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Courtesy Emily Hewitt
The First Female Priests in the Episcopal Church, Forty Years Later July 25, 2014
Imagine a church service so controversial that police officers were stationed down the street and throughout the congregation. People trained in crowd control and karate were scattered in the pews. This was July 29, 1974, when eleven women, dubbed "The Philadelphia Eleven," became the first women to be ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church. We reflect back on that day, and talk about the continuing challenges for women of faith in leadership roles.

Darlene O'Dell, author of The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven
Emily Hewitt, member of the Philadelphia Eleven

Pictured, top: Emily Hewitt, from a 1973 pamphlet arguing for women in the priesthood. Below: The Philadelphia Eleven, at their ordination ceremony at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia.