This is the third installment in my series from early pioneers about women and ministry. It is a rather lengthy piece, but well worth the read to better understand the historical debate that led up to the 1881 General Conference Session–the first significant discussion about women in ministry. In a future blog post I plan to give more background to some of the women who were involved in ministry during the 1870s that led to this significant discussion. In the meantime, I hope my readers will enjoy this historical treasure by J. H. Waggoner, at the time editor The Signs of the Times, published Dec. 19, 1878. [Read more…] about “Woman’s Place in the Gospel” by J. H. Waggoner (1878)
Early Adventist Women
As a few people, including my fellow Adventist historian David Trim, have figured out, I am working toward a series on the development of an Adventist perspective about women in ministry leading up to the 1881 General Conference Session. Who were the women in ministry that they debated about? I have to admit being a little worried the past few weeks with the NAD ordination study committee recommendation. So far, my article on this early period, I believe will make a contribution. As I continue to work on my own article, I’m increasingly convinced of the importance of studying primary sources. What did the actual pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church say about women in ministry? I’ve highlighted so far an article by J. N. Andrews, also from 1879. Now it is time to take note of what James White, husband of Ellen G. White, had to say about “Women in Church” from the May 29, 1879, issue of the Review and Herald (pg. 172). (keep in mind that you need the free DjVu reader in order to view this article). [Read more…] about “Women in Church” by James White (1879)
With all of the hubub over women’s ordination, study committees in each division, and a worldwide study committee, some times it is nice to look back at historical sources. It is easy to get so caught up in the controversy that it can be easy to lose perspective. I suspect that reflecting back on this time, it will be an incredible irony for future historians to reflect back on the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was largely founded by a woman, and controversy nearly a century after her death about the ordination of women. Irony.
There are many key historical sources. The White Estate has shown how there are credentials that have “ordained” crossed out, others do not. The pivotal 1881 General Conference Session had a debate on the topic, but historians debate whether anything was truly resolved. The controversy goes on. Yet, with all of the debate, there are a few “key sources” that shed significant insight. They have been well-documented, but for those who may be unfamiliar, one of the sources I really find interesting is an editorial by J. N. Andrews in the Review and Herald (Jan. 2, 1879, pg. 4): [Read more…] about May Women Speak in Meeting? Advice from J. N. Andrews published in 1878