Well, no, actually, it doesn’t, but this is not a place for that argument.

This site exists to tell true stories from history, just that.

I have argued extensively that the Bible does not support a male-only ministry, and so have many others. (For a fairly popular presentation, see Scott McKnight’s excellent Blue Parakeet; for a fairly readable but more scholarly account, see William Webb’s Slaves, Women and Homosexuals; for the sort of detailed argument that demands you know Greek, see several papers in Recovering Biblical Equality.)

But this is not a place for that sort of controversy. If you want to argue the point, there are plenty of places to do it.

In researching and writing these stories, I have come to a simple conclusion: I am not able to defend the ministry of these women. Not because of some lack in their ministry, but because of a lack in mine. Phoebe Palmer converted 25 000 people through her preaching; in the face of such a work of the Spirit, who am I to even consider the question of whether God had called her to preach? ‘By their fruits you shall know them’ said Jesus, speaking precisely of false preachers; anyone who wants to question Phoebe Palmer’s calling to preach better be able to show at least as fruitful a ministry as she did before he raises the question…