Alabaster Jar

Stories of female leaders from church history

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Katherine Chidley: evangelist, church planter, leader, and controversialist

Posted by in Seventeenth/Eighteenth century, Social reformers, Stories, UK, Uncategorized |

We first hear of Katherine Chidley in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in 1616; she is the wife of Daniel Chidley and gave birth to their first son that year. She was already then involved in an illegal underground congregation (at the time only Church of England congregations were legal). She was brought to court at least twice in the 1620s, once for non-attendance...

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Marie Dentière: Reformer

Posted by in Reformation, Rest of Europe, Stories |

In 2002 Marie Dentière’s name was carved into stone adjacent to the famous Wall of the Reformers in Geneva, the first – and so far only – woman to be commemorated in that place. She had in her youth been an Augustinian nun, rising rapidly to be prioress of the Covent at the Abbey of Saint-Nicolas-des-Près; almost as rapidly, however,...

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St Samthann of Clonbroney

Posted by in Medieval women, Rest of Europe, Stories, UK |

Samthann was the adopted daughter of an Irish king, Cridan. Like so many of the female Irish saints was delivered from an arranged marriage by a miracle, and then devoted herself to serving God as a nun. She became abbess of the monastery at Clonbroney after its founder, St Fuinech, had a dream of a fiery form resembling Samthann consuming the monastery,...

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Phoebe Palmer: Methodist theologian and evangelist

Posted by in Evangelicals, Evangelists, Nineteenth century, Stories, United States |

Phoebe Palmer transformed the spiritual life of many churches in America and the United Kingdom in her day, and by her preaching led thousands of people to faith in Jesus. She grew up as Phoebe Worrall in New York City, in the early years of the nineteenth century, and was active in the American Methodist Episcopal Church. She married Walter C. Palmer in...

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