B. Denise Hawkins

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Leontine T.C. Kelly, Pioneering African-American Woman Bishop, Dies At 92

by B. Denise Hawkins 07-02-2012
RNS photo by Mike DuBose / United Methodist Church Service

RNS photo by Mike DuBose / United Methodist Church Service

Retired United Methodist Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly, the first African-American woman elected to the episcopacy by a major religious denomination, died Thursday (June 28). The teacher, pastoral leader and activist was considered a pioneer for her ministry of more than two decades. She was 92.

Her death was reported by United Methodist News Service.

Bishop Judith Craig, who was elected a Methodist bishop just hours after Kelly in 1984, recalled the pioneer’s “audacious” life.

“She never ran from challenge or controversy, and she also stood fast in her convictions,” Craig told the denominational news service.

Five Years Later, Mother of Virginia Tech Victim Wrestles With God, Finds Peace

by B. Denise Hawkins 04-12-2012
hand image via shutterstock

hand image via shutterstock

CENTREVILLE, Va. -- It's been five years since Celeste Peterson's only daughter was killed in a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech and she's finally made peace with God.

Which is not to say it's been easy.

The five-year anniversary of the nation's most deadly shooting spree -- which claimed the lives of 18-year-old Erin Peterson and 31 other victims on April 16, 2007 -- is still too fresh.

"Whether we're talking year one or year five, it still feels like yesterday," said Celeste Peterson, noting that it's been five years "since I heard her voice or held her hand."