First Leader of a "Woman Ministry"
With the encouragement of Ellen G. White, Mrs. S.M.I. Henry began organizing a "woman ministry" at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1898.
While Mrs. Sarepta M. Irish Henry (shown right) recuperated from an illness at Battle Creek Sanitarium she became convinced of the Advent truth, which led her to joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Mrs. S.M.I. Henry had been an active leader in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (W. C. T. U.), but with Ellen White's encouragement she to began organizing a department for women's ministry in 1898, and in the process wrote a pamphlet "A Woman-Ministry."
The General Conference voted her ministerial license.
Unfortunately, when Mrs. Henry died two years later no one continued her initial work for women's ministry at the world church headquarters.
Resources to download:
A Woman-Ministry, original pamphlet written by Mrs. S.M.I. Henry
A Brief Historical Background of Women's Ministries in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, an excerpt from the General Conference Women's Ministries Handbook. This article includes a memoir of Mrs. S.M.I. Henry's work within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, written by her daughter, Margaret Henry Rossiter White.
My Mother's Life: The Evolution of a Recluse, a full biographical book of Mrs. S.M.I. Henry, written by her daughter and published by Fleming H. Revell Company, 1900.