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Uldine Utley (1912-1995)
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Uldine Utley

Child evangelist and Methodist minister
Uldine was born in rural Oklahoma to Hattie Ellen Bray and Azle Herbert Utley. Her family eventually settled in Fresno, California, where her parents owned a raisin farm. At the age of nine, she was converted at an Aimee Semple McPherson evangelistic meeting. Within two years, she began to preach first in small towns and then in increasingly larger cities across the U.S.A. and Canada. Her largest venue was Madison Square Garden, where at the age of fourteen, she preached to 14,000 people. When she had been preaching for about a year, at the age of twelve, Uldine began publishing a monthly magazine to keep in contact with those who had attended her meetings. Petals from the Rose of Sharon, later entitled, The Vision, contained one or two of her sermons, testimonies from people converted at her meetings, and reports about her upcoming meetings. As she grew out of childhood and into an adult, her popularity on the evangelistic circuit waned. She joined a Methodist congregation in Chicago and was given a Methodist preacher's license. A Methodist bishop endorsed her book, Why I Am a Preacher. At the age of twenty-three, she was ordained by the Methodists, an event noteworthy enough to be written up in Time magazine's religion page. The article on her ordination was accompanied by a picture of Uldine in a bathing suit. Her brief marriage to Wilbur Eugene Langkrop was annulled when she collapsed mentally. Her remaining fifty-seven years were spent in and out of convalescent institutions.

Bibliography:

Uldine Utley, Why I Am a Preacher (1931)