Antoinette BlackwellAntoinette Blackwell
The First Woman to be Ordained as a Minister
1825 – 1921 A.D.

Antoinette Blackwell, the first woman to be ordained as a minister. Born in a log cabin in Henrietta, New York, she celebrated her eighty-seventh birthday in 1912, and was then engaged in preaching once a month at All Souls’ Church, Elizabeth, N.J.

After graduating from Oberlin College, she announced her intention to enter the Theological Seminary attached to the university. The professors of Divinity were surprised and shocked, but their protests were in vain as the charter of the institution provided that nobody should be excluded as a student on account of sex.

After completing her studies, her ordination as a Congregational minister took place at South Butler, N.Y., where she accepted a pastorate, at a salary of $300 a year. In spite of opposition and denunciation she successfully continued her work.

Some years after she had begun her career as a pastor she became the wife of Samuel C. Blackwell, and fifty years after her admission to the theological seminary, Oberlin honored her with the degree of doctor of divinity.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.

Quote by Antoinette Blackwell