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Saturday, March 17, 2012

And The Women Spoke God's Word

Whether man acknowledge them or not, there were women who worked in the service of God. They followed their heart and leading of the Holy Spirit. There will always be those who go against the grain and follow what they believe to be their Christian duty. In the end God will be the one to judge. After knowing the names and works of the women listed below, one would have to ask "should it be voided and left undone because a man did not do it?" We must remember it is never MAN doing his will but a VESSEL being used by God. And God gets to do His will without any permission from man.

Anne Hutchinson 1591-1643 Anne was a preacher in 17th century Massachusetts
Margaret Fell 1614-1702
She co-founded the Quakers with George Fox. One of the books she wrote was called Women's Speaking Justified, Proved and Knowed of the Scriptures.
Anne Dutton 1692-1765 Anne was a theologian
Selina, Countess of Huntingdon 1707-1791 Selina was a key figure in the Methodist Movement of the 18th Century.
Sarah Osborn 1714-1796 Sarah was a Christian leader and writer
Sarah Crosby 1729-1804 Sarah was a famous Methodist preacher
Ann Lee 1736-1784 Ann was a Quaker missionary
Hannah More 1745-1833 Hannah was a famous writer and philanthropist.
Hannah Adams 1755-1831 Hannah was a famous Christian writer.
Elizabeth Ann Seton 1774-1821 She was a Christian writer
Ann Judson 1789-1826 Ann was a missionary to Burma
Phoebe Palmer 1807-1874 Phoebe was a famous evangelist and writer
Antoinette Brown 1825-1921 In 1853 she became the first ordained Congregationalist woman minister
Catherine Booth 1829-1890 was a preacher. She married William Booth in 1855. (At first William disagreed with the idea of women preachers but he changed his mind after hearing Catherine preach!). Catherine and William founded the Salvation Army in 1865.
Hannah Whitall Smith 1832-1911 Hannah was a writer and evangelist
Maria Woodworth-Etter 1844-1924 She was a famous evangelist
Eva Burrows 1930- She was an Australian evangelist
Aimee Semple McPherson 1890-1944 She is probably the most famous women evangelist of the early 20th century

Top 4 Women In Ministry

Famous Female Preachers

Profiles of Popular American Women Pastors

Joyce Meyer - wjtjones
Joyce Meyer - wjtjones
These four women overcame abuse to become successful international ministers.
Despite the Bible's reservations (1 Corinthians 14:33), these women not only serve as church pastors, but they also head world-wide ministries. These popular American female pastors are particularly significant because they overcame abuse and adversity in their rise to success.

Ministry of Joyce Meyer - Most Popular Female Preacher

Born in Missouri in 1943, Joyce Meyer was sexually abused by her father from an early age and at 18 married a man who would later abandon her and their baby. She then married David Meyer in 1967 (they have three children) and rededicated her life to God. Meyer started a women's Bible study group in 1976 and following its success, started Life in the Word media ministry a few years later. Now called Enjoying Everyday Life, Meyer's ministry is a worldwide success. She teaches at numerous conferences and the taped sermons are broadcast globally.
Now a grandmother, she has written 100 books and the $100 million in donations that Joyce Meyer Ministries receives is used to fund charities around the world. The ministry employs 500 people in her Missouri headquarters and 300 in the ministry's 15 foreign offices.
Controversies Involving Pastor Joyce Meyer

Meyer was described as a "get-rich-quick carnival barker focused on one thing: how to get the most money from the most people in the shortest time." ("From Fenton to Fortune in the Name of God," on, November 15, 2003) because of her offering-focused conferences and lavish lifestyle.

Meyer stated "you can be a businessman... and people think the more you have, the more wonderful it is, but if you're a preacher all of a sudden it becomes a problem... the Bible says 'give and it shall be given unto you'".
She was named by Time magazine as one of the '25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America' and continues to be preach worldwide.

Ministry of Juanita Bynum - Popular African-American Preacher

Born in 1959 in Chicago, Juanita Bynum preached in local churches in her teens and married at 21, but when her husband left she fell into depression.

"If I close my eyes right now," she said, "I can see myself in the snow, wearing a black $2 coat and tennis shoes with no socks, waiting to get my $76 in food stamps. I can see myself in the hospital after my nervous breakdown, crying and throwing myself against the walls of the padded cell they put me in."
Bynum eventually returned to God and started ministering again.

