Teresa Hord Owens
The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens became the first African American female to lead any mainline Protestant denomination in 2017 when she became head of the Disciples of Christ.
At their biennial General Assembly meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, church representatives of the largely white denomination overwhelmingly elected her president.
In a statement shared with The Christian Post in 2017, Hord Owens said she planned to focus on the themes of unity and civility amid the growing national divisiveness.
"We need to stop demonizing differences as deficiencies. We should seek to understand, to work through our differences in priorities, opinions, methods and goals," she said.
"This will not be easy, but imagine what an example this will be for the world if we can bridge the gaps in politics, identity, geography and theology."