“In black churches across the country, the pastor’s wife has often been recognized as significant. In the past decade or so, these wives have taken on new congregational roles, including that of co-pastor. No longer confined to the front pew, they have a range of leadership roles inside and outside their churches.” … “The Rev. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, a professor of African American studies and sociology at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, notes that the title ‘co-pastor’ may be relatively new, but the leadership role of pastors’ wives is not. ‘Black pastors’ wives have always been leaders,’ Gilkes said.