Let My Handmaid Speak, that should capture the attention of all.  It is about Lady preachers. Dr. Jeri Posey from Hopewell, VA, presents a new look at the lady ministers who have preached with great success in the Pentecostal Holiness Church in spite of many difficulties.
The debate over women preachers has raged for centuries, but the argument has not been–and probably will not be–resolved. This book is not an addendum to that dispute. It is, however, an attempt to show some of the difficulties lady ministers have overcome to answer God’s call to proclaim His Word.

The International Pentecostal Holiness Church, from its inception, has recognized women as preachers, pastors, evangelists and missionaries. 

However, the leadership of the denomination at a Solemn Assembly in 1996 acknowledged that the church had withheld from women places of honor and desired to release them to serve in leadership roles.

Historically, women have gained ground only to lose it again, and even in our twenty-first century society, some still refuse to let God’s handmaids speak.

Dr. Jeri Posey has been involved in ministry for sixty years, having served as a missionary, evangelist, lecturer, counselor, teacher, and pastor. She holds a bachelor of theology degree, a bachelor of science, and a master of arts degree in English, and a doctor of ministry degree. She is an alumnus of Holmes Bible College.

The 361 page book Let My Handmaid Speak is published by Westbow Press a division of Thomas Nelson and is available from Dr. Jeri Posey by sending a check in the amount of $24.95 for the book + $4.30 S&H to 3912 Cambridge Place, Hopewell, VA 23860. Her e-mail address is j.posey2011@comcast.net.

The book is also available from www.westbowpress.com, through your local bookseller, or preferred on-line retailer.
Dr. Jeri Posey
3912 Cambridge Place
Hopewell, VA 23860



The youth-centric focus of many congregations has meant that music styles have moved from hymns to hip-hop.  Not wrong in itself, all of Christian music history is filled with changes to meet the needs and likes of emerging generations, it was symptomatic of other issues.

The 'elders' - those mature Christians who are to be  honored  according to the Bible - were relegated to the back rows.  The front of the church resembled more a rock concert mash pit than a place for praise and worship.  

Is this segregation by age, music likes, and sound levels truly the best demonstration of the church in action?

In a culture beset by the inability of people to get along, to be tolerant, understanding, and simply kind to one another - what example does this lack of inclusion show?

Worst, are the senior citizen among us, those who may have launched the first and fatal volleys of the "Worship and Music Wars", now beginning to reap the exclusion and negation they first sowed when they were also as intolerant?

Prophetic Women in Corinth. Marilyn A. Hudson

Prophetic Women:
 Corinth, Carthage and California - a Continuum of Presence

Marilyn A. Hudson

The place of women as “prophets” is an underexplored aspect within both Biblical studies and Pentecostal historicity. Pentecostalism was firmly rooted in an egalitarian holiness movement that recognized the leadership of women such as Catherine Booth, Phoebe Palmer and many others[1]. Modern Pentecostalism (which here will include the traditional Pentecostals, Charismatics, and more recent forms) can be conflicted as they wrestle with their heritage, their faith, and their cultural influences.  The results are often ambiguous and inconsistent in the face of women who identify themselves as ‘prophetic’.        As a result, one ambiguous subject is compounded by another ambiguous subject to the general detriment of both.  An examination of some notable prophetic woman of the Bible and in history may help to clarify the discussion California, can provide some valuable insight revealing an internal consistency in how women have functioned as true prophets under the direction and blessing of the Holy Spirit.

Women Prophets in the Bible

In Biblical studies, the prophet is a messenger between God and humanity. As a visionary, seer, messenger, covenant mediator, teacher, speaker, singer, or in some way specially gifted, the prophet was given information to be conveyed to the people. The Spirit of God descended, anointed, guided, impressed, or revealed in some means messages to be used to achieve specific goals.  The prophets warned of the consequences of abandoning the faith, of forgetting to whom they belonged as people of God, and foretold events[2]. The fundamental test of a prophet, moreover, was always that their words proved true.[3] 
Sources often reveal frequent attempts to distance women from a role as prophet. In many sources their prophetic presence is absent. In a similar fashion arguments are developed to establish artificial linguistics barriers between “prophet" and a "prophetess."   Further research, however, indicates there is no major difference between the two terms. Just as modern society uses the terms "actor" and "actress” to describe the same function [4]the terms "prophet" and "prophetess" were used to do little more than identify gender. More recent scholarship has even identified prophetic guilds of women prophets who may have served in warrior, funerary, or scribal capacities.[5] The major female prophets of the Bible, however, provide very adequate portrayals of the function and role of such women.


