This essay questions the notion that a womanist identity and Pentecostal faith are mutually exclusive. Using major tenets of womanist theology, I argue for an honest recovery of all the personal and political influences on classical Pentecostalism as a way to move forward to a more egalitarian faith. Seeking to redress the lack of scholarship about women of color in early Pentecostalism, the essay raises questions that, I hope, will spur more research and interest in a womanist Pentecostal theology.
See Estrelda Alexander, Limited Liberty: The Legacy of Four Pentecostal Women Pioneers (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2008). Alexander cites Charles Barfoot and Gerald Sheppard’s work on the decline of women in Pentecostal leadership after World War I, when Pentecostalism largely shifted to a denominational structure.