The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.
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The United Methodist Women Story
It was a stormy night in Boston on March 23, 1869, when Mrs. William Butler and Mrs. Edwin Parker, wives of missionary husbands to India, arrived at Tremont Street Methodist Episcopal Church to speak about the plight of women and young girls in India. Only four women had braved the treacherous weather to hear the distressing news that there were only male doctors in India and the women were being denied medical assistance and the young girls were not being educated.
The ladies were reminded by Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Parker that women are as much disciples of the Lord as are men. Also, women are called to care for the poor, the widows, and the orphans in every land. After considering the small sacrifices each must make in order to help their sisters in Christ, the ladies joined with Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Parker.
This was the beginning of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This group succeeded in sending teachers, Isabella Thoburn and Dr. Clara Swain to India as our first female missionaries. They built a school to educate girls and a hospital to provide medical care for women.
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