Female Pastors In History


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

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Female Pastors In History

  1. 1. Female Pastors In History<br />By Apostle Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.D.<br />Apostle in Office<br />Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries<br />© 2010 Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.<br />
  2. 2. Why understand female pastors in history?<br />Women in ministry is not a new happening, but a continuing revelation of God’s work all throughout salvation history<br />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<br />Women have been called into positions of leadership and authority by God, even if they were not recognized for their specific accomplishments by name <br />In the area of pastoring and local church authority, it is essential to see women have always filled this role<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li> Acts 18:1, 18-28, Romans 16:3, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Timothy 4:19
  4. 4. Mentioned throughout the New Testament, along with her husband, Aquilla, as companions of Paul and leaders of the church in Corinth
  5. 5. Known for taking Apollos, an influential Jew, into their home, and explaining the way of Christ to them more effectively
  6. 6. Had a congregation meet in their home in Corinth
  7. 7. When Priscilla’s name appears in the Bible along with her husband, hers is listed first, indicating a spiritual prominence and importance
  8. 8. Revered as a saint in traditional denominations, yet her identity is overlooked or abused; many use her as a justification to exclude women from positions of leadership; others minimize her true importance in New Testament Christianity</li></ul>Priscilla, Pastor<br />
  9. 9. <ul><li> 1 Corinthians 1:11
  10. 10. Prominent woman of Corinth
  11. 11. A first-century pastor with a congregation meeting in her house, specifically addressed by the Apostle Paul in his letter, 1 Corinthians
  12. 12. In this understanding, Chloe would have been the pastor of those under her spiritual guidance and she would have been accountable to the Apostle Paul
  13. 13. It would have been at the prompting of Chloe that the Apostle Paul came forth to bring correction to the Corinthian church
  14. 14. She is literally ignored, overlooked, cast aside, and not regarded with sainthood in any traditional religion; there is not a single icon or image of this revolutionary woman</li></ul>Chloe, Pastor<br />
  15. 15. <ul><li> Acts 16:14-15
  16. 16. The first European convert to Christianity under the ministry of the Apostle Paul
  17. 17. Offered hospitality to the Apostle Paul and his companions in her home
  18. 18. Upon her conversion, Lydia’s entire household was baptized and converted as well, thereby becoming their spiritual leader; her home became a center of faith for European Christians
  19. 19. As this work was established, the Apostle Paul and his companions returned to preach and teach in her home
  20. 20. Revered as a saint in all traditional churches; seldom acknowledged, and never formally observed as a pastor</li></ul>Lydia, Pastor<br />
  21. 21. <ul><li> Colossians 4:15
  22. 22. Leader of a home church in Colossae
  23. 23. She and her church specifically received greetings from the Apostle Paul in his letter sent to the Colossian Christians
  24. 24. Revered as a saint on the books in the traditional churches; unacknowledged as a pastor and virtually ignored in modern groups; in fact, her feast day was removed from the Roman Catholic calendar of veneration in 1969 due to lack of ‘evidence’ surrounding her life</li></ul>Nympha, Pastor<br />
  25. 25. <ul><li> Second Century
  26. 26. A late-in-life convert who was not baptized until her old age
  27. 27. Led and pastored her grandchildren in the faith, converting and teaching them all
  28. 28. In their zeal, her three grandsons tore down all their idols; while she praised them for their bravery, they were killed for renouncing paganism
  29. 29. Leonilla was beheaded for the conversion and instruction of her grandsons
  30. 30. Acknowledged as a saint in traditional churches, especially in Spain; unstudied in general history and largely unacknowledged</li></ul>Leonilla, Pastor<br />
  31. 31. <ul><li> d. 304
  32. 32. Converted her parents to Christianity; devoted her life unto the Lord
  33. 33. Worked great miracles against those who sought to do her harm for her faith and persevered in belief
  34. 34. As paganism dissolved within her locale, she became an abbess over a monastery in her city
