National Council of Churches Elects All-Female Officers, Approves Bible Update on Sexist Language

National Council of Churches elects all-women officers
Top Left: Bishop Teresa Jefferson Snorton, Chair / Bottom Left: Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Vice Chair / Bottom Right: Kimberly Gordon Brooks, Secretary /Top Right: Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, Treasurer. (Photo:

By Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

(RNS) — The National Council of Churches has elected an all-female slate of officers for the first time in the ecumenical organization’s 71-year history.

Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, leader of the Fifth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, on Wednesday (Oct. 13) became chair of the organization, starting a two-year term along with the other officers.

She is joined by the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who is vice chair; Kimberly Gordon Brooks, first vice president of the 3rd District Lay Organization, African Methodist Episcopal Church, who is secretary; and the Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, general minister and president, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who is treasurer.

All but Eaton are women of color.

“At this pivotal time in the life of the church in the United States, it is noteworthy that the NCC is modeling inclusiveness in selecting its leaders,” Jefferson-Snorton said in a statement. “The denominations that make up the NCC demonstrate a commitment to embody the diversity of God’s creation in so many ways. This commitment is a call for all of us to show the love of God to all, promote unity in Christ Jesus and to resist the current cultural trends of divisiveness.”

The governing board of the NCC also voted to approve the New Revised Standard Version Updated Version of the Bible, or NRSVue, after a four-year effort to continue to reduce sexist language in the widely used translation.

“The NRSVue is as free as possible from the gender bias inherent in the English language, which can obscure earlier oral and written renditions,” the NCC said in an announcement about the project that has involved Friendship Press, its subsidiary.

In a statement, the Rev. Jim Winkler, NCC president and general secretary, called the new version, the work of dozens of scholars, editors and reviewers, “a monumental achievement.”

The new version is expected to be released by publishers on or after May 1, 2022. Friendship Press plans to make an e-Bible of the new version available on its [email protected] app starting Nov. 19.

The 38 member denominations of the NCC comprise some 35 million Christians in Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, evangelical and historic Black denominations and “peace churches.”


Faithfully Magazine started 2016/2017 with the mission to keep Christian media diverse by centering our content on Christian communities of color for an ethnically-inclusive audience. In that time, we’ve made an impact on Christian media and achieved meaningful milestones -- such as creating a volunteer Associate Editor role, launching an Editorial Fellowship, and proudly paying our contributing writers. But we need your support to keep going. In addition to partnering with advertisers, nurturing a subscription/membership, and exploring paid live events, we rely on the generosity of readers who see value in our work and in our mission. We invite you to join us, and keep walking with us, in our mission. Every amount, big or small, empowers us to stay the course. Here are a few ways you can join us: We are grateful for your support. Thank you!
Share via


Share via

What do you think?


Written by FM Editors

Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


Leave a Reply

    Young Life.

    Young Life Christian Ministry Accused of Failing to Protect Youth From Sexual Misconduct (

    Naghmeh Panahi

    Millions Wanted to ‘Save Saeed’ But Few Wanted to Help His Abused Ex-Wife