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Philly makes history with installation of first black female Lutheran bishop

September 22, 2018

By Staff

She was a reluctant candidate, recognizing the many challenges of Christian leadership, tight finances and declining membership among them. But the Rev. Patricia Ann Curtis Davenport of East Oak Lane was overwhelmingly elected in May to lead the 80,000-member Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

On Saturday afternoon, in a ceremony attended by approximately 2,000 worshippers and religious leaders from throughout the region and country, Davenport, 63, a widow and mother of three, was installed as bishop — the first African American woman elected to the post in a denomination whose 3.5 million congregants are 96 percent white.

DAVID MAIALETTI The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton (left) applauds as Bishop Davenport is installed.

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