In Exodus 15:20-21 the departing people of Israel were led in praises for being  brought them out of Egypt. Miriam “the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all of the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances”. She led them in a responsive song and dance of praise she urged, “Sing ye to the Lord..."  Miriam was most definitely seen as a spiritual leader and her one failure, along with her brother Aaron, was to question God's choice of Moses.  Although she was struck with leprosy as a result of her actions the people held her in such regard they waited on her healing before moving forward. Nowhere is there any indication her correction was a comment or judgment on her role as a spiritual leaders. Indeed, as an indicator of her status in Jewish history it must be noted that she was called one of the prophets sent by God in Micah 6:4. These all indicate that she was a prophetess, a leader, and a woman of God.


            "And Deborah, a prophetess...she judged Israel at that time. And she dealt under the palm tree ...and the children of Israel come up to her for judgment....And she sent and called Barak...and said to him...."  Deborah was a prophet and judge in the Ephraim hill country of ancient Israel, between Ramah and Bethel. Israel had been living in a tense time the previous twenty years under the oppression of a Canaanite named Sisera. Judges 4:3 says the people "cried unto the Lord". She is presented in Judges as prophetically directing a battle to drive out opposing Canaanite forces. Note several things about this Judges story which convey some picture of her role and status in ancient Israel. Deborah was accessible, respected, acted with authority, and was spiritual in her role as prophet-judge.
 The prophet sent for Barack, who was far away in the northern reaches of Israel in Nephtali.   His response to the prophet’s words was to call soldiers from other regions and this indicates Deborah was a major judge perhaps because of her multiple offices. 
 A capable woman of many talents able to lead, plan, supervise, direct, and adjure, Deborah was also the spiritual link between God and the people. Like the future king David there was a touch of the creative as well.  The "Song of Deborah" is a haunting and powerful victory song poem thought to be one of the earliest writings of ancient Israel.


Jerusalem, after years of being ruled by leaders who raised idols, offered pagan sacrifices and committed great sins, finally one appeared who ”did that which was right" (2 Chronicles 33:22). He began a cleanup campaign to bring the land back to the way it had been under his ancestor, King David. He broke down the idol altars, the groves where the pagan rituals had taken place, and he sent his servants to take funds to the High Priest, Hilkiah, to repair the "house of the Lord his God."
During this repair the High Priest found a 'book of the law of the Lord given by Moses." The book was sent to the king who was greatly disturbed that the land had drifted from the words of the Lord. As a result, several ambassadors of the king went to Hulda.  Hulda was a prophet, the wife of the Shallum, keeper of the garments.  She lived in a region called the "Second Quarter", or what the KJV calls the "college." There were  one or more gates to the this woman and that the Midrash (Rabbinic commentaries on the Scriptures) clearly state this gate was "never destroyed. Rashi comments that this was the gate where she sat and taught; it is referred to as "Mishneh" in the verse (Melachim II 22:14). [6] Various sources suggest this was the likely location of a prophetic school or office.
Many sources have attempted to marginalize or excise Huldah as a respected prophet. Without evidence, some have suggested there was a library and Huldah a chief librarian.[7]   Other sources have denigrated role as prophet/teacher/leader by suggesting she was the only one available and thus the envoy from the king had to settle for second best, and still others suggest that Josiah sought to circumvent God's wrath, hoping a woman would temper the punishments. Over the decades, a combination of history, culture, and male dominion have buried Huldah.  
What the story says clearly is that, in the wake of purging of pagan influences, she was one of the group found to be true to God. The pagan priests, temples, groves, and idols were gone but not Huldah or her established place near the gate.  It is now being understood that the prophets had areas where they worked: some roamed, some were rural, and some lived in the city. Some, like Huldah, were part of the daily working of the temple and were no doubt involved in some type of formal training. At the Huldah gate may have been a place where the prophetic and the scholarly met. People would have come to her , just as King Josiah ordered his ambassadors,  and "Go, inquire of the Lord for me" (2 Chron. 34:21).

Anna - Acts

In Luke 2:36-38 the prophet Anna is used to validate the authenticity of Jesus as promised Messiah.[8] "..one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was of a great age…, but served God "[9] (KJV).     In Acts 21:8-9 --"...and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist.....and the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy." In both of these the term used refers to women who were inspired to foretell events, to act in the prophetic office, or be similarly inspired[10]. David Aune notes that the book of Acts lists more prophets than any other and it is significant that among those are these spiritually gifted women[11]. The New Testament continues the tradition of the prophetic ministry of women from the birth of Christ to the birth of the church. Moreover, it clear that from all the prophetic women seen to date functioned, regardless of age of marital status, within these ministries areas termed the “prophetic.”