  35. 35. Became a martyr for her faith
  36. 36. Revered as a saint in traditional religious churches; generally unacknowledged and unstudied by modern Christian women</li></ul>Justina of Nicomedia, Pastor<br />
  37. 37. <ul><li> Third Century AD
  38. 38. Abbess of a monastery in Asia Minor
  39. 39. Supported and taught a young girl, Rhipsime, lived an aesthetic life of prayer
  40. 40. When the Emperor Diocletian saw her image and desired to marry her, she refused despite words of kidnapping and threats of torture
  41. 41. Due to Rhimpsime’s witness as a martyr, Gaiana, her pastor, and another woman also became martyrs for the faith
  42. 42. The wrath of God befell those who martyred these women and they spent their lives as wild beasts
  43. 43. Acknowledged as a saint in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches; little is taught directly of her work and life as the influence of Rhipsime</li></ul>Gaiana of Armenia, Pastor<br />
  44. 44. <ul><li> 347-403
  45. 45. Born into a noble family; given in marriage to a pagan man who, though pagan, was devoted to her and her family and allowed their five children to be raised as Christians
  46. 46. Became a widow at 32 when her husband died suddenly; desired to turn her home into a monastery
  47. 47. Was covered by St. Jerome and established two other monasteries in Jerusalem, one for women and one for men
  48. 48. Daily the nuns chanted the entire Psalter, which they were required to memorize by heart
  49. 49. Austere in prayer, fast, and almsgiving
  50. 50. Was of great assistance and encouragement to her covering, St. Jerome
  51. 51. Considered a saint in most major religions; largely unknown and uncelebrated by most believers crossing denominations</li></ul>Paula of Rome, Pastor<br />
  52. 52. <ul><li> d. 350
  53. 53. Daughter of rich parents who desired to serve God and devote herself to fasting and prayer from a young age
  54. 54. After the death of her parents, she distributed her worldly goods to the poor, left the city with her sister, and lived in a crypt for the rest of her days
  55. 55. Her deeds and lifestyle became well-known and many girls and women came to pray, worship, and live under her guidance
  56. 56. Instructed numerous women and girls through preaching, teaching, and action
  57. 57. Revered as a saint in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions; virtually unknown and ignored in identity by the majority of Christians, both traditional, and modern</li></ul>Syncletica of Alexandria, Pastor<br />
  58. 58. <ul><li> d. 570
  59. 59. The “Foster Mother of the Irish Saints”
  60. 60. Born into nobility and founded a school and convent still existing in Newcastle West in County Limerick; a well still stands to mark the site of her church
  61. 61. Established a convent which was a training ground for young boys, including Brendan, Apostle of Ireland, and her nephew, Mochaemhoch
  62. 62. Served as spiritual counsel for many, and also practiced medicine; lived in repentance and discipline
  63. 63. Believed the three things most pleasing to God were firm belief of a pure heart in God, simple religious life, and liberality with charity.
  64. 64. Revered as a saint in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions; virtually unknown by Christians today</li></ul>Ita, the Hermitess of Killeady, Pastor<br />
  65. 65. <ul><li> Fifth Century AD
  66. 66. Given in marriage to a wealthy man, moved by faith and often spent days praying in church and seeking repentance for sins
  67. 67. Upon meeting two Elderesses, Matrona sought to begin living an aesthetic life, engaging in fasting and prayer, against the wishes of her husband
  68. 68. Eventually left her family and sought to follow the Lord, wherever he led her; she had to disguise herself as a monk to avoid being found by her husband’s pursuits
  69. 69. When she was discovered to be female in a male monastery, she was sent to a women’s monastery
  70. 70. Became the abbess of the monastery at Emesa
  71. 71. Known beyond the walls of her monastery for her gift of healing, many conversions to the Lord
  72. 72. Acknowledged as a saint in traditional religions; virtually unacknowledged and unclaimed by Christian women today</li></ul>Matrona, Abbess of Constantinople, Pastor<br />
  73. 73. <ul><li> Seventh century
  74. 74. From a strong family of faith; had four sisters who also worked in Christian ministry
  75. 75. After marriage, Sexburga kept a home church in which members attended day and night for prayer
