ABSTRACT

This article uses the 1890 and 1894 Free Methodist Church debates on women's ordination as a case study on the discursive construction of gender in evangelical culture. At the turn of the twentieth century, women's roles in religious culture were being debated around the United States in various denominations, and the decision to ordain women varied greatly depending on biblical interpretation and denominational theology. The rhetorical performances of two female evangelists and General Conference delegates, Clara Wetherald and Ida Gage, will be discussed and used to illustrate how their opponents used organizational silencing in an attempt to write them out of the organizational record.

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