The Golden Age of Girl Evangelists

Thomas A. Robinson and Lanette D. Ruff

in Out of the Mouths of Babes

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199790876
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919192 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

The Golden Age of Girl Evangelists

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The 1920s was marked by a revolution of manners and morals. Women, especially the flappers, have received much attention. But a stark contrast to the flappers had a stage during this period ‐‐ hundreds of young girl preachers such as Uldine Utley and Betty Weakland. This chapter examines the golden age of the phenomenon, situating girl evangelists in the age of child stars (even a child lecturer on atheism and evolution), a young Hollywood, competing news wire services, and a clash of cultures (between religion and secularism and, within religion, between Modernism and Fundamentalists). Also addressed is the importance of the newspaper record in identifying the phenomenon. As well, a definition of a “girl evangelist” is offered, with an examination of how various terms were used.

Keywords: Uldine Utley; Betty Weakland; flappers; child stars; Atheism; evolution; Modernism; Fundamentalism; Secularism

Chapter.  5263 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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