Tag Archives: Article

Pluralism Versus Universalism

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women in Ministry

Should women be ordained as ministers of the gospel? This question is at the heart of the complex issue of women in ministry. No church, no pastor, no denomination is immune from dealing with this subject. And, no matter what our opinions are, they must first be rooted in Scripture. That is why it is […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Daughter, if You Don’t Like it, Change it; Your Father is Rich

When the Church of the Nazarene was very young, in 1924 Louise Robinson, later to become thewife of General Superintendent J. B. Chapman, embarked on her missionary service in Africa. Soon after arriving, she was assigned the unbelievable task of housing girls who ran away from betrothals into which they had been forced or sold. […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Catherine Booth

To her contemporaries, Catherine Mumford Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army, was the epitome of eloquence, compassion, clarity of thought, Scriptural knowledge, forthrightness, and decisiveness.   She was preaching in London’s City Temple in 1888. In her audience was a young American seminarian named S. Parkes Cadman. Several decades later, himself a preacher of world […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Biblical Mandate for Women in Ministry

Women pastors? Senior pastors? In our church? Over a hundred years ago we Wesleyans led the way in opening ordained ministry to women. So why is this an increasingly difficult topic in The Wesleyan Church?   First, some mistakenly assume that Wesleyan women who claim a call to ordained ministry and want to pastor Wesleyan […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Go Ahead, Sister Cole: Where Only Men Had Gone Before

On a Sunday morning in the year 1878, a diminutive woman stepped into a pulpit to preach. The minister in charge of the camp meeting at Salisbury, Missouri, had just announced to the crowd gathered there that the Lord had not given him a message.   Just the same, that preacher knew that someone in […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Promise Fulfilled: Women’s Ministries in the Wesleyan/Holiness Movement

Introduction   While evangelist Lena Shoffner was preaching in Oklahoma City in 1904, a man rose and proceeded to the platform. Disrupting the meeting, he shouted: “I rebuke thee in the name of the Lord.” The individual insisted Shoffner leave the pulpit. In response, she stopped her sermon long enough to place her hand on […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Tell me the Old, Old Story: An Analysis of Autobiographies by Holiness Women

Autobiographies “draw us as surely as we are drawn to the pages of People magazine in the dentist’s waiting room.”1 The person making this statement, however, apparently had not read some holiness autobiographies! Fortunately, another scholar observes: “There is less concern now with prescriptive definitions of a ‘true’ or ‘good’ autobiography.”2 Many holiness autobiographies would […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Social Holiness in New York City: Wesleyan/Holiness Women Share God’s love

When historians of American religion turn their attention to Christian outreach in our cities at the turn of the century, they generally mention social gospelers such as Walter Rauschenbusch or Washington Gladden, who emerged from mainline Protestantism. Often overlooked are the efforts of women in the Wesleyan/Holiness Movement who also ministered among the millions of […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Empowered Foremothers: Wesleyan/Holiness Women Speak to Today’s Christian Feminists

Women in the Wesleyan/Holiness Movement of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries possessed the power of the Holy Spirit which enabled them to minister. Amanda Smith and Hulda Rees are just two examples. Methodist Bishop James M. Thoburn attributed Amanda Smith’s evangelistic success to “that invisible something which we are accustomed to call power, and […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Evangelism, Feminism and Social Reform: Quaker Women Ministers and Holiness Revival

“In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action” (Hammarskjöld 122). Although Dag Hammarskjöld penned these words in the late twentieth century, his dictum would have been heartily embraced by Quaker women transformed by the revival spirit of the nineteenth century. A common presupposition among Quaker theologians and historians is […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Gospel Trumpet Editorial

The church of Christ is a kingdom that is not of this world.   If we would know the truth, we must look above and beyond earthly standards and be willing to be taught by Him in whom is hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.   To the first disciples, who were already […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

D. Willia Caffray: Called Unto Holiness

“Thou hast pardoned my transgressions.” April 18, 1897.   “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth me from all sin.” March 12, 1898.   “I am, O Lord, wholly and forever Thine.”   “The Holy Spirit abides.”   “The prince of this world shall have no part nor lot in me.”   “The government […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women in Ministry: Conviction or Culture?

