Rev. Canon Paula E. Clark is now the Bishop-elect of the diocese; In a unanimous decision by the clergy and lay faithful of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. This makes her the first Black bishop and the first woman to head the diocese and the 13th elected bishop.
According to face2faceafrica; On December 12, the Electing Convention was held on Zoom and Paula E. Clark was one of four candidates slated for the position. Her win came as a surprise to her and she is happy to lead the diocese of Chicago while breaking glass ceilings along the way.
The Washington, DC native was baptized at the age of 10 into the Episcopal Church after her family could not integrate into the Baptist church. According to a press release, she was baptized by Bishop John Walker; the first Black dean of Washington National Cathedral and first Black bishop of the Diocese of Washington.
The 1960s was riddled with social unrest and as a Black family in a predominantly White neighborhood; Paula E. Clark encountered racism and racial inequality firsthand as a child. She hopes to use her position as Bishop to tackle racial division.
“All of the major world religions believe in unity and peace and love; So this is an opportunity for us to have a counter-narrative to some of what we are seeing in our wider society,” said Clark.
“We Episcopalians are strong people who can model for the rest of this country and the world what it looks like to walk the way of love. God is calling us to a new day and a new way of being.”