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Photo Friday: A Woman in the Pulpit at Roxbury Holiness Camp

Long-time Brethren in Christ missionary Grace Holland addresses a Roxbury Camp audience from behind the pulpit. Church leaders Henry Ginder (left) and Charlie Byers (right) sit behind. (Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives)

Roxbury Holiness Camp — a Brethren in Christ institution launched in the late 1930s — has had a long legacy of fiery holiness-style preaching. Famous ministers like Luke Keefer Sr., Lafayette Shoalts, and William Rosenberry lit up its pulpit with highly charged, evangelistic sermons calling on audiences to draw near to God and renounce sin. Such sermons have etched Roxbury Camp into the hearts and minds of many, many attenders over the years.

Less memorable is Roxbury’s legacy of drawing women to its pulpit. But that’s exactly what happened in today’s Photo Friday installment, which shows long-time missionary Grace Holland speaking on the Roxbury stage.

It’s likely that this image, which probably dates to the 1960s, was snapped while Grace — who served with her husband Fred for many years at the Brethren in Christ missions in southern Africa — was speaking about her work as part of Roxbury’s Missions Day. She probably wasn’t delivering a sermon. But rare are the occasions in Brethren in Christ history when a woman stood to address an audience from behind a pulpit — a rarity that makes today’s image all the more interesting!

The 2011 Roxbury Camp starts today, by the way. You can learn more about this year’s campmeeting here.