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History of the National Women's Department

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A previous logo for the National Women's Department, used around 1985.

The History of the Assemblies of God

To have a clearer understanding of the National Women’s Department, you need to know the history of the Assemblies of God. We are a Fellowship that has been richly blessed by God’s power and grace. Our founders were committed to reaching the world for Christ, which explains why missions has always been a major focus within the Fellowship. This rich heritage founded on biblical principles continues to touch the hearts of men and women around the world.

Following the pattern set by the Early Church at Pentecost (see Acts 1 and 2), Christians at the turn of the 20th century experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pockets of revival began to spread throughout the United States initiating the modern Pentecostal Movement. Leaders within this Movement came together and established the General Council of the Assemblies of God in 1914 and later came to an agreement on sixteen biblical fundamental truths which remain the foundational tenets of our Fellowship to this day.

For more information about the Assemblies of God, visit ag.org.

The History of the National Women’s Department

Eleven years after the formation of the Assemblies of God, women within the Fellowship began to seek ways they could become involved in ministry. In 1925, Etta Calhoun organized a group of women for intercessory prayer in Houston, Texas. Originally meeting for intercessory prayer for missionaries, the women quickly found practical ways to provide support. The group became the first Women’s Missionary Council, the forerunner of today’s National Women’s Department.

Ministry to women has continued to grow across the United States and in other countries. The following is an overview of the development of the National Women’s Department from 1925 to present.

National Women’s Department Historical Timeline

1925 

Etta Calhoun forms the first Women's Missionary Council (WMC) in Houston, Texas.

1925-1927 District Women's Missionary Councils organize in twenty-seven districts
1938 The first District Women's Missionary Council convenes with the District Council in Harlingen, Texas.
1947 The Pentecostal Evangel reports on the organized Women's Missionary Council groups' numerous activities across the nation and overseas.
1951 The Women's Missionary Council is recognized as a national organization by the General Council.
1952 Edith Whipple Clevenger is appointed the first national Women's Ministries director (1952–1960).
1957 The Etta Calhoun Missions Fund is established. WMC Slant, a quarterly magazine for leaders, begins publication.
1960 The Library Fund is established to provide books for missions Bible schools. Mildred Smuland serves as national Women's Ministries director (1960–1971).
1967 The first edition of the WMC Leader is published.
1969 Combined Women's Ministries and Missionettes membership is 100,400.
1972 Goldia Anderson is appointed national Women's Ministries director (1972–1975).
1974 Joy Fellowship, an evangelism outreach ministry, is formed.
1975 Women's Missionary Council changes its name to Women's Ministries, reflecting a broader range of ministries.
1976 Elva Hoover serves as national Women's Ministries director (1976–1985).
1977 Woman's Touch, a bimonthly magazine for all women, succeeds WMC Slant.
1979 Combined Women's Ministries and Missionettes contributions exceed $5 million annually.
1982  Women's Ministries and Missionettes combined giving reaches $6.5 million.
1985 Sandra Clopine is appointed national Women's Ministries director (1985–1994).
1987 Aggregate giving to Assemblies of God ministries reaches $125 million in thirty-six years.
1993 Women's Ministries Leader is revised.
1994 Peggy Musgrove is appointed national Women's Ministries director (1994–1998).
  Combined Women's Ministries and Missionettes annual giving reaches $10.4 million.
1998 The first National Women's Ministries/Missionettes Leadership Seminar is held for district and sectional leaders.
Combined annual giving of Women's Ministries and Missionettes exceeds $15.4 million; aggregate giving to Assemblies of God ministries reaches $250 million in forty-seven years. "Women Touching the World" is introduced. The "Touch the World Fund" is established to impact the lives of women and children around the world.
  Lillian Sparks is appointed national Women's Ministries director (1998–2003).
2000 Women's Ministries Training Manual is revised to become Leadership Guide for Successfully Ministering to Women. Combined annual giving of Women's Ministries and Missionettes exceeds $16 million.
2001 Joy Fellowship changes its name to Event Evangelism. Encourages each church to choose its own name for their outreach ministry. Resource Guide with one hundred ministry ideas introduced; Program Plans for Event Evangelism introduced.
2002 Snuff Out Cancer prayer ministry introduced. Touch with Hope ministry to single moms introduced.
2003 Arlene Allen is appointed national Women's Ministries director (2003-2010)
2004 Giving totals reach $13 million.
  First of four studies released in the Bible Studies for Today's Pentecostal Woman series.
2005 Woman's Touch receives EPA Award of Merit.
  Women's Ministries celebrates 80th anniversary.
2006 Woman's Touch transitions to the Webzine WTOnline.
Style Ministry Packet is introduced. 

2007

 First issue of All About Moms introduced, as a gift for pastors to give to the women of their congregations for Mother's Day. First issue of Side by Side, magazine for pastors' wives, introduced.
2008 First edition of Ministering to Women was provided to every Assemblies of God
church, as an annual magalog (magazine/catalog), outlining the annual theme, and resources for ministry to women.
2009 National Women's Ministries renamed National Women's Department, reflecting a focus on ministry to every woman, rather than a monthly meeting. "For Every Woman" brand/logo introduced. Secrets: Transforming Your Life and Marriage released as our first women's Bible study with DVD and Internet components.
2010 Women.ag.org renovated into three levels of resources, including online ministry training for women in English and Spanish.
2011 

Kerry Clarensau is appointed national Women's director (2011-). Kerry authors Love Revealed: Experiencing God's Authentic Love.

Giving by women 1951-2011 (60-year history) reaches $398,823,820.

 2012 Kerry authors Redeemed!: Embracing a Transformed Life.
 2013 

Facebook group, Twitter, and Pinterest introduced for AG women.

Her Green Room, an online community for ministry wives (at hergreenroom.com), was launched at a live event at General Council, Orlando, Florida.

 ©2010 by the National Women’s Department, General Council Assemblies of God

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