  76. 76. All of her three children and also her grandchildren followed in the family spirit of ministry
  77. 77. After the death of her husband, Sexburga became a regent on behalf of her son and abbess of her own community, overseeing 74 nuns until her death
  78. 78. Revered as a saint, especially in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; largely unstudied and unheard of by most Christian women today</li></ul>Sexburga of Kent, Pastor<br />
  79. 79. <ul><li>Seventh century
  80. 80. From a staunchly pious and religious family
  81. 81. Became a nun at Soissons, France, and an abbess at St. Julien de Pres Abbey in Le Mans, France
  82. 82. Revered in the Catholic Church as the patron saint of religious women and nuns in France; as can be seen by the very limited information available about her life, she is not well-known to Christian women</li></ul>Ada, Pastor<br />
  83. 83. <ul><li>Seventh century
  84. 84. Of Wessex nobility; converted to Christianity in 635
  85. 85. Left home to become a nun, and was joined by two other women
  86. 86. Founded a convent at Everingham
  87. 87. Led a community of more than 980 women
  88. 88. Though acknowledged as a saint in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, virtually unknown by Christian women</li></ul>Everilda of Everingham, Pastor<br />
  89. 89. <ul><li> d. 680
  90. 90. Baptized at a young age by one of the first missionaries to the British Isles
  91. 91. Entered into monastic life
  92. 92. Hailed as “the Moses of her people;” walked in a powerful prophetic gift of visions and dreams throughout her life
  93. 93. Women’s rights advocate
  94. 94. Acknowledged for her important contributions to abolitionism, African-American history, and women’s history</li></ul>Hilda, Abbess of Whitney, Pastor<br />
  95. 95. <ul><li> c. 920-960
  96. 96. Born into a royal family and desiring spiritual life from a young age
  97. 97. After selecting a chalice rather than gold jewelry at the age of three, Edburga was sent to the care of her cousin, Abbess of a Winchester convent
  98. 98. Revered for her love, gentleness, humility, and holiness in her lifetime
  99. 99. Known for her service, including washing the socks of her fellow nuns, never withholding service for any purpose
  100. 100. Many believe she became Abbess of Winchester
  101. 101. Revered as a saint in traditional denominations; virtually unknown by modern Christian women</li></ul>Edburga of Winchester, Pastor<br />
  102. 102. <ul><li>1599-1672
  103. 103. Born Marie Guyart; married young and had a son, only to have her husband die two years later
  104. 104. Joined the Ursulines at Tours, and became the founder of the order in France and Canada
  105. 105. Rebuilt the first convent in Quebec after fire and spent the rest of her life teaching the Algonquin Indians, and compiling words for dictionaries, that English and Algonquin speakers could learn to communicate
  106. 106. Experienced many visions and spiritual gifts over the years
  107. 107. Regarded as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church; largely unacknowledged by Christian women today</li></ul>Marie Guyart of the Incarnation, Pastor<br />
  108. 108. <ul><li> 1829-1890
  109. 109. Overcame illness and inspired by faith (reading the entire Bible eight times by age twelve) as a young woman to become the “Army Mother” of the Salvation Army
  110. 110. Confronted culture by working as a female speaker and preacher, including at youth, children’s, and adults
  111. 111. Known for holding meetings for converts and doing extensive work with alcoholics
  112. 112. Active in the work of ministry (including changes, doctrinal issues, and many other important issues) and with women throughout the founding of the Salvation Army
  113. 113. Delivered her final sermon to an audience of 25,000 people
  114. 114. Virtually unknown and ignored by Christians today</li></ul>Catherine Booth, Pastor<br />
  115. 115. <ul><li>1847-1896
  116. 116. Born and educated in Madrid, Spain; lived with her aunt who established a home for domestic servants
  117. 117. In company with her aunt, Vincentia established a group of women who desired to minister to and educate working girls
  118. 118. Out of this work grew the institute of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate for Domestic Service between 1878-1888
  119. 119. Organization spread throughout Europe and Latin America
  120. 120. Although a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, largely unknown by Christian women today</li></ul>Vincentia Maria Lopez Y Vicuna, Pastor<br />
  121. 121. <ul><li> Unknown
