The number of ordained women in the Southern Baptist Convention--which on the national level strongly opposes women pastors--has grown to about 1,225, with one-quarter of them working as chaplains.
The latest statistics on Southern Baptist women clergy were reported in the fall 1997 edition of Folio, the newsletter of Baptist Women in Ministry, based in Kansas City, Kan.
Thirty-five percent of the women were in church staff positions, sociologist Sarah Frances Anders wrote in an article. At least 85 are pastors and more than 100 are associate pastors.
Anders reported that North Carolina has the most women pastors and 16 states have churches where women are senior pastors. Fewer than 2% of the ordained women are academics.
The other top 10 states for employing Baptist clergywomen are, in order, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Alabama and Maryland.
Anders said the number of ordained women is growing despite opposition to the practice in the denomination.
In 1979, a volume titled "Women in Baptist Life" published by Leon McBeth reported there were just 58 Southern Baptist clergywomen.