ABIGAIL ROBERTS (1791 - 1841)
Though she joined the Presbyterian Church, Abigail Roberts, a native New Yorker and wife of Nathan Roberts, attended Friends (Quaker) meetings. In 1814, she was inspired to preach by Nancy Gove Cram, a female preacher of the Free-Will Baptist Church. Ultimately, Roberts became affiliated with the Christian Connection Church, a group which had been ordaining women since 1810 and discouraged denominational distinctions. Her work as a preacher in New York and New Jersey led to many conversions.
Though only a child during Roberts’s early career, Philetus Roberts, Mrs. Roberts’s son, recalls in her memoir the frequent persecution she faced from people in other denominations that did not approve of women preaching: