I've received confirmation that I am now a BU recognised 'lay preacher', and will get my hand shaken at the next Baptist Assembly.
Although I undertook a three year full-time BD followed by an MTh, and have been called to be the minister of the local chapel, there seems to be no way that I can be recognised as a 'proper' minister, apart from waiting five years. We moved here to retire and I already collect my OAP pension - in five years time the chapel and myself could be thinking that I really ought to step down from the pulpit.
Having had my little rant - I don't mind being called a recognised preacher, but I do object to being called a 'lay' preacher. I was called to the ministry 18 years ago, giving up a successful business designing wedding dresses. My ministry is my work and has been since leaving college and I wouldn't change a thing - except my title!