  122. 122. Nothing is known about her early life and very little known about her ministry
  123. 123. First woman ordained in the Church of the Nazarene, 1892
  124. 124. Founder of a congregation in 1890 in Malden, Massachusetts
  125. 125. Virtually unknown and ignored in identity by the majority of Christians, both traditional, and modern</li></ul>Anna S. Hanscombe, Pastor<br />
  126. 126. <ul><li> 1886-1970
  127. 127. Saved at age fourteen and sanctified by age fifteen, Agnes White Diffee was hesitant to answer the call to serve God in ministry; at sixteen, she became the youngest revivalist in the country
  128. 128. She used being a woman as an excuse not to follow God in ministry, not pursuing preaching full-time; after avoiding her calling for a number of years, she developed arthritis, which she believed was in response to her avoidance of her call
  129. 129. Ordained a Senior Pastor in 1919; saw her first church grow to over one thousand members; went on to serve in several other churches and also served on the Board of Regents for a Nazarene college
  130. 130. Hailed as a stellar example for women in ministry among Nazarenes; virtually ignored by other Christian denominations</li></ul>Agnes White Diffee, Pastor<br />
  131. 131. <ul><li>1890-1944
  132. 132. Grew up with a strong influence in the Salvation Army thanks to her mother; grew up playing “Salvation Army” with her friends and playing church with her dolls
  133. 133. Founder and pastor of the Foursquare Gospel, a Pentecostal Mission (became the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel) and its church, Angelus Temple, in Los Angeles; first “mega church” pastor
  134. 134. Pioneer in the use of modern media, especially radio; gifted in using media, technology, and modern issues to promote the Gospel; important figure in the Women’s Movement
  135. 135. Fervent heart for souls and for the social gospel: known for aid to the homeless and hungry; known for interracial meetings and bridging the gap between racial groups
  136. 136. Spent years preaching in revivals, tent revivals, and for healings; received a recommend from the American Medical Association for having so many legitimate healings
  137. 137. While semi-acknowledged as a church figure, not nearly acknowledged for her contributions to women, Christian women, women in ministry, and women’s history</li></ul>Aimee Semple McPherson, Pastor<br />
  138. 138. Join us!<br />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<br />Counts toward degree credit through Apostolic University<br />To learn more, visit powerfortoday.org, powerfortoday.webs.com, apostolicuniversity.webs.com, feministchristians.webs.com, or contact us: apostolicuniversity@powerfortoday.org. <br />
  139. 139. References<br />“St. Edburga of Winchester.” http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/edburga.html<br />“St. Gaiana of Armenia.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/16738<br />“St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/16863<br />“St. Ita, the Hermitess of Killeady.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17331<br />“St. Justina of Nicomedia.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/16769<br />“St. Leonilla and St. Jonilla at Cappadocia.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17333<br />“St. Matrona, Abbess of Constantinople.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/16871<br />“St. Paula of Rome.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17350<br />“St. Sexburga of Kent.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/18923<br />“St. Syncletica of Alexandria.” http://www.antiochian.org/node/17319<br />“St. Vincentia Maria Lopez Y Vicuna.” http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=601<br />“Who Were Aquilla And Priscilla?” http://www.biblequestions.org/Archives/BQAR387.htm <br />“Agnes White Diffee.” http://www.whwomenclergy.org/booklets/cloud_of_witnesses.php#AgnesWhiteDiffee<br />“Aimee Semple McPherson.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimee_Semple_McPherson<br />“Blessed Marie of the Incarnation.” http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=517<br />“Catherine Booth.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Booth<br />“Everilda.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everilda<br />“KCAA Dusty Shelf, v. 18.” http://www.umkc.edu/KCAA/DUSTYSHELF/DS18.HTM<br />Riss, Kathryn. “Women Pastors in the Early Church.” http://www.godswordtowomen.org/pastors.htm<br />“St. Ada.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Ada<br />