Katie Cannon Scholarship recipients announced

Eleven recipients to receive assistance for leadership and professional development

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon

LOUISVILLE  — Eleven outstanding women have been selected to receive scholarships in memory of renowned Presbyterian scholar and pioneer the Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon.

The scholarships, which benefit college students to clergywomen, are provided through the Women’s Ministry Fund of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. They enable recipients to receive leadership and professional development training so that they can be of greater service to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The scholarships honor Cannon, who succumbed to leukemia in 2018. She was a leading voice on the subjects of womanist theology and women in religion and society. In 1974, she became the first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (USA).

“These scholarships are creating opportunities for women to live out the legacy of Dr. Cannon and to equip them with the skills needed to serve effectively in Christ’s mission. As she would so gracefully say, ‘Do the work your soul must have,’ and God will surely bless you according to your gift,” said Jewel McRae, Coordinator for Women’s Leadership Development & Young Women’s Ministries.

The amount of financial assistance has increased to $3,000 this year to provide greater assistance to the recipients so that they can pursue ministry opportunities and educational pursuits, such as spiritual and pastoral care certifications and bachelor’s and advanced degrees.

This year’s recipients come from various geographic areas. They are:

  • April Pilgrim, Elder, North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Atlanta
  • Catrina Rivera Martinez, Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana en Hormigueros, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
  • Cecilia Armstrong, Associate Pastor, St. James Presbyterian Church, Johns Island, South Carolina
  • Huong “Cedar” Dang, Head of Staff at Vietnamese Presbyterian Church, Anaheim, California
  • Chanmi Park, Pastor, Korean Central Presbyterian Church, Greater Atlanta
  • Danilie Hilerio-Villanueva, Pastor, Rincón Presbyterian Church, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
  • Iris S. Rivera, Elder, Iglesia Presbiteriana Cristo Redentor, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
  • Natarsha Sanders, Elder, First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville, Texas
  • Susan Kamau, Elder from Lynnwood, Washington
  • Sylvia Cintrón, student, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Danita Nelson, Elder, New Covenant Fellowship, Austin, Texas

McRae is proud of the scholarship winners and hopes that people will continue to contribute to the scholarship fund so that even more women can excel.

“It is a great time to be a woman of color for such a time as this,” she said. “We are now in leadership roles, in the Church in corporate and political arenas, and our numbers are growing, thanks to opportunities like the Women’s Ministry Fund to empower, to inspire, to teach and to learn — all for Christ’s mission. I ask that you continue to support this fund.”

To learn more or contribute to the fund, go here.


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