The mission statement of Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City includes the intentional phrase “to prepare men and women for the practice of Christian ministry.” At NTS this academic year, 63 women are preparing for ministry. The majority of these women are preparing for pastoral ministry in answer to God’s call in their lives. They […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women Ministers in the Holiness Movement: Where Have They All Gone?

The Holiness Movement began with a woman, some of us historians say. That woman was Phoebe Palmer (1807-74).   Phoebe (FEE-be) Palmer was an American Methodist laywoman who for nearly 40 years taught that God’s grace makes possible the full sanctification of Christian believers.   She traveled thousands of miles throughout the United States, Canada, […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Church in Her House . . .

Patiently and persistingly digging around in old ruins and unearthing remains of civilizations long gone might at first thought be seen as a boring and unexciting assignment. But those who have had a hand in it claim that patience and persistence are rewarded now and then by astonishing finds, some of which shed interpretive light […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women in the Pew, but Destined for the Pulpit

How many women, I wonder, will glance at the title of this article and wonder if it will address what they have a notion it might. The article is a message for women who have an uncanny “stirring” in their spirits to answer a call to pastoral ministry. It is also a message for their […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women in Ministry: What Does the Bible say?

Did the church send forth men or women to preach the gospel? The church sent forth such as God called, whether male or female, though, because of social conditions, most of those sent then, as now, were men. In Christ Jesus there is neither male or female. God has in both the old and new […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Emma Brown Malone: A Mother of Feminism?

Introduction   One consequence of the rise of Evangelical Quakerism in the Americas in the later 19th and early 20th centuries was a rebirth of evangelism. Early English Quakers went as “Messengers of Truth” to convert Britain, the colonies, and foreign lands. Evangelical Friends, especially in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Iowa, California and Oregon, […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

For Men Only? Breaking a Two Thousand-year-old Tradition

Consecration of Barbara C. Harris as the first woman bishop of the Episcopal Church, U.S., met with strong opposition from some segments of the denomination. Citing tradition and Scripture as the basis for their negative stance, the opposers do not agree to “changing the 2,000- year tradition of ordaining only men to the priesthood and […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Deep spiritual apostasy?

The continuing controversy regarding the role of women in the life of the Church gives indication as to how far some have drifted from the New Testament pattern. To debate the right of women to serve as pastors, preachers, and evangelists is to ignore God’s revealed truth. A serious study of Scripture vindicates their right […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

A Liberated Woman

The afterglow of the resurrection continues in the lives of spiritually liberated people. Christ’s triumph over death made possible the liberation of the human heart from the fear of dying. God has always been on the side of the oppressed and the down-trodden. Whether that be the condition of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage or […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Is There a Place for Me?

Teresa approached my teacher’s desk one day after class. She wanted to know if I had time to talk a few minutes about a personal matter. Concern marked her face. I told her I’d give her all the time she needed. The other students quickly filed out of the classroom, leaving us alone to talk. […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

God is an Equal-Opportunity Employer

God, our great Creator, designed creation with a purpose. The Scriptures proclaim, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Human beings are the crown of creation, made in God’s likeness; and God made […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

In Memoriam: Mrs. Phoebe Palmer

The departure of this precious woman will create deep sorrow at home and abroad. It is not only a family that is bereaved, but a city, a Church, and two hemispheres. Among all the “elect ladies” whom Christianity has produced, none have excelled Phoebe Palmer. Her work has been of the holiest character, her zeal […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Empowering Women for Leadership

Two women reared in the church—and taught early that God calls, empowers, and leads—ponder the question, “why are there so few women in places of leadership?”   Ponder with us some important questions that concern both the Church of the Nazarene and the broader world. Both of us were privileged to attend a Nazarene college, […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Five Reasons Women Should Teach, Preach, and Minister

No wise person begins building a strong house by trying to hang windows before the foundation and framing are completed. Yet that is often the approach taken when forming a so called biblical view of women in ministry. Many people quickly parrot the phrase, “Women should keep silent in the churches” (I Cor. 14:33), or […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Helping the Church Accept Women in Leadership