In 1998, Bishop TD Jakes invited Bynum to preach at a conference, and the warts-and-all sermon on sexual sin called No More Sheets struck a chord with those gathered. This marked the start of video sales of the sermon; this ultimately led to a video sale phenomenon, propelling Bynum into the limelight.
She then began the Weapons of Power TV ministry, wrote books and released gospel CDs.

Controversies Involving Pastor Juanita Bynum

The Christian Sentinel criticised Bynum's aggressive pleas for money saying "she focuses on the people struggling, living hand to mouth, and tells the poor to give to the rich. She’s the opposite of Robin Hood."

In 2002 her televised million-dollar wedding to Bishop Thomas Weekes III featuring a wedding dress festooned with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals was criticised for its extravagance, but Bynum said "I did it this way because I plan to stay married."

But six years later the couple divorced after Weekes was found guilty of assaulting Bynum at a hotel parking lot. The highly-publicised fallout saw Bynum giving interviews to secular TV and magazines. One commentator said Bynum was "marketing her misery." (Sheryl Underwood on the Tom Joyner Show, circa 2008)
However Bynum continues to preach and sing worldwide.

Ministry of Paula White - Popular Preacher

Paula White was born in Mississippi in 1966 to wealthy parents, but at 5 her parents divorced. Her father demanded custody of her and when her mother refused he killed himself. Her mother turned to alcohol and White was looked after by adults who sexually abused her from the age of six to 13.

"Then there were the eating disorders" she said "and sleeping with different people...there was such a fear in me that [men] would never come back so do whatever you have to; hit me, call me a dog...just don't leave."
At age 18, after one failed marriage and a baby, White became born again. She married Randy White in 1989 and they started Without Walls International Church in Florida in 1997.

The church grew to 22,000 members and received $39 million in 2006. White's popularity grew and she began hosting the nationally syndicated Paula White Today, ran conferences and appeared on secular TV shows.
Controversies Involving Pastor Paula White

The Whites divorced in 2007, both for the second time and after 18 years of marriage and White took over the church. Her money-focused sermons, $2.1 million mansion and Condo at New York's Trump Tower has been criticised. One ex-church employee said "Mansions, big planes, money, fame. That's what it's all about now; there are prophets for God, and there are prophets for profit, that's the category they fit in."
Today, White continues to run her church and TV ministry.

Ministry of Marilyn Hickey - Oldest TelevangelistBorn in Kansas in 1931, Marilyn Hickey grew up in a Pentecostal family but later found it difficult talking to her mother because "everything became an excuse for talking about the Holy Spirit," and Hickey became disillusioned with Christianity.She married Wallace Hickey, a devout Christian in 1954 who led her back to God and they founded the Orchard Road Christian Centre in Colorado in 1960.

Hickey's Today with Marilyn airs internationally and Marilyn Hickey Ministries has offices around the world, distributes food and bibles worldwide and employs 200 staff at its Denver headquarters. She has written several books and regularly travels to the middle east to preach to Muslims. Hickey's daughter Sarah and her husband Reece have taken over as senior pastors of the church and Sarah now joins Hickey on the TV show renamed Today with Marilyn and Sarah.
Controversies Involving Pastor Marilyn Hickey

Hickey has been accused of dubious ministerial practices: "Hickey's fundraising letters...states that if you want more riches, simply give to God's ministries financially... they repeatedly say that none of her formulas for miracles can work unless money is sent in to seal the deal with God..." ("Healing for Dollars, Forgotten Word Ministries, Undated) But Hickey continues to be the most enduring female televangelist in America.

Biography Minister Antoinette Brown Blackwell

Antoinette Brown Blackwell


Antoinette Louisa Brown was the first American woman ordained as minister. She was born May 20, 1825 in Henrietta, New York, U.S.A. and later attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Oberlin was the first coeducational school to grant college degrees to women and to accept students of all races. Women, however, were expected to clean rooms, wash clothes and serve food for the male students. While studying at Oberlin College Brown met and became lifelong friends with Lucy Stone, a suffragist and an abolitionist. In 1847 Brown finished the literary course taken by most women. She encountered serious objections from the faculty when she then decided to study theology. They did not think it an appropriate field of study for a woman. However, the school charter decreed that no student could be excluded on the basis of sex, so Brown prevailed and finished the theological course in 1850. The Oberlin College faculty, however, refused to award her a college degree and she did not receive a license to preach. The degree was eventually awarded to her twenty eight years later.

