School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Melvin Pride


Pastor's Wife, Helper, Pastoral Counseling, African American Church


Christianity | Counseling


The position of pastor’s wife presents itself as a unique role. For the African American Pastor’s wife, this role takes on an even more interesting dynamic, considering the cultural back drop of the population many pastor’s wives serve. A hermeneutic phenomenological research study was conducted to understand the phenomena of helper among African American pastor’s wives who serve alongside their husbands in ministry, particularly in pastoral care and counseling. The study included a total of seven African American Pastors’ wives from the state of Texas. The pastors’ wives participated in structured interviews that were extensive in nature. Answering thirty-six questions with more than half being open-ended, the African American pastors’ wives in the study described their helping experiences serving alongside their husbands in ministry. The results of the study revealed that the concept of helper was deeply ingrained in the service of the majority of these women. Their helping and serving nature was facilitated by their desire to meet any potential need encountered in ministry. Their helping and serving revolved around a sense of being called by God to be a servant. Their driving force was found in their commitment to be a helpmate and the love they had for God, their husband’s, their congregation, and their church. The study’s results could be used to inform senior pastors and congregations on the need to verbalize and exemplify appreciation and celebration for the under-sung service of the pastor’s wife. The results of the study could also be a catalyst for the facilitation of financial provisions for resources that would assist the African American pastor’s wife in effectively helping and serving in the African American church.