Female Evangelists in History


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A look at women who were evangelists throughout history, whether acknowledged as such or not.

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Female Evangelists in History

  1. 1. By Apostle Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.D. Apostle in Office Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries © 2010 Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.
  2. 2.  Women in ministry is not a new happening, but a continuing revelation of God’s work all throughout salvation history  It is essential for Christian women to recognize their spiritual heritage and history (Hebrews 12:1); women have a “cloud of witnesses” who have gone on before them in faith and power and set forth the course to where women in ministry are today  Women have been called into positions of leadership and authority by God, even if they were not recognized for their specific accomplishments by name
  3. 3. Tabitha the Widow, Evangelist Acts 9:36-42  lived among the Christian community in Joppa  Virtuous and kind woman,Tabitha (also known as Dorcas) was known for her almsgiving and good deeds among the Christians present there  Her work as a seamstress was known by many, and was of special value to the widows of the city  After becoming gravely ill and dying, she was raised to life again by the Apostle Peter  Many people believed in the Lord as a result ofTabitha’s resurrection  While mentioned in the Scriptures, the story ofTabitha is more known as a story of Peter rather than the experience ofTabitha; virtually ignored by Christians of all denominations
  4. 4. Vassa and her children, Evangelists  Early centuries AD  Was a Christian worshipper of Christ, along with her three children, in secret, as she was married to a pagan  In reaction to her Christian faith, her husband desired her to abandon such, that the family may worship him; in reaction, it was her hope he would hear Christian preaching, that his heart may be converted  In cruel reaction, her husband had her thrown into prison and her children killed; she was dragged from prison to prison, enduring tortures  In a last attempt to get her to worship idols, her husband dragged her into the temple and tried to get her to worship a statue; in praying to the Lord, the statue fell to the ground, and she was beheaded, as the pagans regarded such as sorcery  Acknowledged as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches; virtually unknown by modern Christian women and virtually ignored by traditional denominations
  5. 5. Restituta of Sora, Evangelist  d. 271  Roman noble maiden who fled, at the aid and direction of an angel, to Sora, Compagnia, Italy to escape the persecution of Emperor Aurelian  Healed a boy of leprosy; upon seeing this miracle, more than 40 people became Christians  Arrested, tortured, and thrown into prison for her faith in Christ  Rescued by an angel  Later discovered along with three others and beheaded  Revered as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; unknown by modern Christian groups; unacknowledged for her contributions to the faith
  6. 6. Anysia at Thessalonica, Evangelist  c. 284-305  Raised by her parents in the Christian faith, espousing intense piety  Upon the death of her parents, she sold everything she had, giving all to the poor, and led a life of fasting, vigil, and prayer  Under the edict of Emperor Maximillian, anyone could kill Christians without fear of punishment; on her way to church one day, Anysia was accosted by a pagan soldier to offer sacrifice during the festival of the sun  When she refused to go with him, he ran his sword through Anysia, killing her as a martyr for the faith; a chapel was built over her grave  Revered as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; unacclaimed and unstudied in modern Christianity; virtually unknown in modern times by most believers
  7. 7. Doma, former pagan priestess, Evangelist  c. 284-305  Former pagan priestess, converted to Christianity, while living in the royal palace; read the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul, and upon understanding, was baptized  Immediately began to help the poor, providing food through the royal kitchen and giving away her valuables  When her conduct was discovered, she was thrown into prison, along with others who assisted her efforts; they were starved by humans, but fed by angels  Later faked insanity to avoid living among the pagans; was hidden in a monastery; later raided and discovered; hid herself within a cave, later burying martyrs, and, after that, martyred herself  Acknowledged as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; virtually unknown among Christian women today; not revered in the majority of Christian denominations
  8. 8. Irene of Thessalonica, Evangelist  c. 4th century  Born to a pagan king and originally named Penelope; isolated from the age of six so as to avoid her from hearing about Christianity  Her tutor, Apellian, was hired to give her the best possible education; she received education in Christian matters  After a profound experience with the Lord prophesying her future life successes and sufferings, Irene devoted herself to the Lord, rejecting pagan suitors and destroying her father’s idols; upon baptism, Penelope’s name was changed to Irene, meaning “peace”  In an angry attempt to convert Irene away fromChristian ways, people attempted to torture her through various means; the Lord redeemed her from these troubles and pagans were converted as a result  Irene lived with her tutor, Apellian, and proclaimed the Gospel, teaching and instructing in salvation; she also travelled, bringing the Gospel to many  There is no record of her death, and many believe she was taken by the Lord to heaven  Revered as a saint in the Orthodox and RomanCatholic traditions; minimally taught and virtually ignored by modernChristians
