A very special post…….We’ve been talking about the First Followers of The Way and the First Women of the Way. Angie Gray, co-pastor of The Rock, Fayetteville campus, is sharing about an amazing woman of Lincoln County, Selina Moore Holman. This woman was a wonderful example of being a passionate, devoted follower of Christ in a day when women were expected to stay silent. Angie shares how Selina made a significant impact on her decision to join this wonderful community!
Who Can Find a Woman of Noble Character?
Eight years ago, when we were asked by our pastor to be the campus pastors of the Rock Family Worship Center Fayetteville Campus. I asked my husband to tell him “NO!” I was even angry with God. Why would I want to leave my home and the church family that I dearly loved? I began to research online about this little town called “Fayetteville”. My research revealed the early settlers came from Fayetteville, North Carolina to establish this city. I also discovered that “Fayette” was French for “faith”. Seriously???…God was introducing me to FAITHville and I knew immediately what that would mean…He was about to take us on a journey of faith as He was calling us to this city of Faith.
So, my journey began with me delving into the rich history of this beautiful city.
As I looked at all of the demographics and researched famous people of Fayetteville, I discovered a courageous woman who made a tremendous impact on this region and even our wonderful state.
Her name was Selina Moore Holman and I truly believe she was a Proverbs 31 woman.
Selina was born in Dechard, TN in 1850. Her father J.L. Moore was a Captain in the Confederate Army and was killed in battle during the Civil War. She was the oldest of 5 children. She had 3 sisters and 1 infant brother when her father died. Her mother was forced to sell the family home when Selina was only 14 years old. So she did the only thing she knew to do since there were no male relatives in the picture – Selina began teaching in a county school and singlehandedly supported her family. Over the next few years she saved enough money to buy back her family home.
Selina married Dr. T. P. Holman of Fayettville, TN and became the mother of 8. She was born at a time that did not welcome other perspectives. It was a time of the emancipation of slaves – yet people still embraced an old mindset towards African Americans and Women. Yet, it was a time of progress for white males.
Selina took her faith in the Lord very seriously.
She testified to the unspoken distress of many women who were taught that they were inferior and a burden. Selina stated, “Mothers always wanted their children to be boys, because boys have so much better chance in life. Girls regretted that they were not boys, because then there would be some place in the world for them, at least until they were married. Girls were trained to believe that their lives were a failure if they did not marry.” So, it was a time when marriage and having children were the only real value for women.
Holman also said, “It was men, not women that gathered in council to actually debate if women had souls or not. The prejudices of heathenism cling to us in our attitudes toward women.”
Bobby Campbell who wrote about the Stone-Campbell Movement stated, “Selina did believe that the husband was the head of the wife…and that a woman’s greatest fulfillment was in having a wonderful home. But that home included a woman who was intelligent, cultured, involved in the world and was recognized as a person of value because she had value in and out of the home. Proverbs 31 was the New Woman! The new woman would produce better wives and mothers rather than hinder motherhood. Men had, for centuries lived far below the inspired Word of God in relation to women and it was only in her own day that many were coming to see what was in the Bible all along.”
Selina took a stand in a day when women had no voice. She took on the religious and secular establishments and forced them to take a good look at themselves. Yet she did so with humility, gentleness, and respect… something she was rarely shown in return. This Fayetteville woman and her husband were members of Washington Street Church of Christ where her husband was an elder.
Selina became the President of the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement which grew from 200-4,000 women during her 15-year tenure as president. The state of Tennessee honored Selina Holman by placing her portrait in our state capitol. She died in 1915 and her funeral was conducted on her own lawn which drew over 1000 people. She is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery (on the left as you enter the gates, you can see the Holman family plot).
Selina is a woman of God that should not be forgotten. Her courage is an inspiration to women and men alike. Her legacy so impacted my life that she was influential in my “Yes” to the call from the Lord to come here. And like Selina, we all should take up the torch and stand for what is right even when it isn’t popular to do so. Women you have a voice – you are valuable to our Heavenly Father. You have so much worth in His Kingdom.
When I think about what Selina Moore Holman might say to us today in 2019……..
Well I think it would be something like this –
Ladies, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to take a stand for Christ every day – in big and small ways, in your homes and in your community, with your family and with your friends. If you’re afraid, that’s all right.
Do it afraid and know that’s the place where faith meets fear and God shows up!
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is
deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord
is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her
works bring her praise at the city gate.” ~ Proverbs 31:29-31
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