Julia A. J. Foote

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Julia A. J. Foote

Julia A. J. Foote was born in 1823 in Schenectady, New York. Her parents were both former slaves. Her family moved to Albany in 1836. At 16 she married to George Foote. She preached as an itinerant minister and Holiness evangelist for over 50 years. Her life is recounted in her autobiography, A Brand Plucked from the Fire: An Autobiographical Sketch. She was eventually ordained as the first woman deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the second to be ordained as an elder.[1] Most of her life she faced discrimination and hardships due to her gender, race and spirituality. She found creative outlets for her spiritual calling and was eventually well received by both the black and white communities. Church leaders such as Bishop Alexander Walters, Cicero R. Harris, and William Davenport wrote about her influence on the Holiness movement,[2] on their spiritual development, and on their families as she was dearly beloved evangelist, mentor, and friend. Foote died in November 1901. She was living with Bishop Walters’s family when she died. She was buried on Bishop Walters’s family plot in the Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn on Jamaica Avenue, although there is no headstone. She was, Bishop Walters wrote, a "renowned woman evangelist."[3]



  1. ^ Collier-Thomas, Bettye (1996). Notable Black American Women, Book II (1st ed.). Detroit: Gale Research. pp. 227–228. ISBN 978-0-8103-9177-2. 
  2. ^ Holiness movement
  3. ^ Howard, Joy A. J. (2013). Shaping Narrative: Julia A. J. Foote’s Theology of Holiness" in Nineteenth-Century American Women Write Religion: Lived Theologies and Literature. Ashgate. pp. 33–43. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Andrews, William L., ed. Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women's Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century. (1986)
  • Bolden, Tonya. "Biographies: 11. Julia A. J. Foote." Digital Schomburg African American Women Writers of the 19th Century. The New York Public Library. Accessed November 18, 2011.
  • Collier-Thomas, Bettye. Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979. (1979)
  • Davenport, William Henry. The Anthology of Zion Methodism. Charlotte: AME Zion, 1925.
  • Harris, Cicero Richardson. Historical Catechism of The A. M. E. Zion Church: For Use in Families and Sunday Schools. Charlotte: AME Zion, 1922.
  • Houchins, Sue, ed. Spiritual Narratives (1988).
  • Howard, Joy A. J. "Julia A. J. Foote (1823-1901)". Legacy 23(1): 86-91. University of Nebraska Press. (2006)
  • Howard, Joy A. J. “Shaping Narrative: Julia A. J. Foote’s Theology of Holiness” in Nineteenth-Century American Women Write Religion: Lived Theologies and Literature, edited by Mary McCartin Wearn, Ashgate Press: 33-43 (2013).
  • Walters, Alexander. My Life and Work. New York: Revell, 1917.
  • Wharton, Martha L. "Foote, Julia A. J." African American National Biography. Edited by Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr., Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. Oxford African American Studies Center, October 4, 2012.