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Sallie A. Crenshaw


Along with Nora E. Young, was the first African American woman to receive full-clergy rights

Sallie Alford Crenshaw was born in 1900 in LaGrange, Georgia. She received her education in the Chattanooga public schools, Tennessee A&I State College, Tennessee Wesleyan College, and the University of Nebraska. Sallie joined the Wiley Methodist church and began her pastoral ministry in 1931 as the lay pastor of the East Chattanooga and Tyner churches. She was ordained deacon in 1932 and elder in 1936, making her (along with Laura J. Lange) one of the first two women to be ordained as local elders in the Central Jurisdiction.

In 1958, when she and Nora E. Young were received into full connection in the East Tennessee Conference, they became not only the first women to be received into full connection in the Central Jurisdiction but also the first two women received into full connection in the Holston Conference and the entire Southeastern Jurisdiction as well.

Sallie served as a missionary to the coalfields of Virginia and also served churches in Bakewell (Hamilton County, Tennnessee); Elizabethtown, Tennessee; and Glade Spring and Wytheville, Virginia. She served as Church and Community Worker in the Bluefield District, and as Conference Director of Youth Work for three years.

Sallie retired in 1971 as a member of the Holston Conference and died December 12, 1986, at the age of eighty-six.