“Olympia Brown (A Portrayal by Rev. Dr. Janet H. Bowering)

Service video

Olympia Brown (1835-1926) dedicated her life to opening doors for women. Among only a handful of women to graduate from college, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch in 1860 and three years later became the first woman graduate of a regularly established theological school at St. Lawrence University. She was ordained a Universalist minister, the first woman to acheive full ministerial standing recognized by a denomination. As a young minister, she took an active role in the women’s suffrage movement and was one of the few original suffragists who lived to vote in the 1920 presidential election.

The Reverend Dr. Janet “Jan” Bowering died in 2014 at the age of 83. She had graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1952, the same University that admitted Olympia Brown in 1861. Rev. Bowering was ordained on January 30, 1955 by The North Carolina Universalist Convention at The Universalist Church of Outlaw’s Bridge of Seven Springs, NC. She served many Universalist churches until her retirement in 1996.

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