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Your Daughters Shall Prophesy

From the beginning, the Church of the Nazarene expressed openness to women’s involvement in clergy and lay offices at every level. A look at the historical contributions of women to the church reveals the key behind this early acceptance of their voices and gifts–the concept of an apostolic ministry.   Anna Hanscome’s resolve to establish […]

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Whatever happened to Fannie McDowell Hunter?

Fannie McDowell Hunter was there at the beginning, conducting revivals and mentoring younger women preachers. She assisted Texas Holiness University’s early development, labored for the Nazarene Bible Institute at Pilot Point, Texas, and then . . .vanished in 1912 from the historical record.   Born in Missouri in about 1860, she was the granddaughter of […]

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Elliott J. Sheeks: Unconventional Woman

Elliott J. Deboe was 18 and on the cusp of womanhood when she heard Louisa Woosley preach in a Kentucky revival. Woosley, a Cumberland Presbyterian, was opening doors for women to preach in the South, and Elliott Deboe took it all in. Four years earlier she had heard —for the first time—a woman pray aloud […]

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The Women of the Eighth General Assembly

The Women of the Eighth General Assembly gathered in Wichita, Kans., to participate in the highest governing conference of the Church of the Nazarene. They constituted 30 percent of this General Assembly of 1932—more than half the lay delegates and 1 in every 15 clergy delegates. Female participation was rising. In 12 years, women would […]

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The Two Mrs. Chapmans

By Louise Chapman’s death in 1993, many regarded her as the Mrs. J. B. Chapman. And yet the wife of Chapman’s youth, the mother of his seven children, and his companion for 37 years was Maud Frederick. The two women who graced his life in marriage were pioneers: Maud as an early revival and home […]

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Mary Lee Cagle: a study in women’s history, religion

Women’s history programs were established firmly in American universities in the 1980s, marking their evolution from an incipient movement of reformist scholarship to a part of the academic mainstream. Today there are scholarly journals devoted solely to publishing the findings of women’s history research. General publishers have joined university presses in marketing primary and secondary […]

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The Deaconess in Nazarene History

The Nazarene deaconess has been a lay order functioning from the beginning of our history alongside the regular ministry ordained to “Word and Table.” Clear lines have always separated the two types of ministry. There was a gender line. The deaconess order was specifically for women, originating in 19th-century mainline Protestantism, where women were excluded […]

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Pressing the Vision: Olive Winchester

The value of a Christian college captured Eugene Emerson in 1912, while visiting Nazarene University (later Pasadena College) in California. A native Kansan, founder of an Idaho lumber company, and future mayor of Nampa, the taciturn Emerson had been recently sanctified and drawn into the holiness movement. After meeting Phineas Bresee, Seth Rees, and H. […]

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Phoebe Palmer: Mother of the Holiness Revival

She could have graced a throne, or filled the office of a bishop, or organized and governed a new sect. . . . Whoever promotes holiness in all this country, must build upon the deep-laid foundations of this holy woman,” wrote a leading minister upon the death in 1874 of Phoebe Palmer of New York […]

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Ordained to Serve

“(Dec. 13, 1899). G. M. Hammond, Mrs. R. L. Harris, and E. J. Sheeks, all members of this congregation, applied for ordination. Each one was examined as to their eligibility for ordination and stood the examination and have proven themselves as faithful ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ . . .   “Dec. 14, nine […]

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Susan Norris Fitkin: Mother of Missions

With the coming of 1991, the Nazarene World Mission Society begins its 76th year. Authorized by the General Assembly of 1915 as the missionary auxiliary of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, the society was first known as the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society. The organization quickly joined the deaconness movement as one of the two […]

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Mattie Mallory for the Children

Her name was Mattie Mallory, and she had a compassionate heart for orphan children. She was the founder of Nazarene social work in the Southwest, starting both the Oklahoma Orphanage and the Peniel Orphanage before 1902. J. T. Roberts assisted in her work in Oklahoma City and Pilot Point, Texas, before launching Rest Cottage, his […]

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Lucía de Costa’s Enduring Witness

Lucía Carmen García was born into a middle-class family in Buenos Aires in 1903. As a child, she had high educational aspirations, envisioning herself as a future university graduate. Her exemplary piety led her to participate in many church groups, including the Daughters of Mary. She felt called especially, to bring the Catholic faith to […]

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Called Not of Men but of God

“Some are pastors and evangelists, licensed preachers and deaconesses, missionaries and teachers from our education institutions . . . women with holy hearts, self-sacrificing spirits, shining faces, tearful testimonies, and a vision, born of God, for this great work fulling their souls. One of the remarkable developments of the holiness movement has been the bringing […]

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A Passionate Sense of Mission

“And to her was given the gift of prophecy.”   Thus aptly inscribed is the graduation picture of Myrtle Mangum in the Pasadena College yearbook of 1920, for she had proven her mettle after a decade of preaching and teaching ministry.   A native Texan, Myrtle Mangum was converted and sanctified in 1907 under the […]

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