An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Emery, Mary Abbot

(Mrs. Alvi Tabor Twing) (Feb. 23, 1843-Oct. 14, 1901). The oldest daughter of Charles and Susan Hilton Emery, she was appointed secretary of the newly formed Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions in 1871. She was chiefly responsible for the early development of that organization. Though she resigned as secretary in 1876 to marry the Rev. Dr. Alvi T. Twing, she continued to be actively involved. After her husband died in 1882, she was appointed honorary secretary of the Woman's Auxiliary. Emery founded the periodical Church Work 1885. She was influential in the passage of the canon on deaconesses by the 1889 General Convention, which recognized the ministry of deaconesses. The canon set standards and qualifications for deaconesses. Emery then served on the faculty of the newly created New York Training School for Deaconesses, teaching the course in church missions. She traveled twice around the world, visiting missionaries and reporting on their work in articles that she later assembled in the book, Twice Around the World (1898). Julia Chester Emery, Susan Lavinia Emery, and Margaret Theresa Emery were her sisters. See Deaconess.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.