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Union University Dept of History

Department News

Dr. LeForge presents talk about Nineteenth-Century Black Holy Women at Spring Pew Luncheon

Apr 4, 2012 -

Dr. Judy LeForge presented a talk on “Converted, Sanctified, and Called to Preach: Nineteenth-Century Black Holy Women” at Union’s spring Pew luncheon on April 4, 2012. Her talk was a part of a program that involved presentations by recipients of 2011 Pew Summer Research Grants. Approximately 50 people attended the luncheon.

During her talk, Dr. LeForge pointed out that black female preachers, prohibited from delivering sermons in churches, used other forums such as barns, homes, and the outdoors to teach Biblical ideas to others. One was named Elizabeth who, beginning her ministry at the age of 42, even traveled to Canada to preach before finally retiring to Philadelphia in her late eighties. In all instances, the black holy women placed their calling to preach above societal acceptance.

In researching her topic, Dr. LeForge spent time in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she gathered information at the Underground Railroad Museum, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she worked at Temple University, the Mother Bethel AME Church, and the Philadelphia Afro-American Museum.

Dr. Judy LeForge talks about nineteenth-century Black female preachers at Union University's spring Pew luncheon on April 4, 2012.