New feature: The 1890 Debate on Ordaining Women is now posted under the Debates on Women in Ministry Page. It can be downloaded in PDF, Kindle or epub formats. When I began my blog in May 2010 I began it as research tool. I really didn’t expect to get many readers. I was writing for myself and to help process my thoughts and ideas as I worked. Perhaps, my family would read it out of pity for me and say “Good job, great post,” but getting anyone outside of immediate family and a few close friends as readers wasn’t something … Continue reading Archival Research is Complicated: Additional Information on Ida Gage and Clara Wetherald
Clara Wetherald was a gifted preacher and evangelist conducting revivals from coast to coast and turning thousands to Christ under her ministry. Her brother Frank Miller was led to Christ through her ministry and noted the massive impact of her work in her obituary. Ida Gage was also a gifted evangelist who preached in both Ohio and Michigan and also traveled to Colorado to hold revivals. She was responsible for establishing numerous church plants across Ohio during the early years of the Ohio conference. Both Gage and Wetherald were exceptional women, and while female evangelists were not uncommon in nineteenth … Continue reading Hear Our Voices and Respect Our Ministries: Wetherald and Gage’s Defense of Their Work
Since I’ve discovered that both Ida Gage and Clara Wetherald were divorced, I’ve been trying to better understand the Free Methodist Church’s position on divorce in the early twentieth century. Today I often hear people refer to the “good old days” when divorce was never an option. What both these women’s stories illustrate is that divorce is not something recent. It’s been a social problem for quite sometime. However, before the twentieth century women had few legal rights and could be trapped in abusive marriages without options. While, I’m not promoting divorce; I also don’t want to endorse people staying … Continue reading A Historical Overview on Divorce & What the Free Methodist Church Believes
Over the past month I have made some amazing discoveries about both Clara Wetherald and Ida Gage and for the next few posts I’m going to share more of their stories. The more I find out about these women the more humbled I become. They were amazing, amazing people. Ida Gage converted to Christianity when she was 23. She had married Charles Gage before she became a believer; by 25 she felt a call to preach. What first attracted me to Ida Gage was her address at the 1890 Free Methodist General Conference. She wasn’t even a delegate, just attending … Continue reading Ida Gage’s Life: As Told by Her Grandson Glenn V. Tingley
I have been obsessed with Ida Gage for two weeks now. My husband is telling me I have to stop digging. I am never going to uncover every fact about this woman’s life, and what is more important is to construct her rhetorical history through her sermons and speeches at conferences. Yet, these early Free Methodist women keep pulling me back into their history, their lives. They have become my friends and my heroes, who I really wish I could meet. Archival research is very complex, especially when you are trying to piece together the lives of women who have … Continue reading The Continued Hunt to Discover Who Ida Gage Really Was…
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
Ida Gage is one of many forgotten Free Methodist women evangelists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, while Ida might have been overlooked in the larger denominational histories, her legacy lives on through her speech at the 1890 General Conference and the debate on ordaining women. In 1890 Ida wasn’t a licensed evangelist. She was just a member of the denomination who had previous experience preaching in Michigan, and was responding to a call to serve within the Free Methodist denomination. By 1892 she was “on supply,” meaning she was traveling and preaching for the Ohio Free … Continue reading Who is Ida Gage?