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United Church of Christ Elects First Black Woman to Lead Denomination

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The United Church of Christ elected its first female general minister and president on Monday (July 3) at its 34th General Synod in Indianapolis.

The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson’s election also makes her the first woman of African descent to lead the mainline denomination.

“Today, United Church of Christ, we created a first together. It won’t be the last first,” Thompson, dressed in white, told delegates afterward.

Those delegates overwhelmingly approved Thompson’s nomination to a four-year term as general minister and president of the UCC on Monday morning, breaking into song and applause as the results of the vote — 626 yeses to 43 no’s — were announced.

Thompson is the third woman to be nominated to lead the UCC, which celebrated its 66th anniversary days before General Synod began.

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


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