Fullness of Time

“Disciples women should recognize and remember their heritage for this sets the stage for the future … They feel a high sense of achievement for their share in molding the past and look forward with a deep sense of responsibility to shaping the future.”  —Betty Fiers, former ICWF president

To learn more about this history, read In the Fullness of Time, a History of Women in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Written by Fran Craddock, Martha Faw, and Nancy Heimer in 1999, “this fascinating history begins with the founding of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions in 1874, traces the birth and growth of CWF, and ends with an upbeat look at the future of women’s ministries in the 21st Century.” —Quote from book jacket

The story begins:

“April 10, 1874, had all the marks of a typical spring day in Iowa City, Iowa.  The day had begun veiled with heavy fog, but rain was expected to move in from the west and rinse away the last remnants of snow still lingering on cobblestoned streets.

FullnessOfTime.jpgCaroline Neville Pearre (pronounced Pa-ree) began her day as usual, preparing breakfast to share with her husband, the Reverend Doctor Sterling Elwood Pearee, before sending him off the church office.

They had come to Iowa City in 1872 when he assumed duties as pastor of First Christian Church. This day, Friday, held promise of being filled with preparations for the Eastertide prayer service in the evening, an appointment with several church leaders, and receiving unexpected but welcome persons needing assistance and counsel.

After starting preparation for the noon meal when her husband would come home, perhaps bringing an unannounced guest with him, Caroline Pearre sat down in her favorite chair for her daily time of Bible reading and prayer. What followed changed the direction of Mrs. Pearre’s life and began the new era for women in the Christian Church, also known as the Disciples of Christ.”

Find out more about the brave, visionary and courageous women who lived what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, who dared to step out and make a difference, and upon whose shoulders Disciples Women and the church stand.  You will be amazed and encouraged in your own faith journey as you read their stories.

  • Join your sisters in reading and discussing this rich source of history.  To order visit the online store.
  • Download a study guide for this publication.
  • Learn about more about the history of women within the Christian Church.

Read more about  what the Historical Society has to offer. The mission of Disciples of Christ Historical Society is to promote Christian values by preserving the heritage and telling the story of the Stone-Campbell tradition.

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