The Revd Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows became, last Friday, the first African-American woman to be elected a Bishop in the Episcopal Church in the United States. She is due to be ordained and consecrated as the 11th Bishop of the diocese of Indianapolis, in April next year, at Butler University, in Indiana. Bishop Barbara Harris, an African-American, who is now retired, was the first woman to be ordained bishop in the Anglican Communion, in 1989.
Ms Baskerville-Burrows was ordained by the diocese of Central New York in 1997, after graduating from Smith College, Cornell University, in New York, and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, in California. She currently serves as the director of networking for the diocese of Chicago. One of the defining moments of her ministry, she says, came on 11 September 2001, when she found herself near the World Trade Center. “The world is filled with incredible beauty and unspeakable pain,” she said last week. “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.”