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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: A Trailblazer in Women's Ministry

By Ken Horn
Feb. 27, 2011

I recently discovered that Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer*, names well known to students of American religious history, are both my ancestors.

Anne Hutchinson was my great (x10) grandmother. She was a Puritan who fled persecution in England for religious freedom in Massachusetts in 1634. Anne set about practicing her new freedom — teaching doctrine to both genders and sometimes criticizing Boston’s clergy for preaching “a covenant of works.”

She also claimed to be able to communicate directly with God — even hearing His voice in her spirit. She gained a considerable following from those unsatisfied with stern ritualism and dogma, and longing for a closer personal walk with God.

And she gained enemies. The established clergy, many of whom had drifted into a “form of godliness” they had eschewed in England, brought her to trial. Of the charges brought against her, perhaps the most telling was that she maligned the established ministers.

The religious freedom she craved and preached disintegrated before her eyes. The court branded her a heretic, then excommunicated and banished her for supposedly undermining the civil order of the colony.

Some of her followers joined her in exile. A few years later, living near New Amsterdam (today’s New York), she and her entire family, save one daughter, were massacred by Indians.

Anne Hutchinson struck a blow for both religious rights and women’s rights. Some even consider her the first “feminist.”

Her statue at the State House in Boston bears an inscription that remembers her as a “courageous exponent of civil liberty and religious toleration.”

In honor of National Women’s Day in the Assemblies of God, we present this special Women’s Edition. Also, get to know the new director of the National Women’s Department of the Assemblies of God, Kerry Clarensau.

*More about Mary Dyer in a future Vantage Point.

Ken Horn


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