50th Anniversary Celebration of Full Clergy Rights
Clergywomen have been part of Methodism since John Wesley licensed Sarah Crosby to preach in 1761. Although women were ordained in the Methodist tradition as early as the late 1800s, it was the May 4, 1956 General Conference vote for full clergy rights that forever changed the face of ordained clergy. The effect was that any woman in full connection and in good standing would receive an appointment. Now, about 9,500, or one in five clergy, are women and 16 women are active bishops.
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Women Called and Ordained Women Called and Ordained
(Circuit Rider Magazine May/June 2006)

"It's a Girl's Job After All!

When I was four years old, so my mother says, and we were visiting my grandparents, I announced one
Sunday afternoon that we were going to have church and I was going to preach. I marched my grandparents, my parents, and my two-year-old sister into the bedroom and seated them in a line at the foot of my grandmother’s bed. I stood on a stool in front of them, opened the Bible, and said “Great American people!” No one remembers anything else about that first sermon of mine, but they all remember that my squirming sister managed to crawl over the side and under the bed, escaping from the room.

That was in 1948, and it did not occur to anyone in that room to think that I might actually grow up to be a preacher. And yet, as this issue of Circuit Rider comes off the press, I will be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of my first ordination.
Book Chronicles Struggles of Women for Full Clergy Rights Book Chronicles Struggles of Women for Full Clergy Rights

The book Courageous Past–Bold Future chronicles the historic journey of the first women to receive full clergy rights in The Methodist Church and looks at challenges still facing clergywomen 50 years later.

“The stories of the women in these pages carry hope for the younger generation of United Methodist women. They are living narratives that bear the pain and joy of ministry that represents the paradox of Christ’s call,” said the Rev. HiRho Park, director of Continuing Formation for Ministry at The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which published the book by Patricia J. Thompson.
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United Methodist Clergywomen site
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