Day of Mary F. Scranton
‘October 8th’ is “Day of Mary F. Scranton” that we remember her life and meditate on the practice of love which she did in Jesus Christ.
Mary F. Scranton was the first female Missionary in Korea and she was dispatched to Korea in 1885 by the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church (WFMS). She lost her husband when she was 40 and then she came to Korea with her only son, William Scranton (1856-1922) and his wife. William Scranton graduated Yale University and New York University School of Medicine so he could be a doctor and pursue a comfortable life but Ms. Scranton persuaded him to be frontier missionary for Korea. It was a rare case that mother and son dedicated to evangelization of the Korea; mother strived for female equality and educational work and her son focused on medical treatment and church planting.
She established the ‘Ewha Girls School’ and managed the ‘Caring for and Saving Woman’s Hospital’ which was for women only. Today, the Ewha Girls School was formerly the Ewha Womans University and Ewha Girls' High School which are the most prestigious women’s schools in Asia. Also, she developed the voluntary service for underprivileged people actively with Bible Women for 25 years. Ms. Scranton died in Korea in 1909 and she was buried in Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery, Seoul. Korean called her ‘esteemed mother’ to show their respect to her.
She strived for the missionary work and the education of the women till the end and improved the foundation for the education of Korean women.
In 2007, Scranton Women’s Leadership Center was established as the program office of the Foundation to carry on the heritage of Ms. Scranton and the founding mothers of United Methodist Women worldwide. Now, it is the time to share the benefits which we received to the developing countries and then this sharing will change the world like Ms. Scranton enlightened women who were suppressed and not even given names under a male dominated culture. If women in developing countries have the opportunity of education, their lives would change as it has been for Korean women. Continuing Ms. Scranton's legacy, the Center will plant seeds of hope and love in the lives of women around the world. Together, we can create a world where all can experience power and freedom in the love of God.
To educate a woman is to educate her family, her society, and her country. This is what we believe.