2010 Most Influential Women Honoree: Beth Grant, Ph.D.
Beth Grant stares down the dirty world of sex trafficking on a daily basis.
She and her husband founded Project Rescue in 1997 with the intention of fighting the global sex trafficking pandemic and mobilizing others to join the cause.
“Our goal is in leading Americans, especially people of faith, to take up the challenge and act on behalf of prostituted women and children,” Grant says.
An early step in the process is instilling a sense of value in women, Grant says.
“My passion has been to inspire women and girls wherever I go – colleges, universities, churches, red-light district streets in India – to realize their God-given value and purpose and to mobilize them to hope, faith and action,” Grant says.
Her journey started after becoming a widow at the age of 25 and two years later marrying David Grant, a minister of nine years in India. A visit to the country took her by surprise.
“Suddenly, I was confronted with the difficult plight of women in the two-third world who had not grown up as I had, who did not realize they had value as persons and who were sadly too often viewed as property of fathers, husbands and men in general,” she recalls. “That began a one-on-one journey for me with women in many nations – from boardrooms to brothels – learning to understand where they were and to communicate the value I believe they have in God’s eyes.
An Assemblies of God-certified minister and graduate of the AG Theological Seminary and Central Bible College, Grant recently was elected the first female executive presbyter in the Assemblies of God’s 96-year history. She also has served as secretary of the seminary’s board of directors and earned a doctorate in intercultural education from Biola University in California.
Grant is an adjunct faculty member at Evangel University and guest lecturer at Southern Asia Bible College in Bangalore, India. She and her husband are co-authors of “Beyond the Soiled Curtain: The Story of Project Rescue’s Fight Against Sex Slavery,” published in 2007.
The work has taken Grant to speak at human trafficking conferences in France, Greece and India.
“She is truly a Springfieldian whose life and service to humanity is global in scope,” says Assemblies of God Theological Seminary President Byron Klaus. “This is not easy work; social, political and spiritual forces challenge every good intention by Dr. Grant and her organization, but the stories of freedom and the breaking of the generational cycles that enslave these women and children are as heart-warming as any effort I have ever seen globally.”
In 2007, Grant visited the White House by invitation to present Project Rescue’s Healing Hands training curriculum for caregivers of trafficking survivors. The curriculum project brought together more than 30 practitioners and writers worldwide.
“The women I have the joy of walking with include thousands of ordained women ministers in the U.S., as well as hundreds of women who were formerly enslaved in prostitution and are now realizing their potential in a new life,” Grant says. “It’s awesome to see many of these women now becoming a voice of hope and empowerment in their own spheres of influence.”[[In-content Ad]]