Berry Smith, Afro-American Evangelist
(1837-1915)became the most famous worldwide black woman evangelist.
She was a member of the AME church.
"In January 1891, Smith joined Judith Foster, president of the
Iowa Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), who led a delegation
that testified before the House Committee on the Alcoholic Liquor
Traffic. The Committee was considering federal legislation banning
U.S. liquor sales in Africa. Smith told the committee about her
background as a former slave and how she had gone to Africa, ... 'a
beautiful country ... except for the fact that Christian nations of
the earth are sending rum there all the time.
... There is not a black merchant there who imports strong drink. A
black man who deals in it must get it from
white merchants. I do not know
of any black man who ships it there.'" (Amanda Berry Smith:
From Washerwoman to Evangelist, Adrienne M. Israel, 1998, p. 92)
"The people here in this country
(India) think it a dreadful thing for a woman to speak in a public
congregation. ...It seems that the Christians have caught the
spirit, and like to have it so. It is surprising ... I believe the
Methodist Church has a work to do in this land in liberating woman,
and giving her true place." (Smith quoted in Israel, p 71)
"While at Ocean Grove, Smith told a
congregation how sanctification had 'saved her from the desire to be
white.' She described her experieinces with racial segregation, her
being 'seized' by a train conductor and forced to ride in the
smoking car, after which she said, she prayed for the conductor, and
compassion replaced resentment. She soon became one of the social
reformers and AME leaders who came annually to Ocean Grove."
(Israel, p 58)
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