Kalamazoo Pastor First Woman to Lead Ministerial Alliance

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Hours before the Northside Ministerial Alliance in Kalamazoo, Mich., elected its new president last year, Rev. Denise Posie had a feeling.

For 11 years, Posie —pastor of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo— had been active in the group of pastors and community leaders known for addressing social issues. But in that time Posie had never considered assuming the Alliance’s key leadership role.

Rev. Denise Posie: “I just want to be where God wants me.”

Jeff Arnold

But in her early-morning time with God that May morning, Posie felt change coming. “He doesn’t show me everything, but I have a sense of when I’m in the will of God,” Posie said.

Seventeen months into her two-year term, the first female president in the 35-year history of the Alliance is picking up steam. She has introduced monthly educational forums, connecting community leaders with residents they serve.  She has made strengthening families a priority, understanding the role a solid home life can play in society.

Posie is also pushing area churches to take a more active role in social justice issues, which she considers a key reason she accepted a call to her first Christian Reformed congregation 12 years ago after being ordained in the Baptist tradition.

Posie has also continued Alliance traditions of an annual prayer breakfast and an annual Martin Luther King Day celebration, long seen as highlights within the community.

But Posie hasn’t pushed forward alone. “I need other people to use their gifts,” she said. “I want them to thrive.”

Posie isn’t certain whether her presidency will last more than one term. She sees more to accomplish but doesn’t oppose allowing someone else continue the work.

She hopes that her election will keep the Alliance’s door open to women. But whether or not she’s leading the way, she’ll continue pressing toward a better community.

“I just want to be where God wants me,” Posie said. “I know I will be successful according to His terms of success.”

About the Author

Jeff Arnold is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classes Kalamazoo and Lake Erie.