The formation of the title for this workshop raises immediate questions. Do the churches need help? Do they want help? Assuming both questions receive affirmative answers, other questions remain: what kind of help will prove salutary and who is most likely to provide it? These questions underlie our task together, and while my remarks do […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Two Become One: God’s Design for Couples

From slow reflection across 54 years of marriage, we want to bring together here a record of how we have come to see the bold and empowering vision of Creation—how Man and Woman came into being to create a mystery in the image of God with an echo of Trinitarian mystery: two become one! And […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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. […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

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 […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Early Holiness Movement: Redefining the Role of Women

From its very earliest days in America the Methodist/Holiness Movement redefined the role of women in ministry, giving them a level of respect and dignity beyond that which had been afforded them at any previous period or by any other religion, society, or movement in church history.   These gains did not come without good […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Amanda Smith’s Amazing Grace

Amanda Berry Smith had the wrong credentials to be an evangelist. She was born in 1837, a black, a freed slave, and a woman during a time when women were second-class citizens. Yet this small, black woman dressed in plain Quaker garb became a well-known deeper-life speaker and evangelist in both white and black churches […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Iva Durham Vennard: An Elect Lady

Iva Durham Vennard’s relationship with the holiness movement was lifelong, beginning with her conversion at the age of twelve under the ministry of a holiness evangelist of that era, Rev. Milton (Father) Haney. Six years later she received great benefit from attending the Decatur, IL Holiness Camp, then one of the largest (10,000 people on […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women in ministry: A Biblical, Historical Perspective

In looking for a scriptural answer to the question about women’s role in the church, we have a clear-cut decision to make. We can take 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 as definitive statements on the issue and then have to distort, twist and try to explain many, many other statements and accounts throughout […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Catherine Booth: Model Minister

Catherine Booth began her public speaking in 1860. Years later, after the conclusion of one of her addresses in Exeter Hall in London, a gentleman exclaimed, “If ever I am charged with a crime, don’t bother to engage any of the great lawyers to defend me; get that woman!”   Such was often the effect […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Gospel is the Magna Carta for Women’s Ministry

From the beginning women ministers have played a leading role in the holiness movement.   In the vanguard of these lady preachers is Phoebe Palmer who preached for more than 50 years in America and Britain and led thousands into the experience of perfect love, including several bishops.   In the heyday of the great holiness […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

A Passion for Souls

Mention Phoebe Palmer to a group of Christians and usually several people will say, “Phoebe who?” Ms. Palmer converted literally thousands of people in America and Europe and is considered by some the most influential woman in the Methodist church in America in the 1800s (White 2), but she is frequently forgotten.   Born to […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women Ministers: Workers in Exile?

In a pastors’ conference, the dynamic host pastor concluded a message by inviting forward for a special prayer of God’s blessing all those who were called to preach. Out of the large audience several hundred persons responded. All the respondents were men except one.   It was some time before the pastor noticed the one […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Last at the Cross, First at the Tomb

I have three grandchildren—a grandson and two granddaughters. My daughter, the mother of these grandchildren, is an ordained United Methodist pastor. She serves part-time as an associate minister in a local United Methodist church. In that church, until recently, the senior minister was a woman, the organist was a woman, and the choir director was […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Hannah Whitall Smith: A Woman for all Seasons

More people, whether religious or non-religious, know about Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) than any other woman who was active in the holiness movement of the nineteenth century. Hannah Tatum Whitall was the first-born daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker family,. The early years of her life were almost idyllic according to her own account. At […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The People Called Free Methodist: Snapshots

From the first, our denomination has seen a place for women in leadership. We followed John Wesley. However, his encouragement of women workers did not permit ordination. And Free Methodists ordained women, only as deacons until June of 1974 when the General Conference made the highest ordination — elder — possible. M. Jean Parry was […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

God’s will for the Family

It is impossible to interpret individual ethical precepts in the Epistle to the Ephesians without considering the overall framework of the ethical teaching of Paul, and indeed, of the New Testament as a whole. Much harm has been done, and is still being done, by the assumption that, to discuss Paul’s ethical teaching for today […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

In Praise of Women Preachers

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. . . . It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

