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  • Title: Antoinette Brown Blackwell - The First Church in Oberlin
  • Location: Oberlin, OH
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The First Church in Oberlin, Ohio was a formative place for theologian & women’s rights advocate Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) when she attended Oberlin College from 1846-1850. Here she attended church twice a week and was an active participant and occasional leader of women’s prayer meetings. Although Oberlin was the nation's first coeducational college, Brown faced challenges due to the college’s beliefs about acceptable public roles for women. During this time, she was engaged in scientific studies, the abolitionist movement, and women’s rights advocacy. Despite not being allowed to speak in most classes, being denied a diploma, and not receiving ordination, Brown left Oberlin with a determined passion for ministry & action. She became the first woman ordained in the United States as a minister of a recognized Protestant denomination in 1853 and went on to successfully author many books, deliver sermons nationwide, and advocate for women’s engagement in the public sphere.