“Say hello to Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners. They are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.” (Romans 16:7 CEB)
The campus ministry that Linda and I were a part of in college had a retreat at Tall Oaks in the mid ‘70’s with the guest speaker being a biblical scholar within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition. He spoke briefly about this verse, pointing out that at least one of the names is feminine; therefore it is reasonable to conclude that there were women leaders in the early church.
During this time and for a few years before, there was the Women’s Liberation Movement and some churches were beginning to include women in leadership positions. It is important to me to be able to see biblical evidence to support such a move, and the change not being just a response to the wider culture. So hearing what he said about this verse was very important to me.