Royal Lane Baptist Church’s First Female Reverend

Victoria Robb Powers 

The Rev. Victoria Robb Powers, senior pastor at Royal Lane Baptist Church, says God put the right people in her path to pioneer a position and inspire the women around her.

The church’s first female senior pastor, Powers grew up in Southern Baptist churches. She was raised in Lubbock and is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant. While she often admired those at the head of the church, she didn’t see herself advancing past a supporting role.

“Southern Baptist is a very particular type of Baptist, which leans much more evangelical and conservative,” Powers said. “I had a wonderful upbringing in the church and am so thankful for how formative growing up in that environment was for me but didn’t know where my role was.”

Powers attended Baylor University to pursue vocational ministry. Her perspective on what she could achieve changed during her undergraduate years.

“In one of my classes, I was introduced to a young female Hispanic senior pastor from a Baptist church in North Carolina,” Powers said. “At the time, I didn’t know that women could be pastors in my tradition. I didn’t know women could be pastors in any tradition. I was really sort of disoriented by that.”  

That encounter was enough to pique Powers’ curiosity. Immediately after, she learned of another female senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Waco and went to see her preach.

From there, she felt her own calling open before her.

“I often tell people, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see,’” Powers said.

To further pursue her path, Powers attended Brite Divinity School at TCU and became ordained at Wilshire Baptist Church. She worked as chaplain for Baylor Scott & White, an associate minister at Highland Park Methodist Church, and an executive pastor at University Park United Methodist Church. 

She says that while her career excelled in many aspects, God’s plan for her hadn’t yet fully played out.

“In the fall of 2022, I got a call from Royal Lane Baptist Church asking if I was interested in applying for the senior pastor role,” Powers said.

The congregation, which describes itself as a progressive and autonomous Baptist church, is not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Long story short, I did and got the role in January of last year,” Powers said. “It’s been a real gift to be here because I waited so long to serve in my own tradition.”

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