William Passavant, a U.S. Lutheran pastor, founded numerous hospitals, schools and orphanages in his spare time, but needed helpers; then on a trip to Germany he found his answer: deaconesses. He introduced them in 1849 and set apart the first American sisters a year later. The movement spread from there to other churches, and helped contribute to the ordination of women priests in The Episcopal Church beginning in 1974. (Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana)

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