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Telling Their Stories: The History of Women in the Local Church
A Resource Packet

This packet is designed to help you recover and celebrate the history of women in your church.  The  contents include suggestions for programs, special events, and research projects.  There are also several items with basic historical information to make your work a little easier.  

There are times when a women’s history project is especially appropriate.  Your church’s centennial or other important anniversaries will provide many opportunities to focus on women’s history in the church.  Heritage Sunday is observed in The United Methodist Church on Aldersgate Day (May 24) or the Sunday immediately preceding that date.  The General Commission on Archives and History develops resources for each year’s theme which can be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Commission.  Women’s History Month is celebrated nationwide every March.  Contact the National Women’s History Project, 7738 Bell Road, Windsor, CA 95492 or for resources.

There are agencies in your annual conference or district that will welcome and support a women’s history project.  In particular, work with your annual conference Commission on Archives and History whenever possible.  The General Commission on Archives and History is also available to work with you on any questions or concerns.  Our address is P.O. Box 127, Madison, NJ 07940; E-mail:


Women Focused Agencies of The United Methodist Church:

United Methodist Women (UMW):

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW):

Finding Aids:



Evangelical United Brethren Church. Women’s Society of World Service –

Women’s Missionary Association of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ –

Church Women United Records –

All our collections containing various aspects of women’s history –

Facebook Posts:

The GCAH Facebook page,, features the Almanac each month– a regular calendar commemorating the lives of influential women and men in and to the Wesleyan tradition. Their journey into faith offers a compelling witness for reflection, prayer, inspiration and impact for those seeking to live their lives in praise to God with a great cloud of witnesses and deepen their connection to United Methodist Denominational DNA.
Sources for this United Methodist Almanac are For All the Saints: A Calendar of Commemorations, Second Edition, Heather Josselyn Cranston, Editor, 2013, Historical Dictionary of Methodism, Susan Warwick and Charles Yrigoyen, Editors, 2013, and This Day in Christian History, A Kenneth Curtis and Daniel Graves, Editors, 2005.

This month includes the following women:

Mary Ann Able Smith (1823) on March 4

Harriet Ross Tubman (1913) on March 10

Lucy Rider Meyer (1922) on March 16

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (1931) on March 24

Additional Resources:

Timeline: American Women in the United Methodist Tradition

Archival Guide to Women and Decorum in early 19th century Methodism

Georgia Harkness Digital Collection at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary