Marjorie Matthews Elected Bishop
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Marjorie Matthews was elected bishop in the United Methodist church in 1980. Prior to the election she was the second woman in the denomination to ever hold the position of district superintendent. She claims she never intended to be a bishop, but nonetheless three annual conferences endorsed her. On July 17, 1980, she was elected bishop along with a senior male pastor, Emerson Colaw. Since Marjorie was only 4’11 in height, and the Episcopal stole at her consecration was designed for a six-foot man, the stole hung down her robe and onto the floor during the ceremony. She was known as a firm yet warm administrator. More importantly, she was the first female elected bishop of any mainline Christian church.
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Marjorie Matthews- Image courtesy of The Marjorie Matthews Papers, United Methodist Church Archives- GCAH, Madison, New Jersey
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General Commission on Archives & History, The United Methodist Church

Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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