Olympia Brown Ordained By Universalist Church
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Olympia Brown (1835-1926) first applied to the Unitarian seminary in Meadville, Penn., but was turned down because it was "too great an experiment" to admit a woman. She was accepted at St. Lawrence University’s theological school in New York, with some trepidation. In 1863, after completing the seminary course, the Universalist Church agreed to ordain Brown.

Her first congregation was in Weymouth, Mass. and in 1867, the church supported her four-month trip to Kansas to work in the suffrage movement.

She went on to serve congregations in Bridgeport, Conn., and Racine, Wisc. That church has since been renamed the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in her honor (a public school in Racine also was named for her).

Brown left full-time ministry at the age of 53 to work in the suffrage movement. She lived to witness the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
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Women and Religion
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Women and Religion in American History
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Olympia Brown portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-hec-12319

Universalist Church, Weymouth, Massachusetts- Hathi Trust- from Acquaintances, Old and New, Among Reformers by Olympia Brown

Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church- Flickr- photo by Eric Allix Rogers (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Buehrens, John A. , 2011. Universalists and Unitarians in America: A People's History. Skinner House Books.
Web Source(s)
Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, "Olympia Brown"
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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