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"I manage people, and I manage resources, and the responses were very different then." For her, online dating didn’t end in love.Instead, she eventually ended marrying someone from her congregation.At first, she was open about being a pastor, but that didn't go over too well."So then, I started saying I’m an executive, which I am," she said.All that’s to say that being a clergy woman has its own set of challenges – and those challenges come into play on the dating scene.On a drizzly February day in Fulton, I sit in a restaurant called Bek’s, sipping coffee and talking with Emily Carroll. She pastors Court Street United Methodist Church in Fulton.
Taylor cautioned us about the temptations we would be facing. (Fifteen years after she sat in my office making herself available to the young preacher, while preaching in another state, I spotted that woman and her husband–the same husband whose antics had given her cause to seek my counsel originally–in the congregation.In some Christian denominations, it’s getting more common to see women preaching from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.Still, it’s a slow cultural shift – some denominations don’t allow female pastors, and many churches that do are just getting female pastors for the first time.A divorced, single mom, she was also just looking for companionship."[Online dating] was a way of me getting to know people and kind of being able to do some screening, and a lot of my career women friends who are single have found that that’s been a helpful way to meet people," she said.
And when people did find out she was a pastor, they’d often give suggestions on how to better lead her church, or how she could improve her marketing – and that's not what she needed.