  9. 9. Domnica of Constantinople, Evangelist  c. 5th century AD   Entered a woman’s monastery immediately after baptism, but did not allow herself to remain isolated  Healed the sick, walked in authority over natural elements, and walked in the prophetic  On account of the signs and wonders of her ministry, many came to know the Lord and became interested in spiritual matters  Walked as a witness and in powerful virtues throughout her life  Revered as a saint, albeit nominally, in the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church; and unknown in many modern Biblical congregations
  10. 10. Sophia of Thrace, Evangelist  Unknown; lived to be 53  Mother of six children, obedient to the commandments of God  Upon the death of her children, she became a mother to orphans and giver of assistance to widows, selling property to give to the poor  Lived a serious and austere life, eating bread and water, praying the psalms, doing without so others could benefit from what she had and what she could do  Had a pitcher of wine in her home, reserved for use with the poor; no matter how much was taken from it, it always remained full  Revered as a saint in the Orthodox Church, but seldom, if ever, mentioned; virtually unknown by other denominations and by believers today
  11. 11. The Beguines, Evangelists  c. 13th and 14th centuries  Active, non-cloistered communities of women who were not nuns and, in contrast to the Catholic authorities at the time, were involved with common people  Powerful preachers unbound by cloisters and common vows; under no authority of the Roman Catholic Church  Supported themselves through crafting and artisian work  Some were transient, travelling between different cities and places to preach; those considered “not under a house” were deemed heretical, even though their doctrine did not vary  Continued working despite the disdain and disapproval of Catholic authorities  Deemed heretical by the Roman Catholic Church; unknown by Christian women today; need to be heard about
  12. 12. The Lollards, Evangelists  c. 1382-1430  A group of often poor, English lay preachers who itinerantly worked to proclaim the Gospel  There were both male and female Lollards, mostly followers of JohnWycliffe  Believed strongly in the “Church of the Saved,” that the church was an invisible entity of believers, not one physical body as in the Roman Catholic Church  Faced strong opposition, with some of them facing burning at the stake  Briefly discussed by anyone who has studied church history; frequently overlooks the fact that women served as lay preachers within the Lollard movement
  13. 13. Sarah and AngelinaGrimke, Evangelists  1792-1873 (Sarah) ; 1805-1879 (Angelina)  Quaker women , educators, ministers, preachers and writers who were early abolitionists and women’s rights advocates  Sarah desired to become an attorney but was forbidden to study or read further when they discovered she intended to go to college; she became godmother to Angelina and worked in ministry with her throughout their lives  Traveled extensively speaking against the evils they saw growing up with a father in favor of slavery and the subjugation of women  Sarah was author of Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition ofWomen, among other publications  Both women encountered great prejudice and persecution for their early stand and openness on these issues  Later founded a boarding school that educated numerous children from the early women’s and abolitionist movements  Mildly acknowledged for their contributions to abolitionism and women; unknown by Christian women for their important contributions to Christianity and Christian women
  14. 14. Jarena Lee, Evangelist  1783-?  Grew to love the Lord and have a strong spiritual ethic despite no formal religious training early in her life  First woman authorized to preach within the African Methodist Episcopal Church, by the founder of the denomination; though initially put off for ordination, her preaching was both convincing and convicting and was ordained eight years after making her first request  Began preaching in 1820 and preached throughout the United States and Canada  Spoke boldly even in slave states, preaching theWord of God and converting souls  Largely unacknowledged and unknown by women, African Americans, and Christians
  15. 15. Amanda Berry Smith, Evangelist  1837-1915  A Methodist woman born into slavery, overcoming severe poverty to serve the Lord as an evangelist  Deeply inspired by the strong work ethic of her father and the faith of different women in her family, including her mother and her aunt  First marriage ended due to the alcoholism and abuse of her first husband  Travelled around the world as an evangelist after marrying a preacher, fully converted to holiness, visiting Europe, Africa, and Asia  Established Amanda Smith’s Orphan’s Home forAfrican-American children in 1899; published her autobiography in 1893  Called “God’s image carved in ebony”  Unacknowledged for both her spiritual and historical contributions; unstudied in history: women’s, African-American and Christian history
