Indianapolis Diocese Installs First-Ever Black Female Bishop in Episcopal Church History

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under In The News



May 3, 2017 | 11:23 AM


The Episcopal Church has officially consecrated the first African-American woman to head a diocese in the mainline denomination’s history.

(PHOTO: DIOCESE OF INDIANAPOLIS)The Right Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, receiving the Bishop’s Crozier from the retiring The Right Reverend Catherine Waynick, 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.

The Right Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, who was elected last October, was officially consecrated Saturday as the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.

Kathy Copas, coordinator of Communication and Evangelism at the Diocese of Indianapolis, told The Christian Post that approximately 1,400 people attended the consecration service, which was held at Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University.

“Bishop Baskerville-Burrows was elected at the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis annual convention in October 2016. She was elected on the second ballot by a simple majority of both clergy and laity,” explained Copas.

“The Episcopal Church is where I found my relationship with Jesus some 30 years ago … It teaches me that the world is filled with incredible beauty and unspeakable pain and that God is deeply in the midst of it all loving us fiercely,” explained Baskerville-Burrows in an entry on the Indianapolis Diocese’s website.

“So each day, nourished by the sacraments and stories of our faith, the beauty of our liturgical tradition, the wide embrace of this Christian community, I learn over and over again how to live without fear.”

Dozens of bishops were in attendance for the ceremony, which included multiple processions featuring church leadership.

The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, served as chief consecrator for the Saturday service.

Diocese of Chicago Bishop Jeffrey Lee preached the sermon, telling those gathered that “you have called a strong, loving and wise pastor to be your bishop.”

“She will love you, challenge you, tell you the truth as she sees it and invite you to tell it as you do,” said Lee, as reported by Episcopal News Service.

“She will pray with you at the drop of a hat and care for you in ways that will not diminish your own agency. She will empower you. She will lead. Count on it.”