The epistle to the church at Corinth was written around the year 55 C.E. by, most agree, the Apostle Paul.  Located on the isthmus connecting Greece to the mainland, the city was a hive of busy commerce and a landscape of diverse cultures.[12]
In 1 Corinthians 11: 5 it states that “every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head.” It is one part of an argument that limits woman’s participation. Paul’s attempts to address issues of disorder, bad behaviors, and other problems that were making the church at Corinth poor witnesses of Christ resulted in many faulty practices. [13] 
Many who interpret this chapter see a limitation and muzzling of women, because the emphasis is a question of “power.”  This revealing focus seeking to prove who is in control, who has authority, and who wields the influence reflects more  the same systemic issues of the troubled church at Corinth than efforts to find the truth of the words. Commentaries are frequently replete with words such as “control”, “rule”, “hierarchy”, and “authority.”   As Fee and Keener point out, however, translating “head” to mean “leader” is an uncommon use of the Greek term.[14]
Some sources attempt to equate these actions of praying and prophesying as too similar to the cultic rituals of the Corinthian community. Others argue out that such actions violated some Roman, Corinthian, or Jewish rules of decorum. There is adequate evidence in Paul’s’ writings that part of their problems stemmed from confusing actions or conflicting beliefs within the Christian community at Corinth.  The issue of the type and nature of this supposed ‘covering’ is beyond the scope of this discussion. Germaine to this discussion is that the actions of the woman (in praying or in prophesying) is not questioned or condemned. It is an apparent accepted fact that women will be praying and ‘prophesying’ just as men will and indeed both Christ and Paul’s wording supports this.[15]
The nature and function of this act of ‘prophesy’ is the focus here and although some do suggest that this “prophetic” speech was somehow less than authoritative, or of a different caliber, the argument appears forced and inconsistent with other examples in scripture.[16]   As noted earlier, there were numerous examples of prophetic women into the time of the New Testament, some among the close families of Jesus’ own disciples.  Why would he now want to prohibit the practice?   Conzelmann, and others, may be very correct in suggesting that here Paul is not making a pronouncement but merely citing remarks sent to him drawn from rabbinic sources, local comments, or Jewish custom.[17]

On a March morning in about the year 202, a twenty-two year old woman walked onto the warm sands of the arena in Carthage, North Africa.  There she and her companions were executed in a spectacle. Her killer missed the first time and she cried out from the sword shoved between her ribs but she guided the ‘wavering right hand of the youthful gladiator to her throat.”[18] 
Swept up in the purge of Septimus Severus and the edict outlawing conversion to Judaism or Christianity, it has been this woman who had sustained the prisoners, who had stood up to her captors, and whose deep faith manifested through visions which sustained them as they awaited their martyrdom.[19]  The source of this account is a unique and rare first person narrative of the events experienced by the woman until her death.[20]  Such accounts in early church history are very rare yet seldom noted in many works on the early church[21].  Several things, however, can be noted by examining The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas.
She is recognized has having the gift of prophetic dreams. Her fellow captives asked her to use her gift “…that it may be made known to you whether this is to result in a passion or an escape.”[22] She had apparently passed the test of a true prophet in that her visions had come true.
It is clear from the writing and the esteem of the early church that she was not an anomaly but a role model for spirituality. She was a woman of strong faith, determination, and character to whom others looked for leadership.  This is also seen in her responses to the repeated attempts of her pagan father to get her to recant and is clear in the way she alone appears to have confronted their jailor for better food and care.[23]

In 1907 a revival spread from a small mission on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. From humble beginnings, the activities and spiritual dynamic of that place would make its mark on the world.  This event would become in essence a commissioning center for what would become one of the twentieth century’s most controversial movements and launch Pentecostalism. To this event people came to observe and took back to their churches both reports and the experience of speaking in other tongues, the experience of prophecy, the experience of signs and wonders not enjoyed in such an all encompassing a manner since the early church.
With strong roots in racial and sexual equality, the burgeoning Pentecostal movement grew as the result of its inclusion of both sexes as ministers and leaders. Cecil Robeck has astutely noted that Pentecostals justified their gender inclusivity based on Joel 2:22 and that most other Protestants did so only when forced by social pressures.[24]
In one of the services at the Azusa Street Mission, a Christian woman from Pasadena stood in a Pentecostal meeting, “I do not ask for tongues but I want to love God with all my heart and soul and my neighbor as myself,” and it was reported she “immediately began to speak with tongues.”[25]  Her attitude was common of many who merely came to find more of Christ and in the process found a new spiritual dimension.
These early Pentecostals were accused of being heretics, aligned with the devil, and other labels used to malign the participants. To be certain, there were occasional extremes and theologies developed that created many problems for the nascent revival movement.  One such episode occurred in Oklahoma City in 1906 and it was clearly understood that the people marching naked through the streets and into a hotel lobby were both crazed and ‘holy rollers.’ Similar events were reported with various levels of humor, chagrin, or distain in newspapers across the country.
“Enthusiasms”, as John Wesley called them, was one term used to define these exuberant manifestations of both spiritual contrition and joy. From shortly after the time of Perpetua, the early church and its ‘enthusiasms’ had been tamed, labeled primitive, and the church of the new 20th century saw itself as a place of culture, refinement and social order.
The impact of the Pentecostal outpouring was not merely in personal spiritual experiences but in the bestowal of various spiritual gifts and callings a challenge to the social order.[26] Men and women were active participants in all aspects of the Pentecostal revival.  Like Perpetua, many women experienced visions and became bold messengers of faith.  Florence Crawford in Oakland, California reported “one night as I was weary in body, I asked the Lord to give me sleep, and he gave me a vision.”[27]


