6 Trail-Blazing Christian Women You Should Celebrate

Christian Women
Christian Women: As Christians, it is time to celebrate the women who came before us, defying tradition and sometimes risking their lives to impact Christianity today.
In the Charisma News blog “12 Trail-Blazing Christian Women You Should Celebrate,” author J. Lee Grady writes, “When I think about the empowered women of my generation I’m reminded that they stand on the shoulders of brave women pioneers who didn’t have today’s advantages.”
We should especially be grateful for the Christian women who defied religious and cultural traditions—and sometimes paid with their lives—to free African slaves, protect children from abuse, denounce injustice, preach the gospel in foreign nations, heal the sick, helped the poor and win women the right to vote.
1. Mary Magdalene
Who she was: She was the pioneer of pioneers and the forerunner of all forerunners. A follower of Jesus, Mary Magdalene was with Jesus at the crucifixion. She was the first person Jesus appeared to after resurrection and she was told to spread the good news to others.
Why she matters: Mary Magdalene was the first person to be commissioned to preach the gospel, a sign that God can use women in ministry. As a passionate follower of Jesus, and the first person—male or female—to be commissioned to preach the gospel, she proved to a male-dominated, first century-world that God can and does use women to do His work.
2. Jarena Lee (1783-1855)
Who She Was: Lee was best known for being a preacher for the African Methodist Episcopal Church, travelling hundreds of miles to teach others about Jesus.
Why She Matters: She was an adamant supporter of women’s right to preach. When challenged about the matter, Lee would say, “If the man may preach, because the Savior died for him, why not the woman, seeing He died for her also?”
3. Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)
Who She Was: A slave-turned abolitionist, Truth became a Methodist and was called to ministry.
Why She Matters: Truth delivered a speech entitled “Ain’t I a Woman?” in 1851 that demanded equality for women and African Americans. As a preacher, she said that Jesus overcame her hatred of white people. Her faith gave her the ability to love everyone.
4. Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874)
Who She Was: Palmer was a Methodist revivalist, contributing to the holiness movement of the mid-1880s and the Pentecostal revival.
Why She Matters: She preached alongside her husband, but was more popular because female preachers were unusual for the time period. She spoke in support of women in ministry and founded a mission for alcoholics in New York City.
5. Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)
Who She Was: A hymn composer, Crosby did not let her blindness stop her from writing 8,000 Christian hymns including “Blessed Assurance,” “Rescue the Perishing,” and “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior.”
Why She Matters: Crosby’s incentive for writing hymns was to bring others to Christ. She was criticized for “feminizing” church music, but continued to write music, believing that her work was divinely inspired.
6. Catherine Booth (1829-1890)
Who She Was: As a street preacher in London and co-founder of the Salvation Army with her husband, Booth had a heart for those in poverty.
Why She Matters: Crosby sparked a movement to help the poor, in addition to making huge strides in women’s rights in ministry. She wrote Female Ministry: Women’s Right to Preach and led hundreds of women known as “Hallelujah Lassies,” female evangelists in the Salvationist movement.