Brown traveled the lecture circuit for two years speaking in favor of abolition of slavery and temperance (prohibition of alcohol consumption) and preached whenever she had an opportunity. This was at a time when public speaking by women was considered taboo. She was often shouted down by male preachers. Finally, on September 15, 1853 Antoinette Brown was ordained a minister of the First Congregational Church in South Butler, New York. That same year she was also an official delegate to the World's Temperance Convention in New York but she was not allowed to speak. In 1854 Brown withdrew as minister of her congregation due to theological differences. She found she had difficulty supporting the idea of the original sin and predestination. She then became a Unitarian.
Brown took her ministry to the slums and prisons of New York City. Her observations of the poor and people with mental disorders led her to publish articles on these subjects in the New York Tribune owned by Horace Greeley. In 1855 she published Shadows of Our Social System
In 1856 she married Samuel Blackwell, brother of Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, and a brother-in-law of Lucy Stone. The Blackwells had five daughters (two other children died in infancy) and Brown now focused on raising them. Though she stayed at home taking care of her family, Brown continued writing. In 1869 she published Studies in General Science linking scientific knowledge and women's equality. In 1871 she published a novel The Island Neighbors. In The Sexes Throughout Nature, published in 1875, she claimed that Darwin failed to understand the roles of the sexes. Altogether Brown published ten books in her lifetime.
She returned to the lecture circuit in the 1870s after her husband's business failed. She was a strong supporter of the women's suffrage and wrote magazine articles in support of this cause. Her articles were published in the Woman's Journal, edited by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell. She also continued her religious activities. She still preached and even ordained two women preachers. Brown served as a pastor emeritus of All Souls Unitarian Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey from 1908 until her death. In 1920, when Brown was ninety five, she was able to vote for the first time, after the Nineteenth Ammendment gave women in the U.S.A. the right to vote. Antoinette Brown Blackwell died November 5, 1921 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Biography Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little

Bethany Baptist Church of Christ

About Our Pastor
Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little
Spotlight on Living African-American History Makers
The African-American Pulpit Winter Quarter issue features revivalists of the decades. Featured in the 1951-1980 Modern Revivalists is one woman among eight men: Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little.

Dr. Little is a modern-day preaching trailblazer just as Jarena Lee was (1783-1849?). Her sermon is being featured in the journal, along with twelve other sermons by great revivalists. For Baptist women, this is history in the making among African-Americans.

Dr. Little was the first woman to be ordained in the historic Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois. She was the first woman to become full time Assistant Pastor to Second Baptist Church. Rev. Little also trailblazed in the area of chaplaincy. She was the first African-American female to be Chaplain in the Veteran's Administration Hospital System. She also made history in being the first African-American woman to graduate with a Master of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This pioneer of women in ministry was given the distinct honor of being listed and placed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. as one of the pioneers of women in ministry. Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little was the first African-American female Baptist preacher to preach in the Ministers Seminar in Detroit, Michigan at the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

Dr. Little continues to be living history among her congregation. She is the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ, a 78 year-old Baptist congregation in Evanston, Illinois, where she was called by congregational vote, March 18, 1990. She is the fourth pastor in the church's history, and the first woman to pastor an African-American congregation in that city. A trailblazer in her own right, Pastor Little gives God the praise, honor, and glory for all He has done.

In June of 2006 after successfully completing 5 years of rigorous study, Pastor Little obtained the long deserved recognition of Doctor of Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Biography of Minister Clara Cook Helvie