What those early twentieth century Pentecostals experienced was similar to the experiences of ancient Israel, Christians in first century Corinth, and those striding into a second century arena.  The stories of the realities of prophetically gifted women in scriptures, and history demonstrate the reality of spiritual leadership. From ancient times in Perpetua of Carthage, to reports of visions among the early Pentecostals present one long line of women functioning as full participatory members in the prophetic role. To this day that heritage is being repeated in the strong leadership and spiritual gifting of women in more recent Pentecostal and Charismatic settings. 
Grant Wacker’s Heaven Below notes that Pentecostalism continued to look to the day of Upper Room and to Joel 2:22 for both defense and mandate for their actions.[28] For all of these women, the issue was never politics, power, or equality. From Paul’s day to the present the issue appears to have been a firm belief that, as Eseldra Alexander put, ‘women fully qualified by the Spirit, could function without restraint alongside their male colleagues.”[29]  From Old Testament to New Testament the precedent was in place revealing women serving God as led by the Spirit. From second century revival movement to twentieth century, women continued to respond to the message of God in fervent faith, willing service, and sacrificial actions.
The continuum of women as prophets and servants of God is long and honorable and integrally meshed with the history of Pentecostalism.

[1] Synan, Vinson, ed. The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 years of Pentecostal and Charismatic renewal. Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson, 2001, pg. 231f.
[2] Metzger, Bruce, ed. The Oxford Campion to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, pg. 622.
[3][3] Several verses of the Bible speak directly to this testing: Deut. 18.22, Jer., 28,9, and Mt. 7.20.
[4][4] Newsom, Carole, ed. Women’s Bible Commentary. Pg. 477.
[5] Gadney, Wilda. Daughters of Miriam: Women prophets in ancient Israel. Fortress, 2008.
[6] There is a comment added to Rashi's commentary on that verse in Melachim, suggesting that Chuldah taught... to the sages by that gate. (http://ohave.tripod.com/chumash/chuldah.htm).

[7] “Huldah, Huldah, Prophetess or Librarian.” At  http://www.piney.com/Huldah.html. Accessed 11/5/2009.
[8] Aune, David E. Prophecy in early Christianity and the ancient Mediterranean world. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eermans, 1983, pg. 147.
[9] Holy Bible. King James Version
[10] Strong, James. The New Strong’s exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson, 1996, pg. 1081.
[11] Aune, pg. 191.
[12]  NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995, pg. 1734-1735.
[13] Hudson, Marilyn A. Those Pesky Verses of Paul. Norman, Oklahoma: Whorl Books, 2009. “Among the many questions raised in this section is to whom does Paul address his comments?  Due to a lack of clarity in the Greek terms it is unclear if Paul is speaking to only married people here or not. Contextually, however, it appears most likely he was addressing married couples. Despite this, some groups continue to interpret these words to mean that every woman, married or not, is under some man’s “authority.”

