Pastors' Wives Come Together

Their roles have changed with the times. Now they're finding fellowship--online

Andrew Kaufman for TIME

Two women share a moment at the Free To Soar conference, where they met to discuss how to lead a productive life while being married to a pastor in Orlando, Fla., January 2007.

HELP WANTED: Pastor's wife. Must sing, play music, lead youth groups, raise seraphic children, entertain church notables, minister to other wives, have ability to recite Bible backward and choreograph Christmas pageant. Must keep pastor sated, peaceful and out of trouble. Difficult colleagues, demanding customers, erratic hours. Pay: $0.

The basic job description for pastors' wives hasn't changed in a century. But pastors' wives have. The rise of megachurches, dual-career couples and women's independence have complicated the role and in some cases intensified the frustrations. A recent spate of scandals involving prominent pastors has underscored the challenges their wives face. Eight in...

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