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More than a semantic distinction was being made in referring to women's speaking efforts as "teaching" instead of "preaching" and in scheduling them during less formal gatherings of the church. That difference lay in the authority and weightiness of the words women said. The fact that they were not ordained nor theologically trained and that they had not interpreted their religious impulses as a call from God to preach reduced the worth and importance of what they had to say. It also affected the subject matter they addressed: they spoke mainly on inspirational topics or simple biblical exegesis rather than deal with subjects of theological depth or of a controversial nature, and they rarely issued a call for conversions. They (and their listeners) differentiated between speaking and speaking authoritatively. The male pastor bore that authority both by tradition and by the growing professionalization of the Baptist clergy through education and denominational structuring. Without a call from God and the church's recognition of that call in the rite of ordination, women's speaking would remain circumscribed in content and form.

At the same time, some women learned to be skilled in speaking publicly, even if less weight was attached to that performance. Concensus grew among Texas Baptists that

many of our 'elect sisters' are capable of rendering valuable service, edifying the body of Christ, by exercising their gifts in public.
BS , August 3, 1916, p. 21. While they were not thought of as preachers, female speakers were accorded approval and admiration. In his memoirs, J. B. Cranfill recalled several of them, including Willie Turner Dawson of Waco,
one of the greatest orators I ever heard. . .[her] witchery of words would melt a heart of stone
J. B. Cranfill, From Memory (Nashville: Broadman Press 1937), p. 171. and Mary Hill Davis, the Texas Woman's Missionary Union president whose addresses were
gems of literary artistry.
Ibid., p. 201. Because he was active in the temperance cause, Cranfill had heard Frances Willard on several occasions and claimed,

There was a richness of appeal in her voice that I have never sensed in any other orator. I cannot describe it. In addition thereto, her logic was irresistible and indescribable. . .she spared nothing; she side-stepped nothing; she swept on in a blaze of oratorical splendor that in my hearing has never been surpassed. Ibid., p. 169.

Women speaking out and doing it well generated some fear in men that there would be no place in the church left for them, or that men would surrender all their responsibilities:

Many men, nowadays, are doing their business for the Lord "in their wife's name." What a number of men we have today who turn over all their business pertaining to the Lord and His work to their wives—Sunday school, prayer meeting, religious reading for the family, training of the children for God and His work. BS , June 14, 1917, p. 5.

Male critics of female preaching ceased basing their argumentation on woman's sphere on the impossibility of a woman's filling the ministerial position, resting it instead on the assumption that God had arbitrarily excluded her from that role:

God has not given any reason for calling only men to preach.
BS , August 22, 1912, p. 18. Also claiming not to understand the mysteries of God's will, J. E. Byrd, writing in the Baptist Standard in 1917, recognized that women were not without the
native talent, mental and executive ability, eloquence or pleasing address
requisite to the preaching ministry—what they lacked was
a Divine call to the work.
BS , October 18, 1917, p. 30. Unwilling or unskilled at dealing with power in a straightforward way, Baptist males evaded or disclaimed their own need to assert authority; they merely exercised a divine right thrust upon them by God. But in grounding the issue of ministerial authority on God's failure to call women to the ministry, they left themselves in a precarious position, particularly in an institution that holds sacrosanct the autonomy of the individual Christian before God.

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Source:  OpenStax, Patricia martin's phd thesis. OpenStax CNX. Dec 12, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11462/1.1
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