A Woman’s Place? Leadership in the Church

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17, NIV). The truth of this verse has been validated in my experience in that I cannot imagine myself having written this kind of book even a decade ago.   Like Moses, whose attention was seized by […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Labor of Women in the Gospel

Questions frequently come to us respecting woman’s place in the gospel, and we have not attempted to answer them all in the question department. The darkness of the apostasy has left such a great shadow over the minds of the sectarian world, and tradition has blinded the minds of many honest souls who might have […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

A Case Study in Biblical Interpretation

Introduction   In coming to this workshop/case study, there are certain affirmations or understandings which I state as basic to our approach.1   First of all, I am committed to the full inspiration of the Scriptures. I personally subscribe to the inerrancy position in my definition of biblical inspiration. Whether all of us subscribe to […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Equal Access to Grace in Ministry

by James R. Christoph Christoph, J. R. (1990) “Equal Access to Grace in Ministry: Women and Men.” In Listening to the Word of God, ed. Barry L. Callen, pp. 41-55. Anderson, IN: Anderson University and Warner Press.   The Church of God Reformation Movement, among many other Christian groups, clearly has affirmed active roles for […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Pioneer: Sarah Smith

Sketch No. 4—Sarah Smith   Sarah Smith, familiarly called Mother Smith, was born in Summit Country, Ohio, Sept. 20, 1822. Her maiden name was Sauer. From her own autobiography this sketch is principally written. Her education was very limited, the whole of her schooling amounting to less than three months after she was twelve years […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Women Preachers

In our study of this subject I regard the teaching of the Bible as the only binding authority. At the same time it will help us to understand the biblical teaching if we take only a glance at early church history. Practically all Protestant church historians are agreed that there was a very rapid and […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Pioneer: Mary Cole

When God has his way, he sometimes anoints and calls women to his service, as well as men. As a pioneer of the present movement toward Christian unity in the one body of Christ, and as a vessel who seems to have been specially chosen, we have this time, in biographical sketch, Mary Cole.   […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

No Room for Discrimination Against Women Preachers

In the Book of Acts we get a remarkable insight into the fresh, bright, joyous, and vigorous life of the early church. We find the apostle Paul and his company on the road to Jerusalem: “And we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which is one of the seven; and abode with him. […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

The Apostolic Church: The Place of Women

Any unbiased reader of the New Testament may easily convince himself that for the Christians of the first century the movement of the Spirit of God was the supreme authority in all the work of the church. Throughout the ages the Apostle Paul has been cited as authority for denying to women the right to […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Should Women Preach?

There are scriptures that apparently oppose women’s preaching, thus creating some argument and sentiment against women’s laboring in that capacity. Because of such sentiment they are not only hindered in a measure from doing good they could do, but also their work is made doubly hard.   The following scriptures are the ones that give […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Vivian Pressley served 40 Years in One Church

It all started forty-six years ago in 1946 when a teenager walked into a small Nazarene church in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and inquired, “I’ve come here to see who Vivian Hinson is. For three weeks, my dad has been walking the floor and praying for someone named Vivian Hinson, and I had to see […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Culture and Concupiscence: The Changing Definition of Sanctity in the Wesleyan Holiness Movement, 1867-1920

Introduction In the 1880s, consonant with the custom of many in the Wesleyan/Holiness Movement, the ministers and many laypersons in Daniel S. Warner’s Church of God Reformation Movement refused to wear neckties. Many believed them to be signs of the “superfluity of naughtiness” (James 1:21 KJV) or of sheer pride. Many, but not all. Warner […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

I’m Ted and I’m Married to Your Minister

No way was it supposed to happen. She was out of college and in a career. Then she took classes at a nearby seminary to become a better informed Christian. She loved Old Testament study, led the class in her maiden course of theology, and entered the Master of Divinity program after a year. Soon […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Stop Pushing Sister off the Scaffold!

Eighteen years ago I said “yes” to God’s call into ministry. This month I’ll finally be graduating from seminary, ready to step into service in the Free Methodist Church. What’s on the horizon for an ordained woman? What will I find out there?   First, I see tremendous opportunities. In the past two years I’ve […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →