Preacher Woman

Louisa Mariah Layman Woosley

Louisa Mariah Layman Woosley

Louisa Mariah Layman Woosley
1862 – 1952
Cumberland Presbyterian Minister


Book by Louise Schroader Epperson and Performed by Louise Schroader Epperson

Copyright © 2006

During a Convention of Presbyterian Women in Louisville I was given the opportunity to perform a one-woman play that I have written about the life and ministry of the first Presbyterian woman to be ordained. Where possible I have used Sister Woosley’s own words taken from some of her writings. The play was very well received by those who saw it in the Great Room of the Convention Center. For an assessment you may contact Sheron Antczak, who coordinated the events in the Great Room at This play, directed by Cy Webber, is complete with costumes and props, and runs about 25 minutes. It requires only an open space about 10′ X 12′ and a standing podium or pulpit and is available to your church or other groups at no charge.

Louisa Mariah Woosley was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister who was born in 1862, ordained in 1889, retired in 1938, and lived until 1952. Her ordination set off a heated debate about the ordination of women that raged for years. I had wondered what side of that debate my own great-great grandfather, Rev. William Ewing Wortham, might have taken and recently learned that she served as his assistant in 1891 at Providence Church. For more information or to schedule a performance please contact Louise Epperson at or call (502) 609-0454.