MANA Salutes the First Female Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship

Aretha Morton — the longest-serving pastor of Wilmington’s Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral — died Saturday at the age of 85.

In 1983, Morton became the first woman in state history to serve as pastor of a Baptist church. That year, she also became the first Black woman to serve as chaplain of the Wilmington Fire Department. In 2016, the city renamed a portion of Washington Street in her honor.  In addition, Bishop Morton shattered the stain glass ceiling when she was elected to serve as the first female bishop in the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship over the state of Delaware.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Morton family announces the peaceful transition of our Matriarch,” Morton’s family posted on Facebook over the weekend. “We respectfully ask that you give us time to process this great transition.”

“As Mayor, on behalf of the City of Wilmington, we mourn the passing of Bishop Aretha Morton. Generations in our City and beyond have been graced with her wisdom and guidance. Condolences to the Morton family,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki.

“I felt privileged to know Bishop Morton as a mentor, confidante, and friend – and in that, I know I was not alone,” said Delaware’s U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. “Her generous spirit and humble ministry fostered truly remarkable relationships with people of every age, background, and denomination. Through life’s greatest triumphs and tribulations – it was Bishop Morton’s counsel and ministry so many of us relied upon. And that ministry was never limited only to the pulpit. Bishop Morton was such an integral part of the fabric of our community.”

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper called Morton a “true public servant,” adding that Wilmington and the entire state “is a better place because of her pioneering spirit and nurturing personality.”

“Bishop Morton was not only an inspiration to her friends, family, and congregation, but she was a valued and trusted community and civic leader in our city and state,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons. “Our prayers are with her family — most especially her children — and we hope that they find comfort in knowing that Bishop Morton’s life of service left a permanent positive mark on many, whether through her service, ministry, or wisdom.”

Be the first to comment on "MANA Salutes the First Female Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.