Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows to be first black woman to lead an Episcopal diocese

November 3, 2016

Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, 50, will be the first black woman to lead a diocese in the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Diocese of Indiana­polis elected her on the second ballot during a diocesan convention held at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, on October 28. She has been director of networking in the Epis­copal Diocese of Chicago. Other black women have served as suffragan bishop, assisting the diocesan bish­op, said Jim Naugh­ton, a spokes­man for the Diocese of Chicago.

She has expertise in historic preservation and a passion for issues of gun violence, social justice, and racial reconciliation, according to the diocese.

“In 19 years of ordained ministry, and especially in the past five, helping to oversee and restructure the Diocese of Chicago, I’ve supported communities of transformation, communicated a vision of hope, and gathered and networked God’s people across distance and difference,” Baskerville-Burrows said in a statement released by the diocese. “I believe these experiences have prepared me to lead and serve in the particular place that is the Diocese of Indianapolis.”

The current bishop, Catherine Maples Waynick, plans to retire in the spring, after two decades in the role. Baskerville-Burrows will be consecrated on April 29. —Religion News Service, Episcopal News Service

The print edition of this article states, incorrectly, that Catherine Maples Waynick served as bishop for one decade. This online edition was corrected on November 29, 2016. We regret the error.