Baptist Women in America: In Various Times in Baptist History in America, Women Have Served as Church Planters, Missionaries, Mission Organization Leaders, Deaconesses, Deacons, Worship Leaders, Preachers, Exhorters, and Spiritual Advisors

Article excerpt

These women have contributed much to their local churches and communities. Yet until recent years, the work of Baptist women was rely recorded. Baptist historians did not preserve women's experiences or record their thoughts or reflections. Leon McBeth once observed, "Most of these historians simply ignored women. They did not say anything bad about them; they did not say anything at all about them." (1)

Since the early 1970s, however, Baptist historians have turned their attention to the lives and contributions of Baptist women. My own interest in the topic of women in Baptist history led me last year to pull together a list of writings about Baptist women. I discovered that since 1970 more than one hundred books and articles have been written about Baptist women in general, and hundreds more books and articles have been written about specific Baptist women. The length of my bibliography confirmed for me that there truly is a growing interest in women's history.

Included in that bibliography are many articles published in this journal. During the past thirty-five years, Baptist History & Heritage has published at least twenty-seven articles on women, and two journal issues (January 1977 and July 1987) focused on women in Baptist life. Much work has been done on this vital topic, and yet more work still needs to be done.

Given the popularity and the importance of the topic, the officers of the Baptist History and Heritage Society voted to dedicate the 2005 annual meeting to the topic "Women in Baptist History" and to issue an open call for papers. …