[14] Keener, Craig. S. Paul, Women, & Wives: Marriage and Women’s Ministry in the Letters of Paul. Peabody, MAS: Hendrickson’s, 1992. pg. 32-33.
[15]Strong, pg. 1081, Strong notes the term is the same in 1 Cor. 11.5, 1 Cor. 14.5 and the same as Jesus used in Mt.11.13 (#4395).
[16] Grudem, Wayne. The Gift of Prophecy in 1 Corinthians. Landham, MD: University Press, 1982.
[17] Conzelemann, Hans. First Corinthians. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975, pg. 186-187;  The Interpreter’s Bible. Nashville; Abingdon, 1953, pg. 125-126.
[18] ‘The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas.” The Anti-Nicene Fathers, translation of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Volume 3, Latin Christianity. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1976, pg. 699f.
[19] Jackson, Samuel Macauley., ed. The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Volume VIII. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1959, pg. 466.
[20] McKechnie, Paul. The First Christian centuries: perspectives on the early church. Downer’s Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2001, p.172.
[21] Many of the sources consulted agreed she was significant but merely mentioned in passing or as an introduction to dissect her alleged relationship with Montanism. No definitive proof appears to support the charge and may be related to writings aimed at minimizing women’s role in the fledging Roman Church.
[22] Passion, pg. 700.
[23] Passion, pg. 704.
[24] Robeck, Cecil. The Azusa street mission and revival: the birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement. Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson, 2006, pg.15.
[25] Corum, Fred T., ed. Like as of Fire, a reprint of the old Azusa Street papers, Wilmington, Mass.: Fred Corum, 1981, pg. 20 (The Apostolic Faith (November 1906): 2).
[26] Cox, Harvey. Fire from heaven. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 1995, pg. 121.
[27]  Corum, December 1906, pg. 4
[28] Wacker, Grant. Heaven belowCambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard, 2001, pg. 162-176.
[29] Aexander, Estrelda. The Women of Azusa Street. Cleveland, Ohio: The Pilgrim Press, 2005.

Notable for Their Absence

An Annotated Survey of Some Works in Biblical Studies
Revealing Attitudes about Women in Christianity
Marilyn A. Hudson, M.L.I.S

                It does not take long for someone engaged in research to quickly note that in the scores of volumes written to comment, illustrate, explain, or defend Christian thought, there is a an absence.  Through the pages women are often totally missing, sections of scripture focusing on a woman are not explored, and cultural biases are interjected into translations and exegesis.
                In the process of researching the subjects of notable women of the Bible, the following examples were located. Seeking to find and note commentary on women such as Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and others. What was found revealed the often extreme biases, sexism, and disregard of anything related to women in scripture.
Hastings, James, ed. The Speakers Bible. Vol. 11, Baker, 1971. 
Seeking to find additional insights into the story of the prophet Huldah, it was surprising to find that the work did not even address the event in Chronicles 2.
Simeon, Charles. Expository Outlines of the Whole Bible. Zondervan, 1955.
Although originally published in 1847, the work had been updated.  This work too chose not to address Chronicles 11:1-16.
Carter, Charles W. 1 Corinthians and Ephesians. Wesleyan Bible Commentary. Eerdmans, 1965.
“The superior position of man due to the face that he was first created…in the image of God…the highest of all creatures.  Woman was…made from man, and is thus subservient to him…” (pg. 189).  Then goes on to do some fancy footwork with Paul to affirm there was no domination in Christianity.
Parker, Joseph. Preaching through the Bible. Baker, 1971.
In reference to 1 Cor. 11.14 and the discussion of women and  the church. “The apostle is speaking about a subject…of no interest to us…the principle is of perpetual value and application. (pg. 261).
Wilson, William. Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies. McClean, Virginia: McDonald Pub., n.d.
“to rule, to have dominion” (pg. 363).

Genesuis, William, et al. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford, 1955.
“rule, dominion, realm” and ‘rule of heavenly bodies” as in Gen. 1.16 (pg. 606).
Nelson’s expository dictionary of Old Testament.  Nelson, 1980.
“To rule, reign or have dominion” as the sun and moon in Genesis 1.18; 3,16; 24.2 (pg. 341).
Bromiley, Geoffrey W.  Theological dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans 1985.
Gyne - :Judaism viewed women as greedy, inquisitive, vain, and frivolous” (pg. 135).
Tasker, R.V.G. The Gospel according to St. Matthew.  Eerdmans, 1981.
Despite the fact that in the healing of Peter’s mother Jesus breaks rules of touching a woman and values her enough to heal her, the only thing the commentary writer can say is the section is “interesting” because of the evidence Peter  had a house (pg. 89).
The Anchor Bible. Matthew. Volume 26. Doubleday, 1971.
The healing of Peter’s mother is merely lumped with other general “healings” (pg. 93).
Barrett, C.K. First Epistle to the Corinthians. Harper & Row, 1968.
While saying woman is downtrodden in Christianity, the author continues by saying woman “was brought forth from man, and was intended from the begin
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. Romans-Galations. Zondervan, 1976.
In reference to the eleventh chapter of 1 Corinthians, notes that although God created Adam and Eve and gave them dominion, Paul’s argument is based solely on ‘man’s prior creation’.  Yet, “lest he be misunderstood”…Paul argues that man and woman are equal in the Lord and mutually dependent (pg. 255b).
Elwell, Walter A.  Encyclopedia of the Bible. Baker, 1988.
The order of creation  and eve’s sin and the subordination of woman “are universal principles rather than cultural norms…not open to varying interpretations” (pg. 2158).
Dods, Marcus. Expositor’s Greek Testament. Vol. 1. Eerdmans, n.d.
“not interesting for anything said” (pg. 140-141).
Findlay, G.G. The Expositor’s Greek New Testament.  Eerdmans, n.d.
In reference to 1 Cor. 11.7-16, “man as the direct reflexion (sic) of God, woman as derived and auxiliary” yet in comments on verse 7 later, he contradicts this saying she is not his reflection but his “counterpart”
The Interpreter’s Bible.  Vol. X. Abingdon, 1953.
Notes the probable rabbinic source of the emphasis on the male focused creation and then contradicts himself in v. 11 (pg. 125-126).
Jamieson, Faucett, and Brown. A Commentary, critical, experimental, and practical in the Old and New Testaments. Eerdmans, 1948.
Regarding Matt 8 (pg. 53) little treatment but concerned over if it was a “little fever” or a”big fever”.
Metz, Donald S. 1 Corinthians. Beacon Bible Commentary, volume 8. Beacon Hill Press, 1968.
Argues ‘man and woman are equal’ though for ‘administrative purposes the woman is subordinate to the man’, yet this is followed by “so all the ranks and all levels disappear in His grace and service’ (pg. 416).  Woman was created a helpmeet to the man, who was created in “the image of God” (pg. 415).
Spence and Ezell. Pulpit Commentary, vol. 19. Eerdmans, 1978.
“woman is not directly the glory of God…she is the glory of the man directly…man is the sun, woman the moon” (pg. 378).

