Dr. Laird Presents at Celebration of Olive Winchester, a Nazarene Pioneer

Monday, July 9, 2012


On May 11, PLNU professor Dr. Rebecca Laird presented at a conference at the University of Glasgow, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Nazarene pioneer Olive Winchester’s graduation and ordination. Winchester (1879-1947), as an American student in Glasgow, helped solidify the union between the Church of the Nazarene and the Pentecostal Church of Scotland. She was the first woman ordained in the United Kingdom for Christian ministry. As an expert in biblical languages and theology with four degrees, Winchester was a pioneer in theological education. She taught at three Nazarene colleges and was the first dean of the graduate school of Pasadena College, a post she held from 1935-1947. When she passed away, Winchester left her personal library of nearly 1,500 books and $50,000 to build Winchester Library on the campus of Pasadena College. Laird’s paper, “Olive M. Winchester: A Gentlewoman and a Scholar,” explored and celebrated Winchester’s memorable and meaningful life. 

Alumni with personal stories or memories passed on from parents who were Winchester’s students are encouraged to send information to RebeccaLaird@pointloma.edu for an ongoing biographical project.