Publication of Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee
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Time Period
1836
Description
Jarena Lee was the first woman licensed to preach by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. After receiving permission to be an itinerant preacher by Richard Allen in 1919, she traveled thousands of miles for more than 30 years preaching hundreds of sermons.

In 1836, she decided to turn her journal into an autobiography with the help of an editor. Originally entitled "The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee," it was updated in 1849 as "Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee." The autobiography contained her conversion experience, the times she wrestled with suicide, and her experiences on the road. More than 1000 copies of her book were printed by 1836, and copies were distributed at camp meetings and on the street.

Her autobiography is one of the first extended life accounts of a black woman in America.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Women and Religion
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Women and Religion in American History
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links

Biographies
Lee, Jarena
Photographs

Religious Experience and Journal of Jarena Lee, title page- Internet Archive

Jarena Lee portrait- Internet Archive- from Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee
Book/Journal Source(s)
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Source(s)
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3h1638t.html
Excerpt of Jarena Lee's autobiography
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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