No One Pentecostal Description

It is often said that Pentecostals, if women, wear their hair long and their skirts longer.  Pentecostal men do not wear ties. Pentecostals are all abusive churches from which people have to flee for their lives or seek ‘recovery’.  Pentecostals handle snakes and Pentecostals refuse medical help…..the list goes on to reveal a great amount of confusion about just what is a “Pentecostal”.  The truth of the matter is that there simply is no single group of Pentecostals sharing all beliefs and practices in common.
                Two major strands exist that serve to illustrate the nuances found in this belief system.
                The 20th century saw religious renewal movements erupt in several locations as the Holiness Movement of the 19th century waned.   Generally accepted as major starting points for the modern Pentecostal movement are the ‘speaking in tongues’ at the Parham Bible School Topeka, Kansas ,and the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California.
                Several church groups emerge from these events and are firmly Trinitarian in their theology.  Yet, after 1910 there is a conflict that emerges concerning the ‘name of Jesus’ and the nature and relationship of Christ to God.  As a result, the so-called “Oneness Pentecostalism” is born.   The terms Pentecostal and Apostolic are then confused in the minds of many and lead to great misunderstandings.

Publishing the Word: A Projected Study

Exploring three major denominations (AOG, CGP, IPHC) influences on theology will be identified via reading lists, advertisements, and similar resources. This study will explore the most commonly used books and publishers of three main Pentecostal groups from 1907 to 1950 in order to identify the most significant theological influences.
·         Did the preponderance of publishing houses coming from a Calvinist perspective (i.e., Baker, Zondervan, Eerdmans) influence the formal doctrine or polity of the groups in question?
·         How did the availability of Calvinist or Wesleyan books from Zondervan, William Eerdmans, etc., influence doctrinal interpretation?
·         Which religious publishers/authors/religious views were most advertized in early Pentecostal journals/periodicals?
·        Are there evidences that these influenced denominational doctrines?

Women Clergy in Oklahoma and Kansas

FOOTNOTES OF PENTECOSTAL HISTORY: SOUTHWESTERN CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY SERIES, NO. 1 “REPORT ACCEPTED AND CHARACTER PASSED”: Some Ordained and Licensed Women from the years 1929 - 1939 in the Kansas and Oklahoma Conferences of the Pentecostal Holiness 

Compiled By Marilyn A. Hudson, with research assistance from Alicia Hutson 

The year was 1965 in Wellington, Kansas, in the home of the pastor of the local Pentecostal Holiness Church. The guest evangelist, Mary E. Ford, was a woman just easing out of middle age wearing a cream colored chiffon blouse, a sturdy brown woolen skirt, with fading hair escaping from its once tidy bun. Her wide pleasant face was a roller coaster of expressions from intense concentration to hearty laughter. Sitting at the parsonage piano, a sturdy black upright, she is surrounded by the daughters of the pastor and a friend of theirs who often came to visit. The visitor entertains them playing snappy standards from the forties and crooning tunes from the fifties. She responded to the news that the oldest girl was taking business courses by encouraging her to keep her chin up and not let the men bully her. She recounted with great hilarity a time when an employer had tried to bull her and all laughed at the impossibility the image presented. To all of those gathered around the piano that afternoon she shared her love of God, her courage, her experience, and her sense of fun. To each and every one there she encouraged them to “press on” in their faith and to get a good education 

