God is often described as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (e.g. Exodus 3:16) but what of Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel?
We live in a men’s world where certain roles and jobs are still viewed as Masculine while others are feminine. I remember when my late sister (Sandra Pongo God rest her soul), graduated as an electrical engineer, a job that was predominantly viewed as masculine and therefore not a woman’s job. Indeed, there have always been jobs regarded as men’s jobs. There are still jobs and roles that are still seen as gender specific even in the most developed of nations in the western world.
In English grammar there are three ways of forming the feminine gender. By using an entirely different word for example bachelor (masculine) and spinster or maid (feminine). The second way is by adding a syllable (-ess, -ine, -trix etc) to the masculine gender. For example Author (masculine) and authoress (feminine) poet/poetess, Mayor/Mayoress
However a mayor can be a man or a woman. In British English, a mayoress is the wife of a male mayor.
Some words ending in -ess are no longer used. Examples are authoress and poetess. Author and poet are now used for both men and women. Which brings me to my point my guest this week on 7 Questions is Prophet(ess) Tupelo King a woman called of God, indeed a prophet. A woman who has braved significant cultural opposition to the use of her voice. She has encountered danger. She has suffered resistance, ridicule, and an assortment of challenges in an arena dominated by men.
Yet, God continues to use her to bring about the kingdom and enact change. For centuries God has demonstrated that despite cultural barriers, women continue to speak and preach.
Some believe that prophetess is a feminine word for prophet but this is incorrect. When you look up the Greek word for prophet it is ‘prophetes’ and the Hebrew word is ‘nabiy’, which means Prophet or one who speaks forth or openly. The Greek word for prophetess is ‘prophetis’ and the Hebrew word is ‘nebiyah’, which means a companion and/or follower of a prophet. No gender is listed… either you are a companion and/or a follower of a Prophet.
God has given us great evidence that there is value placed on the voices of women because God has enlisted the voices of women throughout the centuries of Christianity despite periods of great cultural resistance. I am honoured to have Prophet (ess) Tupelo King on 7 Questions with Brilliant Pongo.
I began by asking her about how she manages in an arena that is dominated by men. As a woman of God how do you manage in this arena?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King: Thank you very much for this question, I learned early in life that success is no respecter of gender.
I have always looked at myself not necessarily as a woman, but as a person with God given abilities to be and to do the very best.
In respect to my calling, yes there might be a lot of men in this arena but there’s only one of me, I focus on the calling and the mandate that God gave me and strive to fulfill that mandate to the best of my ability.
It is also special, that God in His mercies chose me in an area that is indeed dominated by men, so I guess its a privilege, one that I am very proud of and very grateful for to God.
This might sound as like a silly question, but, I ask it with all seriousness. Some people out there think a prophetess is a wife of a Prophet. Could you teach us a little bit here and explain how you are called a prophetess?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King: Well that’s true many have this notion that a prophetess is a wife of a prophet, on the contrary, prophetess is not a title obtainable by marriage, but rather it is an office by calling.
The office of a prophet is one of the five fold ministry offices mentioned in the bible, one may be called in the office of a prophet whether they be male or female just like we see in the bible.
Just like a prophet, a prophetess is a person called by God as a mouth piece of God to speak forth the mind of God to the people except that she is a female.
We have prophets such as Elijah Jeremiah Ezekiel and so forth, and we also have prophetesses as well.
Unknown to many, the Bible mentions of ten women possessing the title of prophetess.
Just like we can see from the Bible of the ten prophetesses, three were married, that is Deborah, Huldah and the prophet Isaiah’s wife.
One was a widow Anna, four of them were single , Phillips four virgin daughters and the other two their marital status is not even mentioned in the bible that is Mirriam and Noadiah , so really marital status is not a prerequisite to be considered a prophetess, it can be anyone as God wills.
In the same way the Lord called me as a prophetess to be His mouth piece a and to reveal His mind to His people.
Having explained how you are called a prophetess, how do you respond to those who argue that it is not a woman’s role to teach in church? (Reference woman should learn in quietness and full submission) 1 Timothy 2:11 what’s your take on this verse?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King: One thing we need to understand is that God is a God of purpose, what is important is that, that purpose is achieved.
