Cholita Narzary made history in November 2020 as the second woman ordained into ministry by the Bodo Evangelical Lutheran Church (BELC) in Assam, India. She joined the roster 22 years after the denomination ordained its first woman, the late Kunanjaw Basumatary, who served as BELC bishop in the past.
Ichahak Muchahary, BELC bishop, said,
Said Narzary of her ordination, “I knew the call of God from my childhood, but due to my parents and others, I could not go for further biblical studies. It took me long years, and it was really challenging for a girl like me to [acknowledge] my true [vocation].”
Prior to 2020, Narzary served as an evangelist and Sunday school teacher within the BELC and received training at the Karnataka Theological College in Mangalore (India).
She currently works as women’s coordinator for the BELC, manages its Silk Research and Development Centre and leads a local parish.
Muchahary said Narzary’s ordination has paved the way for the BELC to ordain more women. Currently six are pursuing theological studies in different seminaries in India, and in 2021 the BELC General Council adopted a resolution to implement 41% gender representation in all its governing bodies, in compliance with the Lutheran World Federation’s gender justice policy.
With those amendments, Narzary hopes that many qualified and ordained women will take leadership positions in the BELC.