Story: Presbyterian Church

First woman Presbyterian minister

First woman Presbyterian minister

Although women made up the greater proportion of congregations and were central to the success of church missions, the cultural attitude that women should not hold public office meant they were denied positions in church government. This changed from the 1950s when more liberal attitudes saw the church admit women as elders and then as ministers. New Zealand's first Presbyterian minister was Margaret Martin, who had served the church as deaconess. This shows her ordination in St Andrew's, Wellington, in 1965. In 1987 Martin was elected moderator of the Presbyterian church. 

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Presbyterian Archives, Knox College

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Presbyterian Church - Growth, reform and challenges', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/31078/first-woman-presbyterian-minister (accessed 27 April 2017)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 5 May 2011, updated 14 Mar 2017