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Celebrate, Review, Press Forward:


100 Years of Women in Baptist Ministry

'One hundred years ago' - We are at the start of a significant series of centenaries. These mark changes in law or practice which moved forward equality for women. There are some very well-known names in the story of these changes but also many that are hidden but nonetheless significant. Now is a good time to collect their stories and celebrate them all.   Click here to read some of these stories.

Here are a few of the important dates:
BroadmeadBristolDorothy Hazzard is recognised as a pioneer church planter who started Broadmead Baptist Church in Bristol
WomanSilhouetteMrs Attaway is recognised as a visionary whose preaching drew up to 1000 people
AnneSteeleAnne Steele (1717-1778) was a prolific Baptist hymn writer, with her works being included in almost all hymnals published in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Anne felt her calling was as a poet and hymn writer and she devoted herself to these pursuits.
HannahMarshmanHannah Marshman (1767-1847) is considered to be the first Baptist woman to be a missionary.  In 1799, Hannah and her family set sail for India landing at the Dutch colony of Serampore.  Within a year, she had opened two boarding schools.
MMaryAnnHearnary Ann Hearn (1834-1909) (better known as Marianne Farningham) was an English Victorian Baptist who was a hymn-writer, educationalist, journalist, and lecturer at a time when women were not expected to enter public life.  She was a keen supporter of educational movements, and in demand as a speaker at free church meetings, and as a lecturer.
The first deaconesses were recruited when Dr F B Meyer and the Revd Hugh Price Hughes became concerned about the moral and social conditions of the population.  The Sisters had a ministry of comfort to the poverty-stricken people: ‘to help and to brighten the lives of men, women, and children and most of all to win them to Jesus Christ.’ 1890  
Ellen Farrer (EllenFarrer1865-1959) was one of the first women in England to qualify as a doctor.  In 1891, she applied for work as a missionary doctor with the Baptist Zenana Mission in Bhiwani, India where she took over a small dispensary in an Indian house.
NNannieHelenBurroughsannie Helen Burroughs (1879-1961) was born to a formerly enslaved couple living in Virginia, and became Secretary of the National Baptist Convention’s Women’s Auxiliary.  She spoke at a plenary session at the first Baptist World Alliance Congress in London, and was the final keynote speaker to a crowd of several thousand in Hyde Park, where she stole the show with a lively message, ‘The Triumph of Truth’.  She devoted her life to the education of black women.
WomanSilhouetteConstance Coltman (1889-1969) was the first woman to be ordained into a mainstream denomination as a Congregational Minister. Constance studied theology at Mansfield College, Oxford – at that time a joint Congregational/Baptist college.
At the end of the Great War after a campaign begun in the middle of the 19th century, Parliament granted an extension of voting rights to women over 30.  We remember the names of campaigners such as Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst.  Not until 1928 were fully equal voting rights granted to women. 1918
WomanSilhouetteEdith Gates (1883-1962) began ministry in pastoral charge at Little Tew and Cleveley, aged 35.  Her ministry from that date was recognised by the Baptist Union.
Bristol Baptist College agreed to admit women for training as ministers. 1919
VioletHedgerViolet Hedger (1900-1992) entered Regent's Park College in September, aged 19, after commendation by her church and interview/examination in June 1919, becoming the first woman to be trained for ministry at a Baptist College.
WomanSilhouetteEdith Chapman (1888-1970) pioneers girls’ education in South India amongst Lushai girls, and is joined by Marjorie Clark (1896-1966) in 1922.
WomanSilhouetteEdith Gates qualified through BU Examination in September and was enrolled as a probationer by the Ministerial Recognition Special Committee 7 November 1922.
WomanSilhouetteMaria Living-Taylor (1889-?) was called to a joint pastorate at Linton Road, Barking with her husband John in 1920, ordained and added to the Probationers list, 7 November 1922.
Annie Davies Lodwick (1897-1972) - WomanSilhouetteWhilst many women had served as ‘lay preachers’ in Wales, Annie was the first woman in Wales to be ordained and called to serve as pastor of a church (in Pembrokeshire).
A Special Committee re Admission of Women to Baptist ministry met 14 September 1925 and reported its conclusions to Baptist Union Council. 1925  
The Baptist Union Council on 9-10 Feb 1926 agreed that ‘it would be contrary to Baptist belief and practice to make sex a bar to any kind of Christian service’. There is no objection to women entering Baptist ministry but that there would need to be a separate list for women pastors with different rules for the financial and other practical implications of entering them onto the accredited list. 1926
VioletHedgerViolet Hedger was called to her first pastorate at Littleover Baptist Church, Derbyshire and ordained on 3 February.
