Are Tears a Sin? Clara Wetherald’s Views on Emotion and Preaching

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

Phoebe Palmer: A Pioneer for Women Preachers

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

The Demise of John Wetherald

This dissertation topic has taught me to believe that you can find that “needle in the haystack” or in the case of Clara Wetherald and Ida Gage’s lives “multiple needles in the haystack.” Once again, I have to thank the wonderful people who have helped me find so many of these tidbits that connect the dots. An 1895 New York Times article notes that the Reverend Clara Buell caused quite a sensation when she divorced her husband, John Wetherald, and married Legrand Buell in 1892. Supposedly her main motivation for wanting to marry Legrand was to convert him from alcoholism.  … Continue reading The Demise of John Wetherald