Crosby, Mrs. Sarah

She was born on 7 November 1729. She was attracted by Whitefield's Calvinistic preaching, but influenced by John Wesley's sermon on Christian Perfection she joined the Foundery society and became a class-leader in 1752. Having been deserted by her husband in 1757, she travelled to Derby in 1761 to support the work of her friends the Dobinsons, and faced with a dramatically enlarged class was moved to begin exhorting. She wrote to Wesley about female preaching and received qualified encouragement. In response to many invitations, she made extensive preaching tours during the next 40 years and was closely associated with Mary Bosanquet and Sarah Ryan in their work at Leytonstone and Cross Hall. Many of Wesley's letters to her survive. She died in Leeds on 29 October 1804.

  • Arminian Magazine, 1806, pp.418-23, 465-73, 517-21, 563-68, 610-17
  • Zechariah Taft, Biographical Sketches of the Lives and Public Ministry of Various Holy Women, vol. 2 (1828) pp.23-115
  • Leslie F. Church, More about the Early Methodist People (1949), pp.148-54
  • T.M. Morrow, Early Methodist Women (1967), pp.9-26
  • Methodist Recorder, 19 January 1967
  • A.W. Harrison, 'An Early Woman Preacher - Sarah Crosby', in WHS Proceedings, 14 pp.104-109
  • Frank Baker, 'John Wesley and Sarah Crosby' in WHS Proceedings, 27 pp.76-82
  • W. Stanley Rose, 'Sarah Crosby, the first woman local preacher' in WHS (West Midlands) 4:7, Spring 1986, pp.100-4
  • Earl Kent Brown, Women of Mr. Wesley's Methodism (1983) pp.166-76
  • Janet Burge, Women Preachers in Community (Peterborough, 1996)

Category: Person
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