Grappling with Purity Culture Regrets

I’m now 34, and like so many former evangelicals who grew up at the height of the purity movement all of my romantic choices were influenced by the guidelines of books such as I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I now realize I am damn lucky my romantic narrative didn’t turn into a horror show. Continue reading Grappling with Purity Culture Regrets

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What Does a Denomination Strive For?

As I have time, I’m beginning to reflect on the words of the early Free Methodists and the writings they published. The Free Methodist General Conference is approaching in July 2015 in Orlando, Florida. I hope these reflections from early church writings will help us prepare for General Conference. At the end of I have some discussion questions if people wish to share this in small groups or just reflect on the questions in their own devotional time. NUMBERS, WEALTH AND POWER The Earnest Christian July 1872 (a publication published by Free Methodist founder Benjamin Titus Roberts) A few mornings … Continue reading What Does a Denomination Strive For?

What Makes a Free Methodist Feminist

I’m re-posting this entry since I now have more readers than I did when I originally posted it in May. 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 … Continue reading What Makes a Free Methodist Feminist

Ida Gage’s Ministry

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

Emma Ray and Eliza Suggs Writing and Wesleyan Rhetoric

Free Methodist founder B.T. Roberts felt strongly that the antebellum Methodist Episcopal Church had forgotten the vision of John Wesley. Thus, it is not surprising that the early Free Methodist publications, including Roberts own magazine The Earnest Christian, strongly resembled Wesley’s Arminian Magazine.  In fact, Methodist conversion narratives changed little from the time of Wesley in the 18th century to the narratives of Suggs and Ray in the early 20th century.  In the 18th century preachers would receive letters from individuals they had converted and these letters were often published to encourage conversion and the faithful (Hindmarsh, 2008). The rise … Continue reading Emma Ray and Eliza Suggs Writing and Wesleyan Rhetoric