Movement builders: Women in the early church
In many churches today this same pioneering spirit can be found where there is a unified goal to make the Gospel and the liberating news of Jesus known.
Unfortunately, most Christians know very little of these inspiring women who led, financed, and did what they could to grow the early church.
Women such as Paula, Marcella, Melana the Younger and Melania the Elder were scholars and voluntary ascetics who turned from the aristocratic lifestyles they knew to support the young fledgling Christian faith with their wealth, often embracing poverty to do so.
Other womens such as Perpetua, Felicitas, Proba, and Egeria left us with testimonies of their own that tell their stories and the stories of the early church, sometimes leading to their martyrdom.
And then there is Thecla, a companion of Paul with whose impact and ministry is recorded in historical records however Holy Scripture remains silent. Her story in the Acts of Paul and Thecla is a part of the New Testament apocrypha and her legacy has impacted Christianity despite her story not being considered official scripture since the 5th century.
First up: Paula of Rome.