Oberlin in Lorain County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Antoinette Brown Blackwell and First Church in Oberlin
Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825–1921)
First Church was built by the Oberlin Community in 1842-44 for the great evangelist Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875). He was its pastor, headed Oberlin College’s Theology Department, and later became College president. In the mid-19th century this Congregational church had one of the largest congregations and auditoriums west of the Alleghenies. Eminent speakers such as Margaret Atwood, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Mark Twain, and Woodrow Wilson have addressed the community in its Meeting House. Antoinette Brown graduated from the College’s Ladies’ Department in 1847 and then completed three years of study under Finney in the all male Theology Department. She worshipped and led women’s prayer meetings at First Church. The College denied her the Theology certificate since women were not deemed suitable to be ordained.
In 1853, Brown was called to serve the Congregational church in South Butler, New York, becoming the first woman since New Testament times ordained as a Christian minister. Soon conflicted by the rigid orthodoxy of her church, she resigned
Erected 2014 by the First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, Oberlin Heritage Center and The Ohio History Connection. (Marker Number 30-47.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Women. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #28 Woodrow Wilson, the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection, the Unitarian Universalism (UUism) ⛪, and the Women's Suffrage 🗳️ series lists.
Location. 41° 17.693′ N, 82° 13.053′ W. Marker is in Oberlin, Ohio, in Lorain County. Marker is on North Main Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 106 N Main St, Oberlin OH 44074, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oberlin and the Underground Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Downtown Oberlin Historic District (approx. ¼ mile away); Willard Van Orman Quine (approx. ¼ mile away); Oberlin College and Community / Abolitionism in Oberlin (approx. 0.4 miles away); Charles M. Hall and Frank M. Jewett (approx. 0.4 miles away); Welcome to Oberlin Heritage Center (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Burrell-King House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Westwood Cemetery (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oberlin.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia Entry for Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Excerpt:
Her exegesis on the writings of the Apostle Paul was published in the Oberlin Quarterly Review. It is there, from a brief excerpt, that her understanding of what may now be popularly called feminist theology, takes shape as she writes: “Paul meant only to warn against ‘excesses, irregularities, and unwarrantable liberties’ in public worship.” She insisted that the Bible and its various pronouncements about women were for a specific span of time and certainly not applicable to the 19th century. Even though women(Submitted on January 2, 2020.)
2. The First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ (Congregational). Excerpt:
In a growing village where the college was gaining a world wide reputation, where the underground railroad had an active station, members of all faiths who moved to Oberlin were absorbed into this one congregation. By 1854 it boasted ten times the membership of any other Congregational Church in Ohio (a “Second Congregational Church” became necessary in 1860). It was designed as a Meeting House, serving parish and community needs, even housing the local fire trucks in the basement. The hand hewn timbers supporting the roof can still be seen.(Submitted on January 2, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 2, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 138 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 2, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.