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Mother of Modern Evangelicalism
The Life and Legacy of Henrietta Mears
Arlin C. Migliazzo
Foreword by Kristin Kobes du Mez

PAPERBACK; Coming Soon: 11/17/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7792-5
Price: $ 29.99
359 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Library of Religious Biography

Although she was never as prominent as Billy Graham or many of the other iconic male evangelists of the twentieth century, Henrietta Mears was arguably the single most influential figure in the shaping of modern evangelicalism. Her seminal work What the Bible Is All About sold millions of copies, and key figures in the early modern evangelical movement like Bill Bright, Harold John Ockenga, and Jim Rayburn frequently cited her teachings as a formative part of their ministry. Graham himself stated that Mears was the most important female influence in his life other than his mother or wife. 

Mother of Modern Evangelicalism is the first comprehensive biography of Henrietta Mears. Arlin Migliazzo uses previously overlooked archival sources and dozens of interviews with Mears associates to assemble a detailed portrait of her life and legacy, including the way she helped steer conservative theology between fundamentalism and liberal modernism with her relentless focus on the Christian life as an act of consecrated service. Readers will find here a religious leader worthy of emulation in today’s world—one who sought an alternative to the divisive polemics of her own day, staying fiercely committed to her staunchly orthodox faith while fighting against the anti-intellectualism and cultural parochialism that had characterized the fundamentalist movement of the early twentieth century. While she never technically delivered a Sunday morning message from the pulpit and refused to be called a preacher, Henrietta Mears’s life stands here as a sermon about graceful leadership and faithful engagement with the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Gracious Orthodoxy
Chapter One: Bloodlines
Chapter Two: Teacher
Chapter Three: Passages
Chapter Four: The Remarkable Miss Mears
Chapter Five: A Faith of Her Own
Chapter Six: Unexpected Opportunities
Chapter Seven: For Such a Time as This
Chapter Eight: Teacher and “The Industry”
Chapter Nine: Long Shadow Cast
Chapter Ten: Paradoxes and Limitations
Chapter Eleven: Expended
Conclusion: No Ordinary Life

Publishers Weekly
“Migliazzo provides an insightful account of Mears’s youth, education, and early questioning of her vocation, drawing on extensive research to support descriptions of Mears’s charismatic leadership.”
Library Journal
“Migliazzo introduces Henrietta Mears (1890–1963), an influential but largely unknown figure in American Evangelicalism. Spanning the birth of fundamentalism in the 1920s to the neo-Evangelical movement in the mid-20th century, the life of Mears covers the arc that brings Evangelicalism to its current form. . . . Migliazzo’s list of those Mears influenced include Bill Bright and Billy Graham and reads like an Evangelical who’s who.”