With her 1977 ordination at Little Rock’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Dr. Peggy Sue Bosmyer became the first female Episcopal priest south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Born in Helena on July 26th, 1948, Bosmyer had served as a deacon in Pine Bluff and an intern curate in Little Rock prior to her ordination. While some said women priests would “tear apart the Church” and one Episcopal leader stated that “we’ve never had a woman priest back to year one,” Arkansas Bishop Christoph Keller Jr. said Bosmyer’s priesthood emphasized “not the maleness but the humanity of Jesus Christ.”
Bosmyer became program director for the Diocese of Arkansas and served as full-time vicar of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock for seventeen years.
A gifted and insightful preacher, Bosmyer was a role model for Episcopalian women throughout the church. She died in 2008, leaving a husband and four children.
To learn more, visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.