The Holiness and Pentecostal movements were unique episodes of American religious history but shared a common thread in a willingness to accept women as instruments of ministry. From the earliest days in both movements women responded to God with a desire to preach the gospel with as much enthusiasm as their male counterparts. As some elements of both merged to form the Pentecostal movement, the invigorating dynamic of a life that sought to live in the fullest relationship with God was not one that would accept limitations easily 

An examination of the official registers of membership for the Oklahoma and Kansas Conferences of the Pentecostal Holiness Church for the years 1929-1939 reveals some interesting insights, identifies some pioneer women, and provides a context for further discussion about the historic role of women within the Pentecostal tradition. 

The title stems from a reoccurring statement recorded in the 1929 year book. As the conference business would progress the ministers present would offer their reports (how many sermons preached, miles traveled, etc.) and at the conclusion there would be a motion of “report accepted and character passed.” It is a fitting testimony to the role of these women and their unique place in the history of the American church and the Pentecostal tradition that without question each one was accepted. 

Description of the Project: brief survey of records contained in the “Year Book of the Pentecostal Holiness Church” for the years 1929 to 1939 was conducted. Names of obviously female ordained and licensed women were recorded and their number compared with the total list of individuals. One limitation may be that some additional persons on the lists may also be female and the use of initials in their names may conceal that fact. Also, there is margin of error because of a few names that can be either a man or a woman’s name and some women did marry changing their name. However, women, according to the most common format employed, were most often listed with the title of “Mrs.” followed by their husband’s name, or their first names if a young woman or “spinster”. The scope of this study was to collect numbers of active female ministers, compile a list of names, and identify early women ministers, so no attempt has been made to gain broad or detailed biographical information on all of them. 

The Pentecostal movement of the 20 century is generally considered to have begun in1901. Agnes is believed to be the first person to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. She was a student in Charles Parham’s Bible school in Topeka, Kansas in January of 1901. William Seymour carried the message west to Los Angeles and from a mission located on Street the experience spread across the country. 

From its inception the movement seemed to epitomize an equality of persons that was unique for the time period. Service to God and blessings of the Holy Spirit (“the anointing”) became the litmus test of value over issues of gender or even race. 

Pauline writings that for the Christian community existing as one in Christ there was to be no longer “male or female” or “slave and free” (Galatians 3: 28-29), now took on liberating meanings as leadership in the new Pentecostal movement featured both women and persons of color. The dynamic nature of the experience, and the resulting sense of urgency in proclaiming the gospel, convinced many that indeed the time of the Biblical “latter rains” had come. Citing the prophet Joel in the Old Testament , “Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters will prophesy...” (Joel 2:29-32), few in the movement felt they could place limitations on who ministered 

Ordained and Licensed Women, Kansas and Oklahoma, 1929 and 1939 The following women were identified from the rolls of those who served as formally recognized ministers . With some exceptions, most had been admitted to the conference within the same decade. Most were assigned a local church, some assisted their husbands in the work, while some served as evangelists. On a administrative level, although they were frequently serving on conference committees of the more traditional women’s areas such as “Memoirs” ( a record of those who had died the preceding year) and “Public Morals”, they were also in leadership roles dealing with issues of publication, missions, and resolutions (i.e., 1939 in Kansas Mary E. Ford served on the Committee on Resolutions and later would be conference secretary-treasurer. Some would in coming years be in key leadership roles on state levels and at least one went on to be published in the national publication, The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 

Attempts to identify the earliest women licensed or ordained in these regions is challenging due to the fact that the records from that time period are incomplete or are not clear as to gender. From information located, however, there are several women who were ordained within a few years of Oklahoma’s 1907 statehood. Mrs. Dolly York of Oklahoma was admitted to the ministry roll of the Oklahoma Conference in 1910 and Willa J. Short in 1911. In the Kansas Conference Annie E. Carmack was admitted in 1913. The earliest male counterpart was O.C. Wilkins admitted in 1910.

To be continued....


