Touching on American religious history and sociology of Christianity, feminism and racism, worth a look is this article by Sharon Otterman in the NYT Metropolitan section (Sunday). It’s about Zaraphath Christian Church, described as the flagship congregation of the Pillar of Fire, a Methodist offshoot founded in 1901 by Alma Bridwell White.
The article describes the transformation of the congregation into a vibrant (and multi-racial?) contemporary mega-church, and how the church either confronts (or ignores) the complex historical legacy of its founder.
Here’s from the article:
“The woman at the center of Zarephath’s story was born in 1862 to a poor family in rural Kentucky. Mollie Alma Bridwell, as she was known then, grew up wanting to be a preacher, but was told to marry one instead. Chafing at the restrictions, she started preaching in Denver, where her Methodist preacher husband was posted, and ultimately formed her own church. When…
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