Ordination of Ruby Knapp Bixby by the Free Will Baptists
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Time Period
7/1/1846
Description
Although Baptist women had long preached in America -- including Margaret Meuse Clay, who was tried for preaching in 1770 -- it was not until 1846 that the Freewill Baptists licensed the first female, Baptist preacher. Ruby Knapp married Newell Willard Bixby in 1842 and they subsequently served as co-ministers of 14 mission churches in the then frontier state of Iowa. By the time Knapp, known as "Sister Bixby," died in 1877, the Freewill Baptists had admitted women as denominational delegates and, in 1886, formally initiated a policy of female ordination.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Women and Religion
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Women and Religion in American History
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Baptist Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Ruby Knapp Bixby portrait- Hathi Trust- from Free Baptist Cyclopaedia by G. A. Burgess

Newell Bixby portrait- Hathi Trust- from Free Baptist Cyclopaedia by G. A. Burgess

Iowa City Baptist Church- Hathi Trust- from A Century of Iowa Baptist History by G. P. Mitchell
Book/Journal Source(s)
Leonard, Bill, 2005. Baptists in America. New York: Columbia University Press.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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