  16. 16. Charlotte “Lottie” Moon, Evangelist  1840-1912  Grew up with solid education, proficient in several languages; profoundly converted at age 18; worked as a teacher prior to becoming a missionary  Entered the mission field at 33 years of age and spent over forty years in the mission field, teaching and evangelizing in China  In contrast with missionaries of her time, Lottie Moon wore Chinese clothing, adapted Chinese culture, and actively embraced the Chinese people in her work and evangelism  Responsible for calling church women to organize and support missions within the Southern Baptist Association  Faced plague, famine, and war throughout her work as missionary  Honored by the Episcopal Church as a saint with a feast day on their liturgical calendar; acknowledged in some Southern Baptist circles; largely unacknowledged by mostChristian communities today
  17. 17. Eliza Shirley, Evangelist  1863-c. 1945   Daughter of a preacher who longed for more than proper Victorian middle-class society; she spent hours memorizing her father’s sermons  Joined the Salvation Army and started a group for female preachers known as the Hallelujah Lassies; held open-air meetings to reach the poorest of the poor and the lost  A powerful female preacher within the Salvation Army as an ordained Salvation Army officer  Persecuted by the crowds with physical force; grew to become a revivalist and Salvation Army officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Major force in the spread of the Salvation Army in the United States; the Eliza Shirley House for Single Women and Families in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is named in her honor
  18. 18. Amy Beatrice Wilson Carmichael, Evangelist  1867-1951  Founder,Welcome Evangelical Church in Belfast; started a Sunday class for women, working until they needed a hall for 500 people weekly  Spent more than half a century in mission work, and more than 55 years as a missionary in India, despite personal illness and long periods of time with physical weakness and discomfort  Worked specifically with young girls forced into prostitution by temple priests and worked with orphans  Founder, Donhavur Fellowship, a sanctuary for thousands of children; author of over 35 books, including God’s Missionary  Assimilated into Indian culture by wearing Indian clothes, dying her skin with coffee, and travelled long distances to save children  Moderately known among some Christian missionary groups, but not acknowledged for her truly massive contributions to Christianity and women in ministry
  19. 19. Minnie E. Ludwig, Evangelist  1877-1958  Converted just before she turned 20 and began testifying of the power of God’s grace and sanctification through holiness  Worked at the Lighthouse Mission in St. Louis for two years, serving in city missions and evangelization  Licensed to preach in 1904 by the Free Methodist Church, and conducted revivals with Blanche Smith  Married in 1906, convincing her husband to accept the ways of holiness ; both went on to become preachers, conducting revivals; pastored home churches in the Church of the Nazarene  Later ordained in 1914, devoting the next 40 years to public revivals across the United States and Canada; preached over 9,000 sermons  Moderately revered by members of the Church of the Nazarene; largely unknown by most Christians and denominations today
  20. 20. Alice Reynolds Flower, Evangelist  1890-1991  One of the foremost female leaders in the founding of the Assemblies of God Church; a believer filled with the Holy Spirit since 1907, at the age of 16  Known for her teaching, preaching, ministering, leadership, writing and everyday living; author of several Sunday school lessons for children; author, speaker, and prayer leader for over 45 years  Along with her Husband, J. Roswell Flower, founded the Christian Evangel (now the Pentecostal Evangel) in 1913, a leading Christian magazine on current events and spiritual issues for nearly 100 years  Highly praised for her important role in the foundations of Pentecostalism, specifically within the Assemblies of God; virtually unknown and ignored in identity by the majority of Christians outside of Assemblies of God for her important contributions to the movement
  21. 21. Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, Evangelist  1892-1973  Born to Southern Presbyterian missionary parents  Served as a Presbyterian missionary for over 15 years, until her beliefs about certain matters became controversial, catching up with different arguments of the time, and causing her to resign  Went on to spend much of her life teaching and writing, becoming the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature (works include The Good Earth and A House Divided)  Known for her extensive humanitarian efforts, including advocacy for women’s rights, interracial adoption (establishing the first organization devoted to interracial adoptions), peace efforts, missionary work, immigration, and Asian cultures  Acknowledged for her contributions to literature, but largely ignored for her vast social and spiritual contributions
  22. 22. CorrieTen Boom, Evangelist  1892-1983  Known for harboring political refugees, Jews, and other Nazi dissenters during World War II in the Netherlands ; faced Nazi imprisonment and concentration camps before the end of the war  Operated refugee houses for concentration camp survivors after the war for rehabilitation and employment  After the war, starting in 1946, CorrieTen Boom wrote extensive books (including The Hiding Place) and travelled the world, proclaiming the Gospel and speaking in over 60 countries; emphasized the power of forgiveness  Was the first licensed female watchmaker in the Netherlands  Was a very popular figure in Christian circles at one time; largely ignored for her important contributions to women’s history, ministry, and Christian society as a whole
