First Black Baptist female preacher in Monroe turns 91

In 1978, Jacquelyn Simmons did the unthinkable, she announced that she had accepted a calling to preach the gospel. That announcement shocked the conservative Monroe church community because it was understood that women, especially in the Black Baptist Church, were not supposed to preach.

    Wednesday, Dr. Simmons turned 91 years old and though she is not physically able to preach from the pulpit, still writes a weekly sermon in the Free Press. She has submitted her handwritten sermons for publication for over 40 years.

    As she celebrates her birthday this week, she still seems to amaze readers who are unaware that she is 91 years old, with her quick wit, and wisdom. They are also unaware that thanks to her daughter Sidone’, she has learned to text and keep up with technology.

    A retired Educator in the Monroe City Schools, Dr. Simmons preached her first sermon at the Triumph Baptist Church to a standing…


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