This Week in Christian History: Early Church Bishop Killed, First Female American Minister

First Female American Minister Ordained - September 15, 1853

Antoinette Brown
Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell (1825-1921), the first woman in the United States to be ordained in a Protestant denomination. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Antoinette Brown Blackwell was ordained a minister in the Congregational Church in South Butler, New York.

Widely considered the first woman ordained in any American Protestant denomination, Blackwell was also deeply involved in social movements like abolitionism and women's suffrage.

The Reverend Luther Lee preached a sermon at the ordination ceremony, basing his message on Galatians 3:28, "there is neither male nor female ... for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

"I cannot see how the text can be explained so as to exclude females from any right, office, work, privilege, or immunity which males enjoy, hold or perform," stated Lee.

"If the text means anything, it means that males and females are equal in rights, privileges, and responsibilities upon the Christian platform."

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