Doctrines and Discipline of the Free Methodist Church of North America - 1939 Edition



     ¶ 222. Deaconesses are a class of women who feel divinely called to advance the cause of Christ, but not to become pastors or evangelists. The duties of a deaconess shall be to care for the sick, provide for the orphans, save the erring and fallen, and to alleviate as far as possible the sufferings of those within her reach.

1. Persons to he licensed as deaconesses shall be at least twenty-one years of age and of good report in the church for works of charity and for constancy of faith.

2. No person shall be recommended for deaconess’ license who has not proved her Christian character and experience by living a consistent Christian life as a full member of the Free Methodist Church for at least two years in succession immediately preceding the application.

3. Candidates for deaconess’ license must first be recommended to the quarterly conference by the society of which they are members.

4. The quarterly conference, after examination into the gifts, graces and usefulness of a candidate, may recommend her to the annual conference to receive license as a deaconess.

5. The annual conference, after consideration of the gifts, graces and usefulness of a person thus recommended, may grant her a license as a deaconess, such license to be good for one year only unless renewed.

6. Having been thus licensed for two years in succession, one year of which at least shall have been spent in practical deaconess work, and, having passed a satisfactory examination in the prescribed course of study, such person may receive from the annual conference a license which shall be good until revoked by the annual conference.

7. Each deaconess shall be amenable to the quarterly conference within the bounds of which she holds her church membership, and shall report her work annually to the quarterly conference.

S. The garb of a deaconess shall be a dark gray or black dress and black bonnet with white ties. This garb, however, shall not be worn until she receives a permanent license from the annual conference.

9. The office of deaconess shall not be considered perpetual. A deaconess may at any time relinquish her license and discontinue her work. But while devoting her time to this work she shall be entitled to a suitable support. The method of providing for the support of a deaconess shall be determined by the annual conference within which she holds her license.

10. A deaconess shall be a member of the quarterly conference of the district within the bounds of which she holds her church membership.

11. The examination of deaconesses may be conducted orally.

     ¶ 223. The Wesley-Roberts Deaconess School of the Home of Redeeming Love, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a recognized deaconess training school for Christian young women desiring to take the course as outlined in the Discipline, Paragraphs 359-359 1/2 in connection with a practical course in nursing and city mission work.