WASHINGTON – The U.S. Episcopal Church has installed its first black presiding bishop in an elaborate ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry succeeds outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first woman in the job and is ending her nine-year term.
The 62-year-old Curry is the son of an Episcopal priest and grew up in Buffalo, New York. He served about 15 years as leader of the Diocese of North Carolina before he was overwhelmingly elected last summer to the top church post.
The New York-based denomination was the church of many Founding Fathers and now has about 1.9 million members. Episcopalians now are struggling with shrinking membership and ongoing tensions with fellow Anglicans around the world over the Episcopal support for gay marriage.