Reverend Dr. Katie Geneva Canon (HUMC 2008)

Reverend Dr. Katie Geneva Canon

The Reverend Dr. Katie G. Cannon was the first African American woman to be ordained into the United Presbyterian USA denomination. in Shelby, North Carolina, on April 24, 1974, by the Catawaba Presbytery. Her early education began at a local Lutheran church. She was the salutatorian of her graduating class from George Washington Carver High School in Kannapolis in 1967. She enrolled at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina and completed a degree in education in 1971. Three years later, in 1974, she received her Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Rev. Cannon earned both a Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1983. Later, she completed a doctorate in ethics, becoming the first African American woman to receive both degrees at the seminary in 1989. She served as Parish Associate to Rev. Henry Pinckney in 1992 at First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rev. Cannon was also the author of Black Womanist Ethics (1988), Katie’s Cannon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community (1995), and Teaching Preaching: Isaac R. Clark and Black Sacred Rhetoric (2002). She edited other works including The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology (2011). Rev. Cannon served as Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.