Women serve as important leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Their spiritual, emotional, physical and social needs are of huge importance. The Women’s Ministries Department supports programs that help women rise to their full potential as leaders in their homes and communities. The department backs mentorship and academic scholarship programs for young women. It also hosts events around the world opposing domestic abuse and other violence against women.
Through the years Women’s Ministries has grown to become one of the most active departments in our church. Our emphasis, “A Ministry to Every Woman: Touch a Heart, Tell the World,” has been a clarion call for our sisters to meet the needs of those we encounter. Our mission statement, which guides our actions as a department, can be summarized in three words:and . Through the years multiple resources have been developed for the world field to train and enhance the work of our sisters in these three areas.
BRIEF HISTORY OF WOMEN'S MINISTRY
Women's Ministries is not new. In 1898 Mrs. Sarepta Myranda Irish Henry, with the encouragement of Ellen G. White headed a church department of Women's ministry.
Sarepta was born into the family of a Methodist minister who did much pioneering work in Illinois. In her youth she attended Rock River Seminary. In 1861 she married James W. Henry, a teacher, who died 10 years later, leaving her with three small children. She supported her family by teaching and by writing stories and poetry for publication.
She become the temperance leader of Rockford, Illinois and was active promoting temperance rallies. Her sphere of action enlarged and she became a national evangelist for the newly organized Women's Christian Temperance Union.
She became ill in the late 1880's and in 1895 became an invalid from a heart ailment. She went to Battle Creek Sanitarium and in 1896 she accepted the SDA teachings. Shortly afterward she was healed while in prayer, and resumed her WCTU work.
In 1898 Mrs. Henry conceived a plan for what she called "woman ministry". She lectured on the role of the mother in the moral education of the family and society. She presented her plan to then president A. W. Spalding, who remarked that from her work instituted in the Seventh-day Adventist Church came the first semblance of an organized effort to train parents and to give help in their problems. (SDA Encyclopedia, vol. 10, p.691)