The first African-American female priest in the Episcopal Church was elevated to sainthood this summer, and yesterday, a crowd gathered to honor her at the church where she worshiped as a child. The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, was celebrant at the service.
From Indyweek.com in Durham, N.C.:
By the time the incense began burning to start the traditional service at St. Titus Episcopal Church Wednesday night, 300 people had crowded into a space capable of seating 100.
At the fourth annual celebration of Pauli Murray’s life at St. Titus, community members crowded the church Murray worshipped at as a young girl to celebrate her new status as an Episcopal saint.
“There’s a particular interest all over town and people are really hungry to know more about it,” St. Titus Deacon Sarah Woodard said.
Murray was a leader in civil, women’s, labor and LGBT rights. She also published literary works, such Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family, in 1956.
In 1977, Murray was ordained as the first female African-American Episcopal priest.
The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina announced Murray’s sainthood earlier this month along with the addition of Virginia Dare and Manteo to the Episcopal Church Liturgical Calendar.
Each year, July 1 will be a day to remember and celebrate Murray’s work and accomplishments.