Alabama native makes history with election as Mississippi’s Episcopal Bishop

Published 10:10 pm Saturday, February 3, 2024

The Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, a predominantly white group of congregations across the Magnolia State, made history Saturday while electing its 11th Bishop.

The Rev. Dr. Dorothy Sanders Wells is the first woman and the first African American to lead the diocese that dates back to 1826.

Elected on the fourth ballot at the diocese’s 197th Annual Council in Jackson, the bishop-elect will replace the Rt. Rev. Brian Seage, the person serving in the role since 2015. She received the majority of votes from clergy and lay people in attendance.

A native of Mobile, Ala., Wells is currently serving as a Rector in Germantown, Tenn. She holds an undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Rhodes College, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis, a Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Divinity from Emory University.

Her ordination is scheduled for July 20. Celebrating will be the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the national Episcopal Church.

Curry became a household name when he officiated the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Seage announced he was stepping down as Mississippi’s bishop when his wife accepted a position as a Rector in California.