Holiness preacher and social reformer

Florence Spearing Randolph was among a small group of women evangelists who were licensed to preach and ordained as deacons and elders in the late 19th century. She was a member of the AME Zion Church and one of the first women in the denomination to receive a regular ordination and an appointment to a church.

A renowned minister, missionary, suffragist, lecturer, organizer and temperance worker, Florence was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on August 9, 1866, to John and Anna Smith Spearing. When shewas very young, her mother died, leaving her father, a cabinetmaker and painter, with four children to rear.