GwenythHubbleGwenyth Hubble (1906-1972) was admitted to Bristol Baptist College and ordained in 1939.  After ordination she went on to become Principal of Carey Hall, Selly Oak - the women’s training college.
WomanSilhouetteMair Bowen was the first woman student in the North Wales Baptist College in Bangor, entering in 1949. She went with her husband, Irfonwy Bowen, as a missionary to India, before serving as a pastor in North Wales and as a teacher.
MargaretJarmanMargaret Jarman (1932-2018) began training as a Baptist deaconess at Struan College (completing her studies at Carey Hall).  She went on to become the first woman student at Spurgeon’s College.  In 1963 she was appointed Organising Secretary for the Deaconess Department.  She was ordained in 1967 following the decision of Council to close down the vocation of deaconess.  Following her year as President of our Union in 1987, Margaret developed a ministry of leading retreats and spiritual direction and was called to the life of a hermit.
'Women ministers' were listed in the Baptist Union Handbook for the first time (having previously been  designated 'Women Pastors') 1956  
MarieIsaacs Marie Isaacs (1936-2016) was the first woman student to study at Regent’s Park College in Oxford.  Ordained in 1962, she went on to become a specialist in the books of Hebrews and James and served as Vice Principal of Heythrop College.
WomanSilhouetteMarjorie Tissington (1922-?) – Having served with the Baptist Missionary Society in India from 1954, she was the first woman to train for ministry at Northern Baptist College.
Three women ministers listed in Baptist Union handbook. 1961  
Publication of the 'Women in the Service of the Denomination' report 1967  
The Deaconess Order is ended - 80 deaconesses being transferred to accredited list in 1975 1970  
WomanSilhouetteNell Alexander was the first woman to be appointed as President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
MargaretJarmanMargaret Jarman becomes the first woman minister to be appointed as President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
WomanSilhouetteCaroline Eglin was commissioned into the Royal Navy as the first Baptist woman chaplain in the British Armed Forces.  Her 16-year naval career included a stint in a warship during the US-led invasion of Iraq.  She is currently a spiritual director.
RuthBottomsRuth Bottoms is appointed to represent the Baptist Union of Great Britain on the World Council of Churches
EBFBirgit Elisabet Karlsson - This Swedish pastor is the first woman to be called as President of the European Baptist Federation.
The first women priests are ordained by the Church of England. 1994  
RuthGouldbourneRuth Gouldbourne was appointed as Tutor in history and doctrine at Bristol Baptist College.
KateColemanKate Coleman is the first black woman to become an accredited Baptist minister within our Union. 
PatTookPat Took is the first woman minister to be appointed Area Superintendent, serving in the Metropolitan area.  She takes on the role of Regional Minister Team Leader of the London Baptist Association in the restructure of the Union in 2002.  Following her retirement, Pat was called as President of our Union in 2011.
The Scottish Baptist Union agree on the right of churches to call any ‘person’. 1999
MyraBlythMyra Blyth - Having previously worked for the World Council of Churches, Myra is appointed Deputy General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.  After four years she takes up the role of Tutor in Worship and Pastoral Studies at Regent's Park College in Oxford.
ChamKaurMannCham Kaur-Mann is the first Asian woman to become an accredited Baptist minister in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. 
CarolMurrayCarol Murray is appointed as the first ordained female President of BMS World Mission
RuthBottomsRuth Bottoms is the first woman to be appointed Moderator of Baptist Union Council.
KateColemanKate Coleman was the first black woman minister to be appointed as President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
NicolaThomasBotwoodNicola Thomas-Botwood was the first woman to be commissioned into the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD).  Ministering to soldiers and their families, she provided spiritual support, pastoral care, and moral guidance to all, irrespective of religion or belief.  She accompanied soldiers wherever they went - which included two tours in Afghanistan as the Hospital and Bastion Camp Chaplain.
CatrionaGortonCatriona Gorton - becomes the first woman minister in pastoral charge in the Baptist Union of Scotland.
AnnePhillipsAnne Phillips was appointed the first female Principal of one of our Baptist Colleges
LynnGreenLynn Green is the first woman minister to be appointed General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Libby Lane is announced as the first woman to be bishop in the Church of England, a month after an historic change to canon law. 2014  
JenniEntricanJenni Entrican is elected President of the European Baptist Federation.  A former President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, she is only the second woman to assume the role.

If you are aware of any significant events or women in our Baptist history which have not been included in this timeline, please get in touch with details.
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