Maria Woodworth-Etter: For Such a Time as This, by Wayne Warner. Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2004.
The author, Wayne Warner, has done intense, investigative work to bring his readers Woodworth-Etter’s true life story, and it is a thorough story at that. Maria Woodworth-Etter was a phenomenal woman evangelist who strongly opposed racial and gender discrimination. She believed the only way to be saved from sin was through Jesus Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Not only does he share her accomplishments and successes, but also moments when her faith was weak and when life was not fair. He also displays her with power brought on by the Holy Spirit. Warner compares her in many ways to several important, powerful followers of God in the Bible who also had a calling specifically for that period of time.
The book includes detailed descriptions of significant events in Woodworth-Etter’s career and life along with excerpts from her own book, Marvels and Miracles. The author gathers several newspaper stories and editorials along with descendants’ accounts of her life and her powerful meetings. He gives both the positive and negative newspaper reports. Warner takes several primary sources and even personal accounts and ties them together into a detailed, yet exciting review of Woodworth-Etter’s life and the influences she had during her time. He also includes valuable pictures of her, her meetings, and her family members.
Warner shares of Woodworth-Etter’s struggles before she was able to fulfill her calling as a female evangelist. He also explains, with the help of excerpts from Woodworth-Etter’s book, that the basis of her ministry was her desperate prayers before every sermon. He goes on to describe her ministry extending outside of Ohio and the oppositions that came with this from her family and several others. Most of the time, he goes through her life like he’s following a time line. But there are a few times that he jumps back to a significant event to add or elaborate on it.
Readers are taken on a detailed journey through not only the trials and ministry of Woodworth-Etter but also her heart and influences on her time and those around her. She dramatically changed the view people had of women and their roles in the Church and God’s work. She paved the way for the Pentecostal movement and for many after her, including several women such as Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman, and also influenced men like Smith Wigglesworth.
Reviewed by Sarah Ahmed, Evangel University student