By Catherine F. Hitchings, Author of Universalist and Unitarian Women Ministers

Clara Cook Helvie was ordained in a period when there was decided prejudice against women as Unitarian ministers.
She was born in Chaumont, New York January 24, 1876 to James H. and Marge (Beckwith) Cook. She was descended from eleven Mayflower pilgrims and was a cousin of William Howard Taft. Her mother died when she was very young, and her father became a recluse in the Adirondack Mountains.
Clara Cook lived with relatives who renamed her Clara Bailey, she attended public schools in Buffalo, New York and Sunday School at the First Unitarian Church. Despite many difficulties, she obtained a good education, graduating from Canton's Business College in Buffalo and attending Emerson College of Oratory in Boston in 1901. She worked for many years as a secretary. One job took her to Puerto Rico, and upon her return she collected a substantial gift of books for the San Juan Public Library.
She married Charles Elmer Helvie April 3, 1902 in Newton, Massachusetts. For the next eight years the Helvies lived in Manila P.I. and travelled in Japan and China. She edited the women's page of The Manila Times, then the leading paper in the Philippines—published a series of articles on old institutions in the city, directed the erection of a soldiers' monument at Fort William commemorating the Spanish-American War, raised a hospital fund for charged soldiers, and was a social activist.
She returned to the United States in 1910 and worked as Correspondence Clerk for the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company in Buffalo.
Widowed by 1916, she attended Meadville Theological School and graduated in 1917. For five summers she returned for postgraduate study and attended Harvard Summer School of Theology for one summer. When she applied for ordination to the Unitarian ministry, she found that no woman had been ordained into the denomination since Rowena Morse Mann in 1906, and many men were adverse to women ministers despite the fact that thirty-nine women had been ordained since 1871. She was told, essentially, that women hadn't contributed any worthwhile work except Margaret Bowers Barnard. This highly conservative opinion discounted the important work of the Iowa sisterhood in establishing societies in the midwest and untold other contributions made by women over the previous forty-six years.
Clara Cook Helvie's case was finally supported by several prominent men at the General Conference in Montreal in 1917, and several churches offered to ordain her. She accepted the offer of the Wheeling, West Virginia Unitarian church and was ordained there at the age of forty-one. She worked continuously, except for about one and one-half years, until 1936 when the Depression overtook her; as was the case in many other fields, men often had first choice of jobs. She felt there was "an unreasoned opposition to women ministers" and continued: "Of course a woman gets only the most difficult posts, but this challenge adds zest to the work.... I can think of no greater blessing that could come to them than to have a group of mature women ministers take over their pulpits for a few years and nurse them back to life and service. When that time comes, however, like all adolescents, they will grow too superior for 'mother's ministrations,' and will long for a man minister."
She was minister for the parishes of Wheeling, West Virginia 1917-1921, Moline, Indiana 1921-1926, Westboro 1927, Middleboro, Massachusetts 1930-1936, and Milford, New Hampshire 1938-1942. She retired April 1, 1942.
Clara pursued her interest in women ministers in the 1920's by compiling a manuscript titled "Unitarian Women Ministers" which was never published. Thirty years later she collected short biographies of Universalist women ministers. She corresponded with many who were still alive at that time, asking for autobiographical information and seeking their answers to questions on what, if any, difficulties they had found as women ministers and would they recommend it as a career for other women. Clara Cook Helvie herself felt that a young woman would be "greatly handicapped, even if she should secure a church, but that a mature older woman with varying experience to draw upon and "no competing interests" (presumably including husband and children) would probably have a much better chance of making a meaningful life.
She worked on many denominational committees, and was the only woman minister to take part in the dedication service of the Unitarian Headquarters at 25 Beacon Street and of the First Church in Washington, D.C. She was active outside the church also.
Clara Cook Helvie was keen minded, warm and generous. After retirement she lived in Middleboro until hardening of the arteries necessitated her hospitalization at the Taunton State Hospital. She bequeathed most of her estate to the American Unitarian Association, the income of which was to assist needy ministers. She died in her eighty-third year, July 22, 1969.
From The Journal of the Universalist Historical Society, Volume X, 1975.

In contrast to the foregoing situation, Helen Cohen, minister of the First Parish in Lexington, Massachusetts, tells of hearing stories of children now asking whether boys can be ministers. Dr. Cohen herself had wanted to be a minister when she was 15, but when she applied to enter divinity school in 1977, she had never even seen a woman minister. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there are more active female ministers in fellowship in the Unitarian Universalist Association than male ministers. Nevertheless, from 1900 to 1917, when Clara Cook Helvie was ordained as a Unitarian minister, the number of women ministers ordained was zero.

Women Pastors: Divine or Demonic

Women in ministry are neither divine nor demonic, pastor says
By Terry Goodrich, Baylor University   
Published: March 16, 2012
As women enter the ministry, they will find that "there will be voices inside and outside telling you, 'You're divine' or 'You're demonic.' But both are telling you a lie," Julie Penning-ton-Russell, lead pastor of the First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., told an audience primarily of women at a Waco conference.

She spoke to nearly 200 people at Sacred Voices, the 2012 Women in Ministry Conference, sponsored by George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University and Texas Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Julie Pennington-Russell speaks to nearly 200 at Sacred Voices conference. (Photo/Baylor)
Pennington-Russell recalled the note she got at one point early in her ministry: "Everything God is doing right now is because of you. ... You're the best pastor this church has ever had," the writer said.

But on the same day, she received an anonymous letter informing her, "You're the worst pastor this church has ever had. ... I pray every day for your hasty departure."

"One of those is harsh; the other leads to pride, which in my mind is the worse of the two," Pennington-Russell said. "God is the only one who tells you the whole truth about yourself."

