Although evangelical and Canadian histories have tended to under-examine the contributions of women, an emphasis on the example of Phoebe Palmer readily offers a visible standard of Canadian evangelical emancipation.
Abundant canonical, literary, and epigraphical evidence proves women were ordained leaders in the church for centuries. Women who aspire to ordained ministry today can be encouraged by the rich history of women’s ordination.
The tradition of women raising the eucharistic cup is witnessed from the late 100s to the mid-500s, including evidence from the three oldest surviving iconographic artifacts that depict early Christians in real churches.
Maria Woodworth Etter, known both as the Trance Evangelist and the Mother of the Pentecostal movement, lived and preached in an era when women were required to be silent in church and submit to their husbands.
1 Cor 11:2–16 touches on questions of creation and the nature of God and has been influential not only in the role of men and women in worship, but more fundamentally in the relations of man and woman to one another and to God.
First Corinthians 14 contains the only passage in the Bible that at face value silences women or restricts their ministry in the churches. It is important for all who believe Scripture to understand the truth about this passage.
Could it be that the complementarian notion of “biblical womanhood” (especially the claim that women’s distinct personhood makes no room for women as teachers and leaders of men) is a recent, Western perspective?