United Church of Christ makes history with election of new president
Cleveland-based United Church of Christ has elected Karen Georgia Thompson as its president and general minister.
Why it matters: Thompson, a Jamaican immigrant, is the first woman to lead the mainline protestant denomination of 770,000 worldwide members.
Details: Thompson was elected by more than 600 delegates at UCC's General Synod in Indianapolis on Monday. She'll formally begin her new role Aug. 1.
- Two women were previously nominated for the post — Yvonne Delk in 1989 and Barbara Brown Zikmund in 1999 — but Thompson is the first to be elected.
- She currently serves as UCC's officer for global concerns and interfaith relations, and formerly was the denomination's minister for racial justice.
What they're saying: "As I stand here before you as your newly and duly elected general minister and president, I stand here as a Jamaican immigrant woman, a mother and a grandmother, a sister and a friend to many," Thompson said.
- "The enormity of this moment will be with me for many years to come."
Between the lines: The UCC is a left-leaning denomination known (and sometimes internally criticized) for its social justice activism.
- UCC congregations were among the earliest to protest the Chief Wahoo logo alongside the American Indian community in Cleveland
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