Featuring two remarkable New Zealand Women: Elinor Thornton and Merrilyn Withers

Elinor Thornton, who ran evangelistic missions in timber camps in about 1898, and Merrilyn Withers, who loved young people into God’s Kingdom 100 years later, will be highlighted for our Women’s History Sunday this year.

Elinor, engaged to teach 40 children in a sole-charge school, teach Sunday School, and preach to the men and their families on Sunday evenings, saw many conversions and rededications. One conversion reverberated for our recent Baptist President Beulah Wood, because it was her grandfather. Its effect came down through her family into our churches today.

Memories of Merrilyn’s love and work among young people still ring through the people she ministered to; many are still in God’s family partly because of her.

Baptist Women New Zealand is again offering a range of resources for the March Sunday:

  • prayers
  • information for telling the stories of Elinor and Merrilyn
  • a warmly encouraging video sermon on Deborah from current Carey student, Grace Doak
  • a written sermon on little-known Sheerah, of 1 Chronicles 7
  • children’s resources.

We also recommend that churches take the opportunity to hear from leading women in their own churches.

Baptist Women have featured the story of an outstanding New Zealand Baptist woman leader every month since the beginning of 2021. Find the treasure trove on www.bwnz.org.nz/topics/woman-of-the-month.

Contributor: Beulah Woods

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