  23. 23. Hannah Hurnard, Evangelist  1905-1990  Raised a Quaker by parents strong in the faith, but Hannah found the meetings dull, and found herself unable to feel the presence of God; she deeply wrestled with the existence of God, fears, phobias, stammering, and even considered suicide when she was 19  In attendance at a Holiness revival when she was 19, Hannah still sought God, and in private, received revelation that the Lord was seeking her life as a sacrifice, stammering and all – once she turned her life over to Him, He healed her speech impediment  She became a powerful evangelist, sharing the Gospel with others, becoming a missionary in Israel to the Jews  A powerful author, best known for Hinds’ FeetOn High Places  Known and acknowledged for her books; phasing out in popularity in today’s modern church
  24. 24. Kathryn J. Kuhlman, Evangelist  1907-1976  Born again at 14, began preaching at the age of 16; was active on the preaching circuit for more than thirty years  Overcame much in her personal life, including a dishonest husband, an abusive marriage, and a difficult divorce.  Powerfully internationally known preacher, teacher, author, and healer, whose main ministry theme was teaching and preaching on the Person of the Holy Spirit  Known internationally for her healing ministry, countless touched and many healed; her television show, I Believe In Miracles, aired in the 1960s and 1970s  Considered a groundbreaker for women in ministry  Remembered for her powerful ministry by Christians across denominational lines; could be known for more of her teaching and powerful influences even today
  25. 25. Elisabeth Elliot Gren, Evangelist  1926-  A Bible student in Greek upon meeting her first husband, Jim Elliot; served in Equador as missionaries among the Huaorani people, including two years after the tribal members murdered her first husband  Spent several years on mission trips among the natives of South America  One of the stylistic consultants for the New International Version of the Bible in the 1970s  Host of the daily radio program, Gateway to Joy, which aired from 1988-2001; author of numerous books  Mildly acknowledged among some Christian communities for her devotion to evangelism and missions; largely unknown by most Christians and Christian women for her work
  26. 26. Margaret Fishback Powers, Evangelist  Unknown  While little is known about her life, Margaret Fishback Powers is best known as the author of the poem “Footprints,” which she wrote in 1964 as a young woman seeking God  She has been an evangelist, travelling with her husband, for over 30 years  Her poem, “Footprints,” has brought inspiration and comfort to millions of Christians worldwide
  27. 27.  To learn more about women in history, Christian women and their identity in Christ, women in ministry throughout history, and more, join Apostle Dr. Lee Ann Marino (Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries, Apostolic University) for Compass Training™ or History Makers™ Seminars and women in ministry preparation  Counts toward degree credit through Apostolic University  To learn more, visit powerfortoday.org, powerfortoday.webs.com, apostolicuniversity.webs.com, feministchristians.webs.com, or contact us: apostolicuniversity@powerfortoday.org.
  28. 28.  “Alice Reynolds Flower.” http://ifphc.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=audiostream.featureda udio2  “Amanda Smith:Washerwoman to Evangelist.” http://www.nathanielturner.com/amandasmithwasherwoman .htm  “Amy Carmichael.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Carmichael  “Beghards and Beguines.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beguines_and_Beghards  “CorrieTen Boom.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom  “Elisabeth Elliot.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_Elliot  “Eliza Shirley.” http://www.historyswomen.com/womenoffaith/ElizaShirley.h tm  “Footprints:TheTrue Story Behind the PoemThat Inspired Millions.” http://footprintspoem.ca/  “Grimke Sisters.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimk%C3%A9_sisters  “Hannah Hurnard,A Brief Biography.” http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/hannah-hurnard.htm  “Jarena Lee AME Preacher 1820.” http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nj/county/capemay/Jarena.htm  “Kathryn Kuhlman.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathryn_Kuhlman  “Lollardy.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lollardy  “Lottie Moon.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lottie_Moon  “Pearl S. Buck.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_S._Buck  “Smith, Amanda.” http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Amand a_Smith  “St.Anysia atThessalonica.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17202  “St. Doma.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17203  “St. Domnica of Constantinople.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17322  “St. Irene, Greatmartyr ofThessalonica.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/18346  “St. Restituta of Sora.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/18645  “St. Sophia ofThrace.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/18725  “St.Vassa and Her Children.” http://www.antiochian.org/1123298241  “Theodore and Minnie Ludwig.” http://www.nazarene.org/ministries/administration/ce ntennial/goals/ludwig/display.aspx  “Woman’s Movement InThe High Middle Ages,The.” http://thoughtsandplaces.org/WIZZK.HTML