Democratizing access to the best data on religion since 1997
US RELIGION
US RELIGION

Explore Timelines:


Explore Entries

Timeline Listings:

Events:

Biographies:

Movements:


View all Timeline Listings
Credits

Search Timelines


Lee, Jarena - Timeline Biography

Time Period

1783 - 1855

Description

Jarena Lee was born to poor black parents and had very little religious training. However, a sermon in 1804 by Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, eventually led to a conversion experience. A few months later, she experienced sanctification.

In 1809, a call from God told her, “Go preach the Gospel!” Yet, Richard Allen initially denied her permission to preach due to Methodist bylaws until she gave a powerful testimony that captivated the entire congregation at Bethel Church AME in 1819. He then allowed her to be preach on the itinerary circuit, which she did for more than 30 years to both blacks and whites. In 1827 alone, she traveled 2,325 miles and gave 178 sermons. Her experiences were chronicled in her autobiography entitled Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee (1836).

As one of the first black female preachers in America, she was a pioneer for female leadership.

Interactive Timeline(s)

Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Women and Religion
Methodist Events and People

Browse Related Timeline Entries

Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Women and Religion
Methodist Events and People
All Entries

Religious Groups

Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links
Methodist/Pietist Family: Religious Family Tree

Events

Publication of Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee

Related Dictionary Terms

African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Christianity, Methodist-Pietist Family, Protestantism

Photographs

Jarena Lee portrait- Internet Archive- from Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee
Jarena Lee portrait- Internet Archive- from Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee

Book/Journal Source(s)

Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions New York: Garland.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America Downers Grove, IL.

Web Source(s)

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/godinamerica-early-american-individuals/
Jarena Lee entry in PBS' "God In America" series

Web Page Contributor

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

Our Sponsors

Our Affiliates

US RELIGION
WORLD RELIGION
DATA ARCHIVE
RESEARCH
TEACHING
CONGREGATIONS
ABOUT
© 2024 The Association of Religion Data Archives. All rights reserved.