Wyoming ordains its first Native American female priest

Posted May 31, 2017

The Rev. Roxanne Jimerson-Friday became the first Native American woman from the Wind River Indian Reservation, in the state of Wyoming, ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church on May 26 by Bishop of Wyoming John S. Smylie. Photo: Diocese of Wyoming

[Diocese of Wyoming] On May 26, the Rev. Roxanne Jimerson-Friday became the first Native American woman from the Wind River Indian Reservation, in the state of Wyoming, ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. The ceremony took place at Our Father’s House Episcopal Church in Ethete, with the Rt. Rev. John S. Smylie, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, presiding. The Rev. Tommy Means gave the sermon. Jimerson-Friday is the first woman Shoshone tribal member to be ordained to the Episcopal priesthood.

Jimerson-Friday is part of the Seneca Nation of New York, on her father’s side, and part of the Shoshone Tribe of Wyoming, on her mother’s side. She was born in Lander, grew up in New York until she was 10, and then moved back to Wyoming. She currently lives in Ethete with her husband, Aaron Friday.

Her interest in becoming ordained started when she realized she had always been the person that people turn to when they are in need. More recently, she witnessed a miracle when her grandson almost died. She and her family were told he wouldn’t make it, but through the power of prayer, God healed her grandson. Because of that experience, along with a life of living in relationship with God, she made a promise to God that she would serve Him and bring people to Him. She says, “I made that promise with my whole heart and then everything seemed to fall into place like a path was made just for me.”

Jimerson-Friday has been thinking about her goals. “I am really in God’s hands. Wherever He is leading me, that is the path I am taking. When I look into the future I feel that I am going to bring peace and a sense of healing.”

When asked how she felt about her accomplishment, she said she is very proud. “It’s a matter of uplifting all the Native American women, that you can do whatever you want to do.”


Comments (10)

  1. John D Poynter says:

    My mother would be so proud of Rev Roxanne, she was ever glad for her Shoshone heritage; when we would pass by the beautiful statue of Sacajewia in Helena on our way over the Gibbonsville pass to Salmon, my mother would proudly announce: “I am related to her!!”

  2. Linda Clark says:

    Congratulations My name is Linda Clark. We share t he same dream.No matter what people may just kept gotcha chosen me. I’m only waiting . I live in Forrest City Arkansas.Eveyone here know me particually my past. But God knows my heart. My thoughts are his thought.Until man stop interfering with Gods chosen ones there will always be aproblem until his will is done. I Hank him everyday that I am apart of hi will we have such a warning relationship ha I would love to share wings world I only they would accept us. In my faith I have already received.

  3. Sharon Caulfield says:

    I am so pleased for this news! I do think the headline is a little misleading — Rev. Roxanne is not the first Native American Woman in Wyoming. But she probably is the First Ordained Native American Woman in Wyoming. And for that we are grateful and have hope for the fruits of her ministry.

  4. Jane W Van Zandt says:

    Good for you, Jake! And for the Rev Roxanne!

  5. r h lewis (VTS 1963) says:

    AMEN AND Blessings to the Revd Roxanne Jimerson-Friday.
    We lived among the Oneida in CNY for some years and welcome
    this step forward.

  6. Father Mike Waverly-Shank says:

    My late Wife who was part Onondaga would be so glad. Another gift of the Holy Ghost!

  7. Carter Whitson says:

    Best wishes, Mother Roxanne! What a blessing you are to our Communion!

  8. Olga Flores says:

    God is agreat ,is grace of the holy espirit come for you
    Rev. Roxsana , now to be new life within Jesucristo in her hearts..the Lord is this time ..for ever Amen ..
    Sincerely Olydia Suarez

  9. Bradley Hauff says:

    Praise God and congratulations to her! This is a proud and blessed occasion.

  10. Richard McClellan says:

    Awesome. May God bless her ministry.

Comments are closed.