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Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese Elects First Black Woman Bishop

Black Women in History

Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese Elects First Black Woman Bishop

 By Susan Scott Peterson via

After a long search, the Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese announced the Rev. Dr. Ketlen Solak was elected as their new bishop. She will be the first Black woman to serve in the role, which has previously only been held by white men.

“The future of your diocese, which is soon to become our diocese, is bright,” said Solak, who currently serves as the rector at Brandywine Collective Ministries in Delaware. “I am ready to become a Pittsburgher for Jesus.”

The Episcopal Church has ordained women to the priesthood for 40 years, and the first Black woman bishop in the United States was Barbara C. Harris in 1989. Solak was chosen from a group of nominees that included two other women: the Very Reverend Kim Coleman, a rector in Virginia, who is Black, and the Reverent Diana Wilcox, a rector in New Jersey who is part of the LGBTQ community.

Rev. Noah Evans, the rector of St. Paul’s in Mount Lebanon who helped lead the election…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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