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Q&A #144 - Churches that have ordained women
by Robert Nguyen Cramer (126.96.36.199)
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
Thank you for this website. I'm new at Bible study, but your website answered some of my questions and had similar ways of thinking about the Bible that I had. I truly believe that God and Jesus love women just as much as men and that women had to have a greater (or equal) role in Christianity than what is taught.
I live in ___ and was wondering if there is a church in my area that preaches along the line of this website. I believe women should be ordained, too. Are there any people whose books I should read or who have websites that might supplement your website. I'd be happy for anything you could tell me.
Thank you very much, and I still have to read your entire website.
Thanks for your kind note. You are correct to conclude that "God and Jesus love women just as much as men," and women had much larger roles in earliest Christianity than they have been given credit for.
Since I do not recommend any particular denomination or church, I will provide some information that may be helpful to you. (I believe that each church and denomination has much to learn from other churches and denominations, and I cherish Christians of every denomination as my sisters and brothers in the one undivided church body of Christ.) Below is an online listing of denominations that have ordained woman as pastors.
There are more churches that have ordained women than those listed on that webpage. They include the following:
1881 - The Church of Christ, Scientist, ordained Mary Baker Eddy.
1894 - African Methodist Episcopol Zion (AMEZ or AME Zion) Church ordained Julia Foote.
1948 - African Methodist Episcopol (AME) Church ordained Rebecca M. Glover.
1954 - CME (originally Colored Methodist Episcopol, now Christian Methodist Episcopol) Church began ordaining women.
1965 - National Baptist Convention accepted Trudy Trimm as a pastor.
It should be added that in 1881 Mary Baker Eddy was the very first pastor to be ordained by The Church of Christ, Scientist. Today she is still recognized as Pastor Emeritus of that church. In 1895 the Bible and Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures were ordained as dual pastors for the entire church globally. (The latter book provides somewhat of a commentary for the services' Bible readings.) Since 1895 no more ordinations have taken place, and church services throughout the world have been conducted primarily by what is known as a First Reader, a woman or a man who is elected by the congregation to conduct the principal part of the Sunday and Wednesday services for a non-repeatable three-year term. The Second Reader, who is elected by the congregation to read the Bible along side of the First Reader during the Sunday Service, is intended -- though not required -- to be the opposite sex of the First Reader. So generally churches of that denomination have both a man and a woman conducting Sunday worship services. The Sunday Service includes a sermon, which consists of a Bible Lesson that is read by the two Readers. The Wednesday service is conducted by only the First Reader, who reads a Bible study with selections from both the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
For some additional resources on women in the early church, see:
Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer