PALMER, SARAH WORRALL LANKFORD (1806–1896).

Methodist laywoman. Like her more famous younger sister, Phoebe Worral Palmer, Sarah Palmer was a vigorous proponent of the doctrine of entire sanctification. In 1836 she established the “Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness” in her home in New York City. This meeting was held under the direction of her and her sister for more than fifty years. Each week leaders from several of America’s evangelical denominations, as well as about two hundred laypeople came together for Bible reading, prayer and personal testimony. With its emphasis on the experience of entire sanctification and the equality of laypeople and clergy (whether men or women), it became the model for 238 similar meetings held around the world. Two years after Phoebe’s death, Sarah married her brother-in-law and assumed her sister’s place as editor of Guide to Holiness.

Bibliography. J. A. Roche, The Life of Mrs. Sarah A. Lankford Palmer (1898); C. E. White, The Beauty of Holiness: Phoebe Palmer as Theologian, Revivalist, Feminist, and Humanitarian (1986).

C. E. White

Palmyra Manifesto (1865). A call for reorganization of Southern Methodism following the Civil War. In June 1865 Andrew Monroe, district superintendent of the Kansas Mission District of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, called a meeting of twenty-four preachers in full connection, about a dozen laymen and Bishop Hubbard H. Kavanaugh in the town of Palmyra, Missouri, to consider the status and future of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Manifesto disavowed the slave issue as the only question separating the two Methodisms, asserted the integrity of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and urged that this integrity be preserved. The Manifesto ended, declaring that the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, ardently desired to cultivate fraternal relations with “all evangelical churches.” The Methodist Episcopal Church, North, was included, but as one among many. The salient point was that the Church South, regardless of attacks made upon it and attempts to absorb it, was an honorable and dignified body and would remain so. It was not up for auction, and its members would not be treated as penitents or traitors. This strongly worded text was reprinted by a revived Southern press and spread rapidly, inspiring the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to reorganize and grow.

Bibliography. W. H. Lewis, The History of Methodism in Missouri for a Decade of Years from 1860 to 1879 (1890); F. Norwood, ed., Sourcebook of American Methodism (1982).

J. C. Brown

Fuente: Dictionary of Christianity in America