The History

 
 

History of Deaconess & Stewardess






AME women’s groups contributed to the transformation of the structure of the AME church. One of these was Daughters of the Conference (1816, beginning of Women‘s Missionary Society) that existed in almost every AME congregation. They focused on taking care of the needs of their pastors by providing food, repairing clothing, etc.


Women contributed greatly to the ministry of the church. As a response to these realities, the 1868 General Conference decided to organize a new title in the Church called “Stewardess” in which women were appointed in the church to serve other women. This was the first official role for women in the AME Church. The role of the stewardess had no power to legislate, but were assistants and looked after the women in the AME church. The role of the deaconess was also created at the end of the 19th century. Along with being assistants, they also visited the sick, took care of women who needed help and looked after the training of young girls.

````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

DEACONESS MANUAL OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

By  ABRAHAM GRANT, 1902


CERTIFICATE. 

To the Ministers and Members of the, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Greeting: 

This is To CERTIFY that the Bishops' Council, at its session June 19, 1901, appointed a committee to prepare a Chapter on the Deaconesses of the Church. At its session June 20, 1902 Wilberforce University, Bishop Abraham Grant, Chairman of the Committee, reported the Chapter as prepared by himself and endorsed by his committee. It was read by the Secretary, and on motion of Bishop M. B. Salter It was unanimously adopted by the Council and ordered printed as a Chapter to govern the Deaconesses In the A. M. E. Church. 


Bishop M. B. Salter also moved that the Deaconess Home, Roanoke, Va., purchased by Bishop B. F. Lee and others, be recognized as a Connectional Institution and shall receive such support as the Church is able to give it. 

[SEAL.] BENJAMIN W. ARNETT, 

Secretary of the Bishops' Council, A. M. E. Church. 

WILBERFORCE, OHIO, June 28, 1902. 


Woman is pre-eminently the helper of man-his second self. Not only can she be styled "the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20), but the mother of all social, educational and religious efforts of man. In everything which pertains to the supreme and most desired pursuits of man, for happiness; woman is "an helpmeet for him" (Gen. 2:18). It is not strange, therefore, that she figures and is identified with every purpose and work of man. 


Among the very many women named in the Bible, and who shine out as stars of undying luster of the first magnitude, five have been selected of different, yet indispensable, characters as becoming models for the women of the Church of to-day; especially those who would engage to serve under the shadow of her holy altars: 


THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH. THE SHUNAMITE

PRINCESS

[I Kings 1,7-:9-24.] (II Kings 4:8-37

A WOMAN OF UNPARALLELED FAITHTHE HOSPITABLE PRINCESS

 

THE PROPHETESS ANNA     THE DISCIPLE TABITHA

[Luke 2:36-38) (Acts 9:36-42

A CONSECRATED WOMANA CHURCH WORKER

 

THE ACCOMPLISHED PRISCILLA

(Acts 18:26)

CHURCH INSPIRER AND HELPER