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Zechariah Taft (1772-1848)

Zechariah Taft entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1801. He was a major protagonist of women preachers and did much to preserve the contribution made by women to early Methodism. In 1803 he published Thoughts on Female Preaching and in 1809 defended in print the scriptural basis of female ministry. His most important work was Biographical Sketches of the lives and public ministry of various holy women, in two volumes (1825 and 1828).

Taft became a supernumary in 1828. He was arraigned before the Wesleyan Conference of 1835 for his sympathy with the Wesleyan Methodist Association but the matter was not proceeded with.

His wife was the renowned Wesleyan female preacher Mary Barritt.

Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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