From 1911-1974 Free Methodist women who entered ministry had three approved tracks: evangelist, deaconess, or deacon. While these ministry paths opened numerous doors at the local level, decisions at the denominational level still largely excluded women, as they could only be elected as lay delegates to general conference. The result being, decisions affecting the entire denomination were still largely being decided by men. Since men could be elected as both lay and ministerial delegates to general conference it was almost a guarantee that more men would secure delegate spots and maintain the majority vote for denominational decisions. Leaders such as … Continue reading Walter Sellew’s Why Not? Is it Really a Defense of Women’s Ministry?
Growing up in conservative Christian culture it has taken me over 10 years to shed my fears of what people think to be who I really am. Continue reading No Chains
On Oct. 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzi was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school. A sixteen year-old girl passionate about her right to an education, she was shot for pursuing equal opportunities for boys and girls. Malala’s … Continue reading Women & Religious Fundamentalism: Rhetorical Differences between Christian Patriarchy & The Taliban?
Priscilla Pope-Levison’s new book Building The Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era is the most significant contribution to the collective memory of women evangelists in the United States since Janette Hassey’s 1986 book No Time for Silence. … Continue reading Building The Old Time Religion: Giving Progressive Era Women Evangelists Due Credit
A woman of passion, faith and a cunning rhetorical ability Phoebe Palmer is one of Methodism’s most skilled nineteenth century rhetoricians, and perhaps one of the most overlooked. Palmer is best remembered for her Tuesday Bible studies “Meetings for the Promotion of Holiness” and her widely read religious periodical Guide to Holiness. Her writings and preaching influenced France Willard, the long serving and influential president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army and Benjamin Titus Roberts, founder of the Free Methodist Church. Palmer was a genius at negotiating nineteenth century gender norms to main … Continue reading Phoebe Palmer: A Pioneer for Women Preachers
I’m re-posting this entry since I now have more readers than I did when I originally posted it. It’s my manifesto for what I believe and what I research. Occasionally I’m asked why I call myself a feminist. Now that my blog is getting a few readers I’m getting this question more often. The concept of a “Free Methodist Feminist” seems like an oxymoron. Yet, I stand by this term. I am a feminist. While there are definitely some feminists who distance themselves from organized religion and view organized religion as just another way to enforce patriarchy, I don’t see … Continue reading What Makes a Free Methodist Feminist?
Information on Ida Gage and her personal life are difficult to come by. I hope as I do archival research in Wood County, Ohio, next week that I will find out more about her Bowling Green Circuit. I am also hoping that the Free Methodist Magazine archives will shed light on Ida’s personal life. The magazine certainly helped outline Clara Wetherald’s ministry and life, and I’m very hopeful that information on Ida will also be forthcoming. She was prolific in ministry, and as both her and Clara were gifted public speakers there is a record of their various places they … Continue reading Ida Gage’s Ministry
In The Monstrous Regiment of Women the Gunn brothers attempt to evoke the language of the Old Testament prophets and warn America of impending doom if they do not return to the gender roles that are laid out in a literal interpretation of the Bible. The film repeatedly references specific God-ordained gender roles that are not open for interpretation. Women are mothers and homemakers and husbands earn money and lead the family – no negotiation. Even Christian ministry is considered a role that women cannot fulfill. According to the Christian patriarchy movement a woman’s home is her ministry and anything … Continue reading The Monsterous Regiment Attacks Women in Ministry
The Christian patriarchy movement does not hide the fact that they believe they are the keepers of the Christian faith and are upholding a Biblical worldview for family and society that has been rejected by mainstream Christian culture. Documentaries such as the Gunn Brother’s The Monstrous Regiment of Women present the world as a place filled with feminists and socialists who are out to destroy the stay at home mother. The sacred duty of motherhood is stressed in the film as the only Biblical model a Christian woman can follow. The documentary creates a fantasy that seems plausible and spiritual … Continue reading A Closer Look at The Monsterous Regiment of Women
I have been struggling for a couple weeks to answer the question – who is an evangelical and what defines evangelical beliefs? I still don’t have an easy answer. Can an evangelical support male-headship. Does an evangelical have to vote Republican? Can an evangelical agree with Rob Bell’s books Love Wins? Yes, this is the main question of the post – is Rob Bell an evangelical? I’ve been a long time supporter of Rob Bell’s writing and theology. I love Velvet Elvis and his collaboration with Don Golden Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile. … Continue reading Who and What is an Evangelical? Rob Bell Adds to the Ongoing Debate…