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Penn-Lewis, Jessie (1861-1927) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Penn-Lewis, Jessie (1861-1927)

Historical Note:

Born Jessie Elizabeth Jones in 1861 in South Wales and grew up in a Methodist family that had Calvinistic leanings. The wife of a British civil servant, William Penn-Lewis, Jessie was physically frail but a spiritually robust woman. She ministered with Evan Roberts in the great Welsh revival (1904-1905). Her ministry stressed the centrality of the cross of Christ in the life and experience of the Christian.

Penn-Lewis traveled internationally to take her message to audiences in Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S., and India. She was a frequent speaker at the Keswick Conventions and started the Llandrindod Convention in Wales, and later the Matlock Conferences. Penn-Lewis’ writings have encouraged missions, particularly through regular contributions to "The Overcomer," which she founded in 1908.

Penn-Lewis’s later writings began to focus upon matters of spiritual warfare. Together with Roberts, Penn-Lewis wrote War on the Saints, a work that describes the work of demons in the lives of Christians.

One of Penn-Lewis’ spiritual influences was reformed South African writer and fellow Keswick speaker Andrew Murray. Her life became linked to spiritual giants of her generation, like F. B. Meyer and D. L. Moody. Penn-Lewis also influenced others. Frank Buchman, founder of the Oxford Group and Moral Re-Armament, credited Penn-Lewis with helping him out of his depression after hearing her speak at a Keswick Convention.

Penn-Lewis died in 1927.

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collection staff

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