Jena Powell was 24 years old when she was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2018.
A native of the Buckeye state, Powell told The Christian Post that she previously wanted to pursue business until God changed her plans.
“From a young age, my passion was business. But sometimes God alters our path and leads us somewhere different. For me, that was politics at the age of 24,” Powell said.
During her first term in the Ohio House of Representatives, Powell led many landmark legislative initiatives. In 2019, she sponsored a resolution to declare pornography a public health crisis and cosponsored the Ohio heartbeat bill, which prohibits elective abortion procedures if a heartbeat is detected in an unborn baby. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a heartbeat is often detectable starting between 5 ½ weeks and 6 ½ weeks. Heartbeat bills have been seen by both sides of the political aisle as an impending threat to Roe v. Wade.
The young lawmaker said that as a Christian woman in elected office, she has the opportunity to use her voice to fight for justice as an example to other women who might desire political influence:
“As people, we’re looking for more than a job — we’re looking for a calling … something that is bigger than ourselves. As Christians, that calling is crucial because this calling is from God and it is His way of manifesting His truth through us. At a young age, I knew I was supposed to do something; I just wasn’t sure what that was until God brought me into the political realm. As a female in politics, God uses my voice to fight for truth and justice, and while justice is not relative to the voice fighting for it, my voice as a female will hopefully inspire other women to join the fight. The world is hurting, and I get the honor to speak the truth, working to help others day in and day out.”
Powell represents all areas of policy and acknowledged that good policy can influence the livelihood of people who are hurting.
“I ran for office because I care about truth and justice in the public square. I enjoy working on business and tax policy, but also fight vehemently for unborn babies, families and religious freedom. My heart breaks for the difficult situations people are in, and while government can’t fix everything, government can implement good policy which alleviates so much unnecessary pain.”
Christian women are making waves throughout America’s policy venues, and they are encouraging other young women to get on board.
After speaking at the Freedom Summit, organized by the Falkirk Center for Faith and Liberty, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., referenced young women of faith who are considering politics and pointed them to Scripture: "For young women who are looking to go into politics, remember that God uses nontraditional leaders many times to lead His nations. Look at Esther and Deborah and so many others. Focus on them."
Shannon Stovall, a former congressional staffer, told CP that her area of work is a means of loving her neighbor.
“Good policy is a great way to love your neighbor," she said. "Advocating for the unborn is a great way to love your neighbor. I think those things, whether you’re a woman or a man, are noble causes to fight for.”
Stovall now works for a conservative advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
In each interview, these women told CP that their role is not about being a woman in politics, but rather a Christian fulfilling God's calling in their lives.