The frail daughter of a Methodist minister, Serepta Myrenda Irish Henry (1839-1900) had three children. After her husband died in 1871 she supported her family by teaching and writing. Appalled one day in 1874 to discover her child had entered a saloon, she eventually became a national evangelist for the newly organized Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
Bedridden with a heart ailment by 1895, she accepted the Adventist message at Battle Creek Sanitarium in 1896, and was healed while in prayer. Resuming her WCTU work, she lectured from coast to coast on temperance, woman's ministry, and parenting. During her lifetime she published more than 10 books and pamphlets.