Women Preachers

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

Women Preachers

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Women's leadership roles in the church had been limited by two factors: the attitude of society in general and, within the church, the sense that there was a divine prohibition against such roles for women. But these barriers were gradually being broken down. By the 1920s, women had roles in various denominations. Among conservative groups, one could find leading women revivalists, and even among Fundamentalism, often in its rhetoric opposed to new rights that women were gaining, women preachers and teachers were found in increasing numbers. Particularly was this so within Pentecostalism, the newest revivalist group on the scene, for they believed anyone baptised with the Holy Spirit (which, for them, usually meant the experience of glossolalia) was empowered by God to preach. Within Pentecostalism, Aimee Semple McPherson led the way, and it was within Pentecostalism that most girl evangelists had their roots. One troubling question did remain: if women had the right to preach, did they also that the right to pastor? That issue – license vs. ordination remained unsettled.

Keywords: women preachers; women's rights; license versus ordination; Aimee Semple McPherson; Pentecostalism

Chapter.  5380 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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