Dr. Nancy Kraft

While the corporate glass ceiling is close to shattered, the stained glass ceiling has taken longer to crack. Finally, though, it’s not uncommon to see a woman wearing a robe at church these days, and we don’t mean choir robes. We spoke with seven of Charlotte’s female religious leaders to find out what they’re doing behind and beyond the pulpit

Written by Lori K. Tate
Photographs by Chris Edwards 

Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Dr. Nancy Kraft, Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Dr. Nancy Kraft, Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

A few years ago, Nancy Kraft was looking to make a career change. Kraft, ordained in 1979, was feeling burned out. While serving as the co-pastor at Advent Lutheran, a 600-member church in the University City area, she took classes at UNC-Charlotte so she could teach English as a second language. Then she got a call from Holy Trinity Lutheran in Plaza-Midwood. "If I want to have a good joke, I just tell God what my plans are," says Kraft, who now serves as Holy Trinity's only pastor.

"I felt a renewed sense that this was something that I need to be doing," she says. "This congregation in particular was one that I felt very, very called to serve."

With a hundred members, Holy Trinity includes those who have not felt welcome in other congregations, such as gays and lesbians. The church's motto, which she helped articulate, is "Loving, not judging."

"The calls I've had might not look to an outsider like they've gotten better, especially since this church is so much smaller than any place I've ever served, but to me they have gotten better," says Kraft, fifty-four. "With each church I've served it feels like I'm serving with people who have a greater understanding of what God wants the church to be all about. This church has it nailed, so it's a wonderful place to be."

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