Mary Evans Thorne Appointed Class Leader
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Mary Evans Thorne, born in Pennsylvania, was appointed around 1770 to be a class leader in the American Methodist movement in Philadelphia by clergyman Joseph Pilmore. She is believed to be the first woman appointed as a class leader in American Methodism (Class Meetings were a foundational part of the early Methodist movement).

Thorne was a popular teacher, leading three classes of Methodists and corresponding regularly with top church leaders. During this time, she met Samuel Parker, a sea captain, and they married on Feb. 12, 1778. She sailed with him to England, where they remained active among the Methodists and befriended John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Wesley appointed her a class leader in England and she continued her teaching.

However, Capt. Parker’s finances fell into disrepair and they died in poverty.
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Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
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Women and Religion in American History
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Pilmore, Joseph

St George's Methodist Church, where Mary Thorne was a class leader- Hathi Trust- from The History of Methodism, vol 1 by John Fletcher Hurst
Web Source(s)
"Timeline of Women in Methodism"
"How's Your Spiritual Life? The Class Meeting for Today"
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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