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Woosley, Louisa - Timeline Biography

Time Period

03-24-1862 - 06-30-1952

Description

Growing up in a religious household, Louisa Woosley always secretly desired to preach, but felt disqualified from the vocation because of her sex. This led to an internal struggle, which caused her depression.

After an opportunity to preach arose in 1887 at her Kentucky church (Macedonia Cumberland Presbyterian Church), the positive experience confirmed her calling. By 1889, she was an ordained by the Nolin Presbytery as a minister.

Her ordination was controversial and was constantly challenged by Kentucky Synod. She responded by publishing Shall Women Preach in 1891, where she defended the right of women to preach according to the Scriptures. Eventually, the Nolin Presbytery succumbed to the Kentucky Synod’s hostility by removing her from the presbytery’s roll. During this time, she stayed loyal to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Woosley later joined the Leitchfield Presbytery in 1911 as an ordained minister.

Her 6,343 sermons, 7,664 witnessed professions of faith, and 258 baptisms marked a 50-year ministry that fought for gender equality.

Interactive Timeline(s)

Women and Religion
Presbyterian Events and People

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Women and Religion
Presbyterian Events and People
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Religious Groups

Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Religious Family Tree

Related Dictionary Terms

Presbyterian-Reformed Family

Photographs

Louis Woosley portrait- Internet Archive- from Shall Women Preach by Louisa M. Woosley
Louis Woosley portrait- Internet Archive- from Shall Women Preach by Louisa M. Woosley

Book/Journal Source(s)

Hudson, Mary Lin, 1990. 'Shall Woman Preach?' Louisa Woosley and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church American Presbyterians 68 (4): 221-230.

Web Page Contributor

Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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