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Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem sued for alleged gender bias by senior pastor candidate, Eboni Marshall Turman

Photo: Eboni Marshall Turman (left); Rev. Calvin Butts (right)

Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and its search committee has been accused of gender discrimination in new federal lawsuit.

Divinity School Professor Eboni Marshall Turman claims she was rejected for the senior pastor position because she is female. She alleges that questions were asked of her that were not asked of other candidates for the position.

Abyssinian Baptist Church has been the epicenter of Harlem religious activity for more than 200 years.

In 2022 longtime respected pastor, Rev. Calvin Butts, passed away at the age of 73 due to pancreatic cancer.

Turman was among dozens who applied to fill the vacancy left by Rev. Butts.

The lawsuit by Turman seeks unspecified monetary damages for lost wages and benefits, economic damages, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and mental distress.

In 2007, Turman became the youngest pastor ordained in Abyssinian’s history. If she had been elected, Turman would have become the first woman senior pastor at the church.


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