry at 16 years old. It was a long journey of discovering my gifts and graces for ministry, and it was a journey of ups and downs. I’ve served as a Youth Pastor, a Women’s Pastor, and a Teaching Pastor. In 2011, I began my journey at Northern Seminary, and it was the pinnacle of my personal discovery of who I am as a called woman. It was at Northern that I discovered that I am a Nazarene, a preacher, and a pastor. At Northern, I finally embraced these things as reality.”

If all that’s not enough, Tara Beth is the author of a newly released book, Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry. In the introduction, she lays out her heart and burden, not just for her own ministry, but for women of the church:   

Although many women enroll in seminaries and reach ordination, many still find themselves pushed to the side with no place to serve. I have sat and prayed with countless women who have been pushed aside or have been silenced or feel invisible within their own congregations and Christian organizations. For some, it’s too late—they’ve already walked away. Others are hanging on by a thread, and some have pushed through. There are success stories, no doubt, but still not enough. The church can do better.

 

Tara Beth explains, “This is why I write, teach, and blog. I am in love with the church. Whenever I talk about my deep love for the bride, it is like a parent who anticipates being with her children. I love hearing about the stories of the ways our people have lived out the mission of God in their own contexts. I love walking with our people in the mountain tops and in the valleys.”

She sums up her purpose as a woman, a pastor, an author, and an uplifter of the bride of Christ, “If I can just be one encourager that uses my voice—through the Spirit—to edify the body of Christ, I will do it until the day I die.”

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