The Labor of Faith: Gender and Power in Black Apostolic Pentecostalism
Judith Casselberry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Bowdoin College. A vocalist and guitarist, Casselberry was a member of the award-winning reggae duo Casselberry-DuPreé and currently performs internationally with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.
Harvesting Souls for Christ
This chapter explores the contours of women’s labor at the altar as they (re-)produce a culture of bringing people fully into the body of the church through the conversion experience of Spirit baptism, evidenced by speaking in tongues. It views altar work through the lens of intimate labor, an approach that joins together and expands studies of women’s emotional, caring, and reproductive labor. An analysis of altar work highlights the pivotal work of bringing new followers into the church, carried out by networks of women who pass along intimate practices through an apprenticeship model, cultivating new generations to take up the mantle of harvesting souls, for the benefit of the individual seeker and the institution of the church. These intimate practices tie church members to each other and bolster allegiance to the church community and doctrine, while expanding the institution’s labor force and financial base and reinforcing women’s spiritual authority.