The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church elected its second female bishop and received its first episcopal address from a woman at its quadrennial General Conference.
“I think when you elect the first one you have to be very careful that she doesn’t become symbolic and so I was really excited,” said Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, who was the first woman elected. in 2010 and serves as Secretary of the College of Bishops.
Rev. Denise Anders-Modest, pastor of Trinity CME Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and coordinator of the CME Commission on Women in Ministry, will serve the 2nd Episcopal District, which includes Kentucky, Ohio and central Indiana.
His predecessor was especially pleased that voting delegates chose Rev. Anders-Modeste as the second to win the election for bishop, not waiting for the last chance to add another woman to the CME episcopate. “It’s also quite commendable that people could see her qualifications and not just, ‘oh, we need a female bishop.'”
Bishop Jefferson-Snorton achieved another first this year, becoming the first woman to deliver the Episcopal Address — the message given on behalf of the bishops to the denomination — on June 25, the first official day of the gathering at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. The meeting, attended by about 2,500 people, ended on July 1.
She was also elected as the denomination’s new ecumenical and development officer, a role that no longer requires her to also lead a district of churches. Part of her role will be to seek out resources to create and work on ministry and outreach programs at the denominational and local levels.
“I see a lot of our churches that are in communities that have such a need, but the local church itself doesn’t really have the capacity to raise funds or even manage the program,” Bishop said. Jefferson-Snorton.
Delegates, who attended in person, also elected the second African bishop in the history of the denomination, which was founded in 1870 and boasts 1.2 million American members. It has sister churches and missions in 14 African countries, Haiti and Jamaica.
Rev. Kwame L. Adjei, a member of the CME Church Judicial Council and a former associate pastor and high school chaplain in his native Ghana, will serve the 11th District, which is in East Africa.