Sunday, July 09, 2000

AME won't reserve bishop spot for woman

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Delegates to the African Methodist Episcopal Church's General Conference rejected a resolution Saturday that would have guaranteed election of the first female bishop in the denomination's 213-year history.

        The vote was 716-667 against the resolution.

        “The results of this vote mean there is no set-aside or automatic selection,” said Bishop John R. Bryant, presiding officer of the conference meeting downtown. “Women are free to run and this delegation is free to respond to each candidate regardless of gender.”

        Women constitute about 70 percent of the 2.3 million members of the AME Church, the nation's oldest black church. Two women are among 41 candidates to fill two bishops' positions vacated by retirements.

        Voting on selection of bishops will take place Monday.


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