Woman of the Century/Mary L. Moreland
MORELAND, Miss Mary L., Congregational minister, born in Westfield, Mass, 23rd December, 1859. On her father's side she is of Scotch ancestry, and on the maternal side she is of good lineage. She commenced her school-days at the age of six years. The family removed to New Ipswich, N. Y., where they lived six years. While there, at the age of fourteen, she entered Appleton Academy. She was graduated with the high record of scholarship. MARY L. MORELAND. She was converted at the age of fourteen and joined the Baptist Church. Soon after her graduation the family removed to Kitchburg, Mass. There she became a member of the First Baptist Church. About that time she began her temperance work. She was among the first of Massachusetts young women to take the white ribbon in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and, although a girl of sixteen she was upon the platform a successful lecturer. After her graduation in Appleton Academy she taught school several terms. Soon after she went to Fitchburg, Dr. Vincent went with his Chautauqua Assembly to Lake View, Framingham, Mass. She attended the assembly for six consecutive years and laid foundation for the study of the Word, to which she added the normal courses in the Bible and also took the four years in the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, class of 1884. While in the assembly she collected the materials for her books, "Which, Right or Wrong?" (Boston), and "The Schtwl on the Hill." During the four years in which she was taking the Chautauqua course, editing the above books and contributing many short articles to different papers, she was constantly invited to address public meetings. She studied theology two winters in the home of Rev. Mr. Chick. In 1882 she had occupied the pulpit a number of times, but had not then thought that she was called to ministerial work. In the fall of 1885 she went to Illinois on a visit to her sister, intending to labor in the West in the cause of temperance. She became interested in revival work, in which she has been eminently successful. Her first revival was through a meeting held in the interest of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The mi>st remarkable of those revivals was that which occurred in February and March, 1889, in Sharon and Spring Hilt, There were more than one-hundred conversions and a church was organized. Her first call to settle as pastor was in the summer of 1888, in the Keithburg circuit. Illinois conference, by Elder Smith, of the United Brethren Church. She declined to accept the invitation. At that time Rev. E. M Baxter, of the Dixon district, urged her to preach the gospel, and Rev. Louis Curtis, elder of that district, requested her to spend the time which she could spare from revival work in Eldena, Lee county. She began her labors, and they gave her a unanimous call, but. Being a Methodist Church, according to the discipline, she could only be a stated supply. A few months later she received an invitation to supply the pulpit of the First Congregational Church of Wyanet, Ill. The church prospered, and the people desired that Miss Moreland should be ordained and installed as their pastor. After much persuasion and deliberation she consented. A council of six ministers and the same number of delegates from the adjacent churches convened in Wyanet, 19th July, 1889. It was one of few instances in which a woman has been called to the ministry in the Congregational Church in this country. After a rigid examination the council retired and voted unanimously to proceed to the ordination. She is now a successful preacher.