The Christian Church, also known as the Disciples of Christ, has elected Sharon Watkins to serve as General Minister and President of its 750,000 member denomination. Watkins becomes the first woman to lead a mainline Protestant denomination. She was elected by an overwhelming majority of delegates at the church’s 2005 General Assembly.
Founded in the early nineteenth century, the Disciples of Christ have ordained women since the denomination’s inception, according to The Oregonian. However, this is the first time the church has elected a woman to lead what now numbers 3,700 congregations in the United States and Canada.