|Rev Brown pictured|
January 23, 2020
Congratulations to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS) senior Myra Brown who has been awarded with the Carol Gomez Scholarship for the Spring Semester. Myra writes,
“I am humbled by this gift and honored to accept it. I knew Carol and she was a phenomenal woman, preacher, pastor and leader. Carol exuded the love of Jesus and had a clarity for fighting for social justice that I always admired. She leaves behind big shoes to fill and lessons for us all as women in ministry that I will always cherish.”
This scholarship is awarded annually to an African American woman enrolled in the Master of Divinity program who has demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to pastoral ministry. Rev. Gomez was the first African American woman ordained by the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester Genesee Region and a tireless worker for human rights.
The Rev. Myra Brown, one of the first African-American women to be ordained as a priest in the U.S., is now at the helm of Spiritus Christi Church in downtown Rochester. Brown was ordained last year, and has served Spiritus Christi for over 25 years in various capacities, most recently as associate pastor.
She was unanimously selected for her new role by church committee and staff members after a nationwide search, the church announced this week, adding that she is believed to be the first African-American woman to serve as lead pastor for a church in the Catholic tradition.
Rev. Brown served as one of the daily chaplains at the Silver Lake Experience held at Asbury Retreat Center and Silver Lake Institute, a couple of summers ago.
The church’s previous senior pastor, Mary Ramerman, who was named pastor at the church’s formation in 1999, has stepped into a part-time pastoral role. Rev. Mary was the guest preacher at the Silver Lake Institute in the summer of 2016 and gave an inspirational message to the audience gathered.
Rudy Diedreck, co-chair of the Spiritus Christi Visioning Board, in a news release, said, “Rev. Myra shares our values, knows our history, and has the vision to lead us into the future. Nationally, we believe Rev. Myra is a historic choice. Internally, because we know and love her to pieces, Rev. Myra is an obvious choice.”
Spiritus Christi is an independent Catholic church that was formed after a group left the Roman Catholic Church over principles such as women in leadership and gay marriage. The now 1,500-member congregation champions church diversity in its services, musical groups and community activities. It holds masses at Downtown United Presbyterian Church and at The Hochstein School.
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