Stockport Evangelical Church

Stockport Evangelical Church
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9 KJV)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Hester Ann Rogers: A Woman Above Rubies.

If it is difficult for Christian men to find godly role models in the church today, surely it is even more difficult for women; Paula White? Victoria Osteen? Hardly the epitome of Christian modesty and meekness! Just like the men, ladies find themselves looking to godly women of the past, who knew what it was to serve the Lord with holiness and personal sacrifice. One such woman was Hester Ann Rogers.

"Hetty" was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire on January 31, 1756. She said that even as a child, she "was early drawn out to secret prayer: I believed God was the author of all good, of all happiness; and sin the cause of all misery and pain. If therefore I wished for anything I had not, I asked God in secret to grant it to me."

After the death of her Father, she was troubled with grief and she tells of how her Mother sought to "raise my spirits" by encouraging her to dance and to engage with non-Christian friends and relations. This produced within her a lighter mood, however she began to grieve the loss of the presence of God."It paved the way to lightness, trifling, love of pleasure, and various evils," she writes. "I now aimed to excel my companions, not in piety, but in fashionable dress" and "what the world calls innocent amusement. I also obtained all the novels and romances I possibly short I fell into all the vain customs and pleasures of a delusive world...Thus was my precious time misspent and my foolish heart wandering far from happiness and God." Convicted of sin, she vowed to get right with God, yet it was not long after that she was gripped by "a malignant fever." Gradually, the Lord brought a growing conviction on Hester and she found herself under the preaching of one Mr Simpson. She began to cry out, as if in agony at the thought of her own sinfulness and "made a solemn vow to renounce and forsake all my sinful pleasures and trifling companions." She must have took the vow seriously, because in the morning, she took all her "finery, high dressed caps etc. etc. and ripped them all up, so that I could wear them no more..."


Hester was drawn to the preaching of the new "Methodists." She reports, "Mr Wesley's sermon on Justification was a great encouragement to me, on those words, To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is imputed to him for righteousness."
After much inner turmoil and wrestling, Hester Ann Rogers gave her heart to the Lord and was wonderfully born again. She writes, "In that moment my fetters were broken, my bands were loosed, and my soul set at liberty. The love of God was shed abroad in my heart; and I rejoiced with joy unspeakable."


When itinerant Methodist Preacher James Rogers came to Macclesfield in 1782, after the death of his first wife, Hester married him. The two of them embarked as Missionaries to Ireland, ministering in Cork and Dublin. Hester ended up being John Wesley's housekeeper and one of the few people at his bedside when he died in 1791. Thomas Coke wrote of her:

"her maternal care and affection shone equally bright. Though she devoted much of her time to religious duties in public and private, yet nothing seemed to be left undone which could maker her children comfortable and happy. She even prevented all their wants; and was equally, nay, if it were possible, more attentive to Mr. Roger’s children by his former wife, than to her own."

In a letter to a friend, simply called "Miss D." she writes, "Go on, my dear sister: it is a blessed path: the goodly land is before-the land of sacred liberty, and glorious rest from all sin. Oh that that you may soon prove, by happy experience, "perfect love casteth out all (slavish) fear!"


On the 10th October 1794, after giving birth to a son, at the age of 39, she went to be with the Lord. She remains one of the great women of evangelical Methodism.

"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10)

(Quotations taken primarily from "Life and Correspondence of Mrs Hester Ann Rogers.")