A Mother of Nations

Genesis 17:15-19

Following Phoebe’s marriage to Walter Palmer in 1827, the couple became interested in the John Wesley’s writings.  Of special interest was his teaching on the doctrine of Christian perfection.  In 1837 Phoebe came to know the truth of the experience of entire sanctification personally.  Her family soon followed, experiencing this second definite work of God’s grace.  They were excited about what God had done for them and felt they should spread the good news.

Two years prior, Phoebe’s sister Sarah Lankford began to have weekly prayer meetings with other Methodist women. Eventually Phoebe became the leader of the meetings which were called the “Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness.”

In 1839 men were finally allowed to attend the meetings.  Among them were Methodist bishops, theologians and ministers such as Edmund S. James, Leonidas Lent Hamline, Jesse T. Peck and Matthew Simpson.   Others that were influenced during this time by her speaking and writing were the temperance leader, Frances Willard; the co-founder of the Salvation Army, Catherine Booth; and the first president of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness (later the Christian Holiness Partnership), John Inskip.  The holiness message which had died down to a flickering ember burst into a flame that spread throughout the world.  Phoebe Palmer was blessed by God to become a “mother of nations.”

By Dr. Gayle Woods



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