DURHAM, N.C. — On Feb. 18, at the First Presbyterian Church, 305 East Main St., North Carolina churches took pioneering steps by green lighting the ordination of Katie Ricks, the first open lesbian to receive such approval in the U.S.

This was the first for the denomination who had agreed in 2011 to allow “openly gay individuals to serve in the ministry,” The Daily Tar Heel reported. Gay men had already been ordained in Wisconsin.

The secret ballot vote allowed for anonymity for those who helped to shape the decision. No one had to undergo public scrutiny for his or her decision.

Ricks serves Chapel Hill’s Church of Reconciliation, 110 N. Elliott Rd., where she has been an Associate in Ministry for 10 years. Her ordination will be conferred in April.


Ricks was ordained on April 15 at the University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. She will continue her ministerial duties at the Church of Reconciliation where she will work in children and youth ministries, among others.

More Light Presbyterian Board Member John Thompson was quoted saying, “I was honored to be there and to place hands on Katie at the time of her ordination.”

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988,...

One reply on “Triangle: Presbys pave way to ordain lesbian – Updated”

  1. In the Presbyterian system of church government, a local congregation (in this case, First Presbyterian Church of Durham, cannot ordain a person; only the regional body, the Presbytery, can do so. While the local congregation votes to call someone to serve, that call can only be approved by the Presbytery.

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