Latter-day Saints call first Black woman to serve in a general presidency
SALT LAKE CITY — The first day of the 192nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brought a first for the faith: The calling of a Black woman to serve in a general presidency.
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency announced new church leaders during the Saturday Afternoon Session. They included six new General Authority Seventies, a new Relief Society presidency, and a new Primary General presidency.
First Black woman called to serve in Primary General presidency
Sister Tracy Y. Browning, who is Black, was called to serve as Second Counselor of the Primary General Presidency. She joins the new president of the Primary General presidency, Sister Susan H. Porter, who previously served as the presidency’s first counselor. Sister Amy Wright will serve as the first counselor.
Chante Stutznegger, who runs a social media account with her sister that discusses race and diversity in Utah, cheered the news in an interview with KSL 5 TV.
“When I first heard the news, it really pierced me to the core, because I thought, ‘I needed this as a child,'” Stutznegger said. “Growing up, I needed to see myself in someone who was in a position of leadership, who had faith — and connect to that.”
Her sister and partner on the “Let’s Talk Sis” Instagram account, Alexis Bradley, says seeing the first Black woman in a general presidency doesn’t erase the history of race in America or the church, but it does provide hope.
“We can still feel that bit of pain for the past and be thrilled and excited for the future, looking forward as our church grows,” she added.
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Browning comes to the Primary General Presidency with experience. She has served on the Relief Society general advisory since 2018. A native of New Rochelle, New York, she spent a lot of time as a child in Jamaica, from which her mother and father immigrated to America.
Sister Browning worked for years at Morgan Stanley before 2015, when she became a church employee. She and her husband, Brayden, have two children, a daughter and a son.
Other leaders called Saturday
Sister Camille N. Johnson, who served for the past year as Primary General President, will now serve as Relief Society President. She will be joined by Sister J. Anette Dennis, first counselor, and Sister Kristin M. Yee, second counselor.
The presidency changes take effect Aug. 1, but General Authority Seventies take effect immediately once sustained.
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