A Women’s Ministry Pioneer You Need to Know

| January 22, 2016

There’s been a huge surge of interest in women discipling women in recent years. Books, conferences, blogs, and podcasts urge us to pray, study, organize, read, and counsel one another. For some, this seems like a new development. After all, wasn’t women’s ministry in the past just jam-making and missionary teas?

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Aside from the many godly women who discipled younger women, there were those who trained and organized them, transforming whole areas by God’s grace. Ellen Ranyard was one of them. Despite being recognized by historians and sociologists, this extraordinary and visionary woman has largely been forgotten by Christians. As we reflect on how to minister to women today, we must remember and learn from the past.

Deeply Devoted Messenger 

In many ways Ellen Ranyard is a mystery. No biographies have been devoted to her, and she didn’t write about herself, despite being a prolific writer. Born in London in 1810, she was raised in a non-conformist, middle-class home and was converted at the age of 16 through the witness of a friend who took her to distribute Bibles among the London poor. Ellen later recalled, “She spoke to them, but the Spirit of God carried the message home to me.” Both girls caught typhoid on this…

To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/a-womens-ministry-pioneer-you-need-to-know.