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On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, Alvera Mickelsen was welcomed into the loving arms of Jesus. Our beloved leader, mentor, mother, and friend died at the age of 97. A founder of CBE, she was CBE’s first board chair in 1997, worked with grassroots CBE chapters, and served for years as a CBE board member.

A gifted teacher, writer, and editor, Alvera was disturbed by the shallow reading of Scripture used by many Christians to marginalize women’s gifts. She frequently wrote for and edited CBE publications, and spoke at CBE events and those of her denomination—the Baptist General Conference.

A key visionary within CBE and a tough debater, Alvera was intensely gracious to all she engaged. She was a sought-after mentor for younger egalitarians, writers, scholars, and leaders. She was in constant contact with her students, and served as a faithful guide to many aspiring movers and shakers.

Alvera authored books that remain bestsellers not only in CBE’s community, but around the world, such as Women in Ministry: Four Views and the now-classic, Woman, Authority & the Bible, published by IVP in 1986 and still in print today.

As a result of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, women’s preaching was considered liberal after the 1950s, yet Alvera was all too aware of today’s evangelical retrenchment on women’s leadership as preachers, evangelists, and scholars. For this reason, she frequently reminded us of the true history of evangelicals as one that supported women’s leadership.

As she aged ever so gracefully, she expressed gratitude for each day God had given her. Alvera often said that we are all on this earth to help others. She brought enormous encouragement, love, joy, and laughter to many within CBE and beyond. Above all else, she aimed to please Christ.

Many friends have had a lasting and significant impact on the CBE community, such as Alvera, John Kohlenberger, Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger, and Dr. Virginia Patterson. We honor all and do our best to carry their service forward and empower the ministry of CBE to send the message worldwide!

Still more have inspired us personally. Remember a life well lived, or honor an encouraging leader in your life by making a gift to CBE.