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Current Page: Church & Ministries | Sunday, February 10, 2019
This week in Christian history: AME founder, notable female preacher, first black speaker before Congress

This week in Christian history: AME founder, notable female preacher, first black speaker before Congress

Jarena Lee, first female AME Church preacher, born - February 11, 1783

An 1849 picture of Jarena Lee (1783-circa 1855), the first official female preacher for the African Methodist Episcopal Church. | Wikimedia Commons

This week marks the anniversary of when Jarena Lee, the first African-American woman ordained to ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was born.

The child of free black parents in Cape May, New Jersey, Lee was baptized in 1807 into the AME Church and given authorization to preach in 1819, at a time when churches largely opposed women preachers, black or white.

“Reverend Lee was a true itinerant evangelist,” explained the AME Church’s Social Action Commission. “She proclaimed the Gospel extensively throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada, traveling more than 2,800 by foot preaching more than 692 sermons.”

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