Rushing to the quarters of Minnie F. Abrams at 3:30 a.m. on June 29, 1905, the matron of a girls’ dormitory at the Mukti Mission in India told her that one of the girls had suddenly awakened “with the fire coming down upon her.”1 Having prayed before going to sleep that she might receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost, the girl now screamed with fright as the others watched the flames. The matron related how she “saw the fire, and ran across the room for a pail of water, and was about to pour it on her when I discovered that she was not on fire.” Becoming one of the most celebrated events of the great revival in India (1905-1907), this “case of the ‘burning bush’ ” prompted confessions of sins and repentance.
Though few evangelicals and Pentecostals would recognize her name today, Christians in India and America hailed Minnie Abrams as a leader in revival and evangelism.
Born in Wisconsin in 1859, Abrams grew up in Mapleton, Minnesota. Desiring to become a teacher, she graduated from Mankato Normal School and then studied for 2 years at the University of Minnesota. Inspired by the life of Fidelia Fiske, an early 19th-century missionary educator, she committed her life to foreign missions.
In pursuit of her calling, Minnie moved to Illinois in 1885 to enroll in the first class of the Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign Missions. Lucy Rider Meyer, a leading figure in the new Methodist deaconess movement, had founded the school to offer theological and practical training for young women.
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