Pastor Ruth White: How King’s life shapes my ministry

Pastor Ruth White is one of those pastors who does not hide her emotions. The 60-year-old directs the historic Washington megachurch Ephesus, where she leads a prayer ministry and is also chief minister of spiritual life and mental health.

White’s own story is as impressive as her ministry. Her “connections to the spiritual and social work of the world,” White said, “go back two or three generations” and were “inspired by mentors like M.K. Pilkadaris, D. Gerald Maguire and Y. Cameron Peterkin,” and named by the International Academy of Spiritual Leaders and The Legend of Ruth at Yale Divinity School as an emerging force in sustainability and social justice.

In her interview for this week’s running of the 6Cs in Washington, Pastor Ruth White:

What’s the most memorable and powerful experience of your own life?

I have so many and one that stood out most was a day in the 1990s when I was in the field as a minister and right on the border of a city that was experiencing violence and death for the first time. When I was told that a young girl had been shot by a stray bullet, and that the path my daughter would have taken was dead before her name.

What are your thoughts about the intersection of racial justice and the life of King?

I am a committed Christian and I revere King. However, I feel the urgency for us to take the living work of King’s life in stride and continue and expand on his legacy.

Why do you think being pastor and promoting church sustainability is so important?

It is essential to the kingdom of God for us to pay attention to the weather we inhabit and to how our worship can address the many cultural and economic factors that affect us.

If you could have every woman in the world offer up one piece of advice to each other on spirituality and life, what would it be?

“You are enough.”

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