The Library in Pentecostalism: Two Oklahoma Institutions
By Marilyn A. Hudson, M.L.I.S., 2009
The British journalist, Holbrook Jackson, once wrote, “Your library is your portrait” and those words are indeed true.[1]  The place of the library in education is a strong barometer of the character and ability of a group to not merely exist but thrive.
As early as 1906, the Pentecostal movement had educational efforts in Oklahoma. In Beulah, Beckham County, Emmanuel Bible College was established as holiness school but became Pentecostal after 1907 and until the school closed in 1910. The annual conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church met at the Delmar Gardens in Oklahoma in 1913 and from that, the Stratford Pentecostal Holiness School was established.  The school in southern Oklahoma opened in 1914 but after a severe storm in 1915, the school closed soon due to a storm that destroyed the building. A school in Wagoner, near Seminole soon followed but also closed. In 1924, in Checotah Kings College opened, soon moved to Kingfisher, and closed in 1935[2].  Although, most of the institutions were elementary and high school in scope, they provide the foundation upon which later institutions would build.
Southwestern Pentecostal Holiness College/ Southwestern Christian University[3]
Despite Oklahoma being one of the strongest centers of the Pentecostal doctrine west of the Mississippi, higher education for ministry meant several years in Georgia where the only denominational school existed. Several young Pentecostal men, including Oral Roberts, R.O.Corvin, C.H. Williams, Sam Greene, C.E. Neukirchner, Paul Finchum, L.E. Turpin, and many others, had a dream of a school in Oklahoma. These men had strong ties to Oklahoma and shared an entrepreneurial streak. They were representative of a new and younger brand of leadership emerging in the movement and in society.
The original Southwestern Pentecostal Holiness College opened in 1946 in Oklahoma City with a library of some eight hundred books, mostly from the private collection of the president. 
For a time the books were located in a corner of the remodeled barn known affectionately as ‘McGrew Hall.”  The first librarian was also the campus counselor, Noami Watts, but Marie Ellis (Mrs. Clayton Ellis) soon joined her. Mrs. Ellis would serve the campus longer than anyone else associated with the library.[4]
As the college experienced rapid growth in the early 1950’s, the meager collection and space were sorely taxed.  In 1953, Oral Roberts, evangelist, Southwestern College Board Member, occasional faculty, and one of the co-founders of the institution, arranged the donation of $70,000 for construction of a combined library and administration building.[5] 
Growth continued as the school pushed toward its original mandated target of becoming a junior college to service the denomination.  Local community clubs hosted book drives and the collection grew in volumes if not in content.  In 1966, following a donation of $50,000 from Mrs. Zula Light of Rolla, Kansas, the doors of the new Light Library opened.[6]  The New facility the Irwin Learning Resources Center added 15,000 square feet to create a multi-media resource center (with studio, private learning rooms, and distant learning equipment) and the much expanded library.
Oral Roberts University
The Library of ORU opened September 1965 with some 60,000 volumes and plans to add as many as 500,000. In addition, the facility would be home to a unique special collection devoted to works from around the world on the Holy Spirit.[7]  Although largely known at the time as an evangelist with his own large ministry, Oral Roberts was a member of the Pentecostal Holiness Church until he joined the Methodist Church in 1968.  In 1966, the Pentecostal Holiness Church even named the ORU Graduate School of Theology as the official Pentecostal Holiness seminary, however, when Roberts left the denomination this was revoked.
At the time of its opening and first few years, the school and its library were firmly in a Pentecostal perspective.  ORU was an example of planned development with results that were truly a showcase of that day and today.  Implementing many innovations of the time, in both library services and education, it was a noteworthy development.
The library, reflecting a new view, was imbedded in a larger learning resources center. That concept included specialized areas for using the latest technology to assist learning. As was common at the time resources, were viewed and arranged by their format.  As a result, a library held only books and could therefore not hold the new technologies. A new term was needed, one that would better reflect the new, space-age, modern, and progressive developments. When ORU opened it touted an emphasis on the new “Programmed Learning” approach and included on demand film, audio, electronic tutoring. Discussion or study groups, in addition to the traditional book based library resources, made the library a mode.. This would change in the subsequent information revolution as the library redefined itself but the ill-defined ‘learning resources’ concept would linger on.

They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain and nourish all the world.
William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost

[1] Holbrook, Jackson, http://thinkexist.com/quotation/your_library_is_your_portrait/208916.html,
[2] Hudson, et all. One Nightclub and a Mule Barn: The First Sixty Years of Southwestern Christian University. Tate, 2005.
[3] Hudson, et al. One Nightclub and A Mule Barn: The First Sixty Years of Southwestern Christian University. Tate, 2005.
[4] Yearbooks, Southwestern College and Oklahoma City Southwestern College, SCU Archives, 1946 to 1976.
[5] “School Launches $1 Million Program of Advancement.” The Oklahoman (Jan. 8, 1963)12.
[6]  “College Gets $50,000 Gift.” The Oklahoman (March 24, 1966):29; “City College to Dedicate New Library.” The Oklahoman (Nov. 17, 1966):52.
[7] Oral Roberts University Outreach (2:2, Spring 1965): 8.