We have seen throughout the bible how God used different people to fulfil his divine purpose, he would even use ravens and a donkey, if the work needs to be done and there’s no one available, guess what? God won’t wait for people to be available He will use whatever is available, His work has to be done, that’s how purposeful He is.
Now coming to the question at hand, I honestly don’t think women were originally meant to be preaching or holding leadership positions in the church over men,that’s my honest opinion.
The order of creation is that man was created first and therefore assumes leadership in the family and in the church, that’s the perfect order, however we have seen how throughout history God can change the original plan and use a workable plan whenever the original plan failed.
In the case of Moses, the original plan was such that Moses was to take the children of Israel to the promised land but something happened and that plan was changed, Joshua became the workable plan.
In the case of the twelve tribes of Israel also, the twelve were supposed to be sealed but something happened with the tribe of Dan and the plan had to change, the tribe of Mannaseh became the workable plan.
In the same way men were the original plan who were entrusted with the preaching of the gospel and leading the church as we have seen in many portions of the bible including the passage above, but something happened, some men refused to answer the call of God, and that’s where I come in, I am that workable plan that God instituted after the original plan failed.
Let’s talk scripture if you were asked to share three just three scripture verses to help empower women what would these be?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King:
- My first one would be Joel 2 :28-29
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
- For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:27-29 KJV
- For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
1 Corinthians 11:12 KJV
Zambia is constitutionally a Christian nation one may assume that Christianity is widely accepted and that every part of the country has been ministered to. Are there places that your ministry is targeting to evangelise and win souls to Jesus Christ?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King: There are still many places in Zambia that are yet to be reached despite Zambia being a Christian nation. When God called me back in 2001, He said to me that He was sending me to reach the un-reached with the gospel.
Therefore, I like to go to places where many shun, the rural places, and far flagged places, right now we have over 12 branches around Zambia and four outside Zambia. As long as people are there we will go there.
We often hear of people who seek deliverance from Prophets to rid them of evil activities and inherited practices such as witchcraft particularly in Africa. When people see footage and hear some of these experiences they think it’s all staged could you share one of your most vivid experiences of any such deliverances?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King: Yes my ministry has not been void of criticism and attacks. One that I remember very well was the miracle of a young lady that was brought back to life after being dead for more than six hours.
they brought the body of a young girl who had died several hours earlier that day as we were having our evening service .
It was in July 2015 they brought a dead body of a young girl that had died at 09hrs that morning in a place called Masansa about 50 km away from our church in Mkushi; after finishing with procedures at the police where the young girl was pronounced dead and a death certificate issued, the family now made arrangements to bring the body to Mkushi to the mortuary, as they drove past RFM church that evening, they heard people praying and singing, the teacher who offered to carry the body of this young girl in his car, had once attended service and received a miracle at RFM; he convinced the family to pass by and just try God one last time before proceeding to the mortuary it was during our “Talitha Cumi” women’s conference.
I was already in front ministering when they brought this dead, cold, lifeless body of this young lady that had been pronounced dead for more than 6 hours and just laid it on the alter.
I didn’t pray I continued preaching and dancing and worshiping God I was preaching from the book of Mark 5:41 and when I read the words of Jesus ” Talitha Cumi and I said “daughter rise up” she got up much to the amazement and shock of the family and the whole congregation.
After this miracle we received so much attack from several circles of society accusing us of conniving with the family of the girl to deceive the crowd, this miracle was undeniably the evidence of God’s power but unfortunately was turned into a source of ridicule and criticism for our ministry. Up to now this testimony still brings tears to my eyes.
So, what’s next for Prophetess Tupelo King? What is the legacy that you want to be known for when all is said and done?
Prophet(ess) Tupelo King: A woman of Destiny that will stop at nothing until the gospel reaches to the very ends of the earth. The legacy that I would like to be known and remembered for is the woman who fearlessly penetrated a world dominated by men and changed lives for Jesus.
In conclusion, let me echo the words of a God’s general Aimee Semple McPherson
” Let’s not waste time quarrelling over methods , God has use for for all of us……”