CHICAGO (WLS) -- Reverend Canon Paula Clark is the first Black person and first woman to be elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
Rev. Clark said she never aspired to become a bishop. She said she was called to be a priest in the Episcopal Church, but as the first woman and person of color to lead it she will now also become a trailblazer.
"I'm just honored to among those breaking the glass ceiling," she said.
After a year of racial unrest around the country, including sometimes violent demonstrations in Chicago and elsewhere, the bishop-elect said she hopes to help heal racial divisions. Her message will be one of peace and love.
Rev. Clark was elected unanimously over the weekend by a special convention to become the 13th bishop of the Chicago Diocese. The church has a diverse racial membership in addition to welcoming women in leadership roles.
Clark said she was overjoyed to move to Chicago and lead the Diocese here. The wife, mother and grandmother said she is excited to add the title of bishop. She plans to meet with as many church members as possible.
Clark will oversee 122 parishes in the diocese throughout northern Illinois.