The definitive account of the Philadelphia Eleven

Church Publishing Incorporated
Posted Jun 6, 2024

THE DEFINITIVE account of the courageous women who sparked a global movement to revolutionize faith and society—NOW expanded and revised.

Church Publishing announces the publication of The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven by Darlene O’Dell for the 50th anniversary of this historic event.

In 1974, eleven women made history by challenging the patriarchal traditions and becoming the first women ever ordained in The Episcopal Church. This act of civil disobedience was met with significant backlash and harassment, but these women persevered and helped change the church forever.

In this revised and expanded edition, readers will discover fresh interviews that reveal dozens of never-before-told perspectives and updated chapters that expose the contemporary relevance of this important history. Additionally, the author includes exclusive conversations with one of the “Washington Four,” a chapter on the impactful Barbara Harris, and insights into the wider Anglican church’s role in what is now universally considered a landmark event.

Both an intimate character study and a sweeping examination, this book is “an account of a critical moment in our nation’s history when a group of courageous women challenged theological and cultural patriarchy in a way that … ultimately inspired a generation of American women,” says Dan Carter, Education Foundation University Professor Emeritus of the University of South Carolina.

A renewed call to understand our history to better navigate our collective future, The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven is also “a gripping read and a telling account that celebrates the courage of all the principled “rule-breakers,” according to The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 26th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.

Darlene O’Dell has published several books and has served as the National Park Services head writer for Jamestown Archaeology. She has taught at Clemson University and the College of William and Mary and currently lives in Brevard, North Carolina.

This edition includes a foreword by one of the Philadelphia Eleven, Carter Heyward who graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and went on to teach at Episcopal Divinity School, 1975-2005.  She lives in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina.

Church Publishing
Core liturgical works and important resources for The Episcopal Church.

To schedule an interview with the author or Carter Heyward, please contact Anne Zaccardelli, 212-592-6382,