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Jone Johnson Lewis

Famous Firsts: First Woman Ordained in the U.S.?

By January 17, 2014

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In studying women's history, sometimes "famous firsts" are finely drawn - the honor gets at least a metaphorical asterisk explaining more details. Antoinette Brown Blackwell was the first woman ordained in America -- and the asterisk after that is that she was the first ordained by a congregation in a major or recognized Christian denomination. Olympia Brown (no relation) was long credited was being the first woman ordained with full denominational authority -- Antoinette Brown's ordination was by the congregation, which was the tradition in the Congregationalist denomination. Lydia Ann Moulton Jenkins's ordination with denominational authority (she, like Olympia Brown, was a Universalist) has been more recently found to be likely even earlier than Olympia Brown's. Antoinette Brown (later Blackwell) was ordained earlier than either.

More on Antoinette Brown Blackwell:
Antoinette Brown Blackwell - biography
Antoinette Brown Blackwell Quotes
Antoinette Brown Blackwell Picture
The Blackwell Women

Image from History of Woman Suffrage, Stanton et al. Modifications 2003 Jone Johnson Lewis.


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