Category: United Methodist Women

Williams, Hester (c1862-??)
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Williams, Hester (c1862-??)

Pioneer in establishing schools for women and girls Hester Williams, “Aunt Hester,” was a former slave who had little formal schooling, yet she pioneered in establishing schools for women and girls in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1882 Hester Williams addressed the Louisiana Annual Conference and told of her work among the freedwomen. She had “a...

Spreng, Minerva Strawman (1858-1924)
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Spreng, Minerva Strawman (1858-1924)

Founder of Woman’s Missionary Society of the Evangelical Association At age twenty, Minerva Strawman was invited to a missionary tea given by the Woman’s Missionary Society of the United Brethren Church. Delighted with what she saw and heard, she asked her father, a minister and member of the Board of Missions of the Evangelical Association,...

Eldridge, Mary Louise Deming (1849-1933)
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Eldridge, Mary Louise Deming (1849-1933)

Pioneer missionary among the Navajo Widowed at an early age, Mary Eldridge entered the United States Indian Service and went to work at Haskell Institute, a training school for clerical and commercial work, in Lawrence, Kansas. From there she went to a school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to work among the...

Robinson, Dr. Jane Bancroft (1847-1932)
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Robinson, Dr. Jane Bancroft (1847-1932)

Early Proponent of the Deaconess Movement Jane Bancroft Robinson, daughter of a Methodist minister, studied in the United States, Switzerland, and France, earning many degrees, including a Ph.D. She was professor of French Literature and Language at Northwestern University and dean of its Woman’s College from 1878 to 1885. She married George O. Robinson in...

Hartzel, Jennie (1846-??)
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Hartzel, Jennie (1846-??)

Pioneer Missionary among Freedwomen and Girls Jennie Hartzel began work among the freedwomen in New Orleans in 1876. Her work was approved by officials of the Methodist Episcopal Church and reported through the Freedman’s Aid Society. With Bishop Wiley and Dr. and Mrs. R.S. Rust, she raised funds; and a school with three teachers was...

Haygood, Laura Askew (1845-1900)
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Haygood, Laura Askew (1845-1900)

Pioneering MECS Home Missioner and Educational Missionary to China Born in Watkinsville, Georgia, Laura Haygood moved to Atlanta at age seven, received her early education from her mother, enrolled at Wesleyan Female College, Macon, Georgia at age sixteen, and graduated in two years (1864). She established a private school for girls in 1966. In 1872,...

Methodist Women in Climate Justice Mission
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Methodist Women in Climate Justice Mission

Care for the Earth: A Legacy of Acting for Climate Justice Climate justice, one of United Methodist Women’s current mission priorities, has long been a legacy of United Methodist Women. Care for creation, commanded by God in Genesis 1, is an essential part of living out our mission of faith, hope and love in action....

Hester, Elizabeth Fulton (1839-1929)
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Hester, Elizabeth Fulton (1839-1929)

Long-serving missionary to Native Americans in Oklahoma Educator, nurse, civic and church leader, Elizabeth Fulton, at age seventeen, braved the dangers of traveling West to answer the call to become a teacher at the mission school at Tishomingo, Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. It is claimed that five of her pupils became chiefs of...

McGavock, Willie Elizabeth Harding (1832-1895)
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McGavock, Willie Elizabeth Harding (1832-1895)

Co-founder of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South Willie Elizabeth Harding McGavock was a Tennessee resident whose life centered in her family, her home and the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of which she was a founder. In 1875, when she heard Dr. and Mrs....

Rench, Millicent “Billie”
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Rench, Millicent “Billie”

Passionate spokesperson for mission Millicent Rench, fondly known to those who loved her as “Billie,” was a passionate spokesperson for mission in her local church and throughout United Methodism in eastern Michigan, an area known during her life as the Detroit Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rench was also passionate about her church family....