The Episcopal Church has elected the first black woman to lead one of its dioceses.

The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was elected Friday to head the Diocese of Indianapolis. The 1.8 million-member church has never before chosen a black woman as head of a diocese. She will succeed Bishop Catherine M. Waynick, who is retiring, during ceremonies on April 29.

Baskerville-Burrows is currently the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago's director of networking.

The Episcopal News Service says the 50-year-old New York native has expertise in historic preservation and a passion for social justice and other issues.

Baskerville-Burrows says 19 years in the ordained ministry have taught her "that the world is filled with incredible beauty and unspeakable pain and that God is deeply in the midst of it all loving us fiercely."