Did you know . . .

. . . March is Women’s History Month?

The National Women’s History Project (NWHP) puts out publications and honors women each year in the month of March based on a theme. This year’s theme is “Women’s Art, Women’s Vision.” The National Council of Churches (NCC)-of which the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a member-has put together a Web site honoring Women’s History Month. They also have links to other denominations’ women’s history pages and resources.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the following are some facts about the history of women within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

  • In the face of declining giving towards missionary work in the church, Caroline Pearre had the idea to get the women together and raise funds for missionary work in the year 1874. She would not even have the right to vote for another 45 years! Her idea came to be known as the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions (CWBM).
  • In 1876, just two years after beginning their work, the (CWBM) sent their first missionary to Jamaica.
  • In 1887 Disciples Women organized the National Benevolent Association (The other NBA).
  • Clara Babcock was ordained in 1889, becoming the first woman in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to have that distinction.
  • The College of Missions located at 222 S. Downey Avenue, Indianapolis, was dedicated in 1910. It would later house the Disciples general offices until 1995.
  • The first Quadrennial Assembly was held in 1957 with an attendance of about 3,575. The theme was “Constrained by Love.”
  • Since 1950, women have give more than $127,000,000 (one hundred twenty seven million dollars) to Missions.
  • Travelers on the first Woman-to-Woman Worldwide (WWW) trip, held in 1989, visited Northern Ireland and Scotland. Since then 14 more of these trips involving 186 people have taken place, with 177 women and 9 men from 28 regions traveling to 24 countries.
  • A book detailing Disciples Women’s history was published in 1999 by Fran Craddock, Martha Faw and Nancy Heimer entitled In the Fullness of Time.
  • Disciples Women are not done yet.