One New Testament account is a marvelous example of how to handle conflicting messages—in that case given to men, the apostles Paul and Barnabas, as they healed a lame man, she said.

"The people who saw it started hollering, 'The gods are here!'" she said. Paul and Barnabas, horrified, protested they were merely humans.

The mood shifted when the apostles' enemies showed up to incite the crowd. People stoned Paul until they thought he was dead, then hauled him out of town.

"In one moment they're worshipped; in the next, they're walloped," Pennington-Russell said. "But when they get beat up, they shake it off. Why? Because they're secure in their identity as God's children and their commitment to their mission. They know who they are, and they know whose they are.

"There's always going to be someone who wants to put you out of town. Then there are our own up-and-down opinions of ourselves. But when you let Jesus show you who you are, no one's flattery will puff you up—and no one's criticism will throw you down."

During panel discussions, topics ranged from discerning a call to the ministry, to pastoral time management, to ways lay leaders can encourage women pastors.

Some Baptist churches grapple with whether women should be pastors, seeking to reconcile biblical texts about women's significant roles in the ministries of Jesus and Paul with Scriptures about how women are to participate in worship, said Todd Still, professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett.

Van Christian, chair of the Executive Board of Texas Baptists, said churches "don't know what they're supposed to believe about women in ministry. They want to do what's right, what's godly. ... It's going to be a matter of education."

The BGCT hired Meredith Stone as women in ministry specialist a year ago to be a resource for churches and is exploring other ways to aid, said Bill Tillman, director of theological education for Texas Baptists.

In many small rural churches, "we're running out of men (pastors)," Christian said. "If the churches are going to survive, they're going to have to turn to women as leaders."

Women in Ministry is a Partnership

This past year--and especially this past month-- has been a time in which the goodness of God’s people and the greatness of God have become eminently clear. I know for a fact that I am where I am today not because of my own doing but only because of the grace of God and the prayers of God’s people.  With that in mind, I start this new position full of gratitude and absolutely overwhelmed by the grace and generosity of so many friends, family and colleagues in ministry.  Thank you!

As I begin my ministry, the words of Frederick Buechner come to mind, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

The world needs women in ministry.  The world hungers for the gifts of women clergy. I acutely feel this need and my heart longs to respond. Equally acutely my heart jumps with joy—or, in Buechner’s words, “deep gladness”—for women in ministry, and I have a deep desire to address this need in a way which supports women in the living out of their call and the utilizing of their gifts.

Early in my ministry I was part of a wonderful group of women ministers who strengthened and supported my ministry.  When we gathered, I would often bring my kids, which at that time were my two daughters.  (Two sons have since been added to the mix!) One time the church I was pastoring happened to be hosting a community service at which a male pastor was going to be preaching.  When he arrived, decked out in ministerial garb, my then 5 year old, Danica, exclaimed to me, ‘You mean, men can be ministers too?!”  I hadn’t realized the impact this group of women ministers had in shaping her perspective!  When the gifts of all God’s people are fully shared, our perspective changes; our world is transformed. To that end, I want to be part of working towards the full participation and full partnership of women and men in ministry.  When we live as partners in mutual ministry we more fully live out God’s image in our lives and God’s design for our ministry.  How can we do that?

This past Mother’s day this same daughter and I ran the first ever Kalamazoo marathon.  Yes, 26.2 miles.  I am still feeling every one of those miles and especially that last .2 of a mile even as I now write!  She ran because of me; I finished because of her.  Together we did what neither one of us could do alone. As women in ministry we can partner with each other to do together what no one of us can do alone.  As we begin this journey together I hope ABWIM can be a place and a paradigm of partnership that we may live into and live out the dynamic and transformative partnership of God’s new creation.

I began by saying “thanks!” and that is where I end.  I am thankful to be here!  I am here quite literally because of you.  Yes, YOU!  And I am here for you.  More exactly, we are here for each other.  Let’s connect!

In closing, I want to especially thank Rev. Holly Bean and the ABWIM search committee, all of whom have been patient with the process, persistent in their prayers and passionate about the work to be done.  Indeed, there is much to do; together we can do it!  I invite your participation and your prayers as we begin this journey together.  Thinking of this journey, 26.2 miles suddenly seems short!  Would you run this race with me—not just a marathon but this multi-faceted, many colored, mosaic of ministry?!
Your partner in ministry,
Rev. Patricia P. Hernandez
ABWIM National