By Beth Crow, Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and coordinator of Lift Every Voice [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Beth Crow, Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and coordinator of Lift Every Voice [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

On November 1st, one history-making presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church will leave office as another history-maker enters.

Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina was elected by a wide margin at the Episcopal General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 27th, the Huffington Post reported. 

He will be the first African-American to hold the post, and he will take over for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.  She was the first woman to lead any national Anglican church.  The 1.9 million member Episcopal Church in America is a branch of the 80 million member worldwide Anglican Communion.  The Anglican Communion has roots in the Church of England, the New York Times reported.

Prior to this election, Curry served as the rector of the St. Stephen Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, rector of the St. Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church in Lincoln Heights, Ohio, and most recently the rector of the St. James’ Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland until 2000.  After that he was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina (Wikipedia).

Curry has long been a proponent of evangelism within the Episcopal Church, often praying for “a church passionately committed to making disciples.” 

He will enter office in a time of change and turmoil as the membership of the Episcopal Church declines (a trend in congregations of many other Christian churches).  He has always been a supporter of gay rights, even speaking out against North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage

His time as presiding Bishop will no doubt also be noted and important as the African-American community tries to make sense of the murder of nine members of a historic black church in South Carolina and rallies behind the Black Lives Matter movement centered around the death of African-Americans at the hands of police officers.  

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