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Who was Maude Cary?

Hailing from Kansas, Maude Cary went to Morocco in 1901 and worked as a single missionary for 50 years there. How was 50 years of sacrificial living rewarded at her funeral? Ruth Tucker writes that her obituary read, “a small handful of people, seven of whom were ministers, attended the funeral. There were only two sprays of flowers and hardly any tears.” We now see in hindsight that God himself was and is her reward. Many female missionaries of today are honored in the same way — that is, primarily by God himself and only with a “handful” of others to applaud. Then, of course, there are those who would not applaud her at all — they would accuse Maude Cary of “Moral Rebellion” for her 50 years of preaching without the “covering” of a male leader.



  1. Lori
    Comment #1203 posted June 8, 2006 at 5:46 am

    Years ago, I went on a mission trip to Mexico. For part of the time our team worked with an American woman who had founded an orphanage there and dedicated her life to it. She was old enough to be these children’s grandmother, but she had never been married. We found out that she had also planted several churches in the area, and still acted as consultant to them whenever they had problems. She also handled their financial matters.

    Because I was serving with YWAM at that time, and they allow women in leadership, I didn’t think anything about it. However, in the years since, I’ve wondered what many complementarians would make of this lady. Not only did she serve all those years without any male covering, she preached and taught at the various churches she founded, and evidently was very good at math (which is a stereotypically unfeminine trait).

    What’s hugely ironic, however, is that the women on our team all had to wear dresses while working at the orphanage, because this lady did not believe in women wearing pants. So there she was taking a die-hard evangelical position (no women in pants), and yet in every other way she did not conform to “a woman’s role”!

  2. Comment #3973 posted July 15, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    In discussing the lives of these two women, I would ask one question of comps: Which is more important, the gender of the preachers, or the message that they preached? It would be interesting to know the number of people that were saved or otherwise touched for Jesus under their ministries.

  3. Bonny
    Comment #75060 posted December 2, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    My father was born in Morocco while his parents were there performing missionary work alongside Maude Cary. He rarely talked about what it was like to grow up as a child of missionary parents, and then usually only when asked a direct question. He never mentioned Maude Cary directly, although I’m sure he knew her. He passed away ten years ago, and it’s only now that I wish I had asked more questions.

    There is a verse in the New Testament about the message being what is important. As as far as being honored for their work, I think they would agree that they don’t do the work to be honored. If they did they would be doing it for the wrong reason.

  4. Comment #87570 posted November 5, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for constantly updated, always a pleasure to read.

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