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Mary Toms (1795-1871)

Mary Toms was born in Tintagel, North Cornwall. She was converted as a young woman by a Methodist preacher during a visit to Plymouth. Toms was deeply affected by a meeting with the founder of the Bible Christian Connexion William O'Bryan in 1817 and while making her living as a dressmaker, started preaching soon after. She was stationed in Luxillian by the second Bible Christian Conference and later served in the Scilly Isles. In 1823 she became the first Bible Christian missionary to work on the Isle of Wight. She was married on the island a year later to William Warder, and settled in the town of Brading from where she continued to work as a local preacher.

Source: F. W. Bourne, The Bible Christians Their Origin and History 1815-1900 (1905), 126-139, Revd. J. Woolcock, History of the Bible Christians in the Isle of Wight (1897) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

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