I have to admit something I’ve denied for three months now. I’m 30. As an evangelical woman who is married and doesn’t have kids this is the worst possible age to be. I refused to acknowledge I had a birthday this year. Telling family and friends to just ignore that day and insisting for six months before my birthday that no one dare tell anyone I was turning 30. I was “29 and holding.” However, over the past month I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am no longer in my 20s. I’ve accomplished a … Continue reading I’m a 30 year-old Evangelical Woman Without Kids- What am I thinking?!!
Fall of 2012 my husband and I moved into Toledo, Ohio. We bought an 1899 Edwardian home in the Birmingham neighborhood. Demographically the neighborhood is filled with renters, many of them working for minimum wage or on welfare. There are a lot of single mothers and a lot of kids. Many of my neighbors don’t have the Internet; instead going to the library on Monday or Tuesday evenings to check their e-mail there. It’s a very different community from the suburban neighborhood we had previously lived in. Buying a house, moving, and getting settled took away all my blogging time … Continue reading Returning to the Urban Ministry of Early Free Methodists
In many Christian traditions such as the Mennonites, Quakers, Amish and various holiness movements dress was an outward expression of faith. However, there was and continues to be a fine line between an individual embracing dress as a form of religious expression and being forced to dress a certain way as a form of legalism. Playing with the Free Methodist history of dress in the late nineteenth and early 2oth century, I’ll explore some of these tensions in a multi-part series. Free Methodist women, especially those who chose to preach and teach publicly faced numerous barriers to acceptance- not least among them their attire, … Continue reading Expressing Faith Through Fashion: Choice, Legalism or Both?
Throughout the Methodist movement in eighteenth century England and in the early Free Methodist movement divine healing was not uncommon. In many of the accounts I’ve read it seems to be more prevalent with women than men, or at least … Continue reading Preaching Divine Healing in Nineteenth Century Free Methodism
Out in the vast, rugged Dakota Territory a pioneer family settled on their claim. No, I’m not talking about Laura Ingalls’ Wilder, but the Freeland family of South Dakota. They settled in the Dakota Territory a few years after the Ingalls’ family (around the mid 1880s whereas the Ingalls were 1879/1880). When we think of nineteenth century missionaries we often think of individuals who sailed on ships to unexplored areas of Asia and Africa and expected to face almost certain death for their faith. What we don’t think about are home missionaries – like the Freelands in South Dakota. Those … Continue reading The Free Methodist Equivalant of Little House on the Prarie: The Freelands’
This article was published while B.T. Roberts was editor of The Free Methodist. It shows the emotional/embodied nature Clara most likely also practiced as she addressed a congregation. As I’ve blogged about her for several years, her passion cannot be doubted but how she physically and emotionally expressed that passion was something I was unsure of until I found this article. My favorite quote from Clara in this article is: “Tears often speak louder than words. “ By Clara Wetherald The Free Methodist November 23, 1887 A meeting was held in a certain place to labor with a sister, and … Continue reading Are Tears a Sin? Clara Wetherald’s Views on Emotion and Preaching
I am beginning a long series of publishing Free Methodist women’s original articles in their entirety. I’ve spent the past few years telling the stories of various Free Methodist women trailblazers and while I have quoted them, I want them to have a chance to say more in their own voices. This first article published in the February 22, 1888, The Free Methodist was a ministry report by Clara Wetherald from South Lyon, Michigan. Clara illustrates the tension between a believing and unbelieving spouse and women’s lack of legal status in this article. It’s a remarkable story and incredible example … Continue reading Keep Our Faces Before Thee: Clara Wetherald’s Report from South Lyon, MI
For Mariet Hardy Freeland faith fueled social action. Her passion for sharing Christianity extended beyond simply converting an individual, but to also promoting issues of equality and social reform. Throughout her life Mariet was a regular contributor the Benjamin Titus Robert’s magazine The Earnest Christian and The Free Methodist. An ardent supporter of women’s ordination, Mariet was thrilled when Roberts book Ordaining Women was published in 1891. However, the book received mixed reviews from Roberts’ own denomination. Superintendent G.W. Coleman wrote a lengthy review of it in a special supplement to The Free Methodist in June 1891. Coleman didn’t agree … Continue reading Mariet Hardy Freeland Social Reformer and Preacher
The summing up is this. The design of God in the Gospel dispensation is the full restoration of woman to her original place as described in Genesis 1:26-28. God created woman because he saw it was not good for man to be alone – “a help meet for him.” Her place was by his side, not as a troublesome appendage, a mere toy or a cipher, neither as lord over him, but as a unit of equal value with himself. She lost her place in the transgression, but received the promise of final deliverance through her seed, which is Christ, … Continue reading The Conclusion of “Why?” by Mariet Hardy Freeland
by Mariet Hardy Freeland Editors note: Pay attention to how she crafts a defense of ordination that is both logical and spiritual. It is soundly grounded in Scripture and written using numerous examples to make her rhetorical points. Why should woman be ordained? or, in other words, why should woman be granted the full endorsement of the church upon her call to work for God and souls? To ordain, ecclesiastically, is to set apart for a special purpose or work. It is but the endorsement of the church of those already chosen of God for special service. In all Methodist … Continue reading “Why?” Mariet Hardy Freeland’s Defense of Women’s Ordination Part 1