For the first time in its 168-year history, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has called two women to serve as members of its Council of Twelve Apostles, the second highest leadership quorum in the church.
Gail E. Mengel, coordinator of women's ministries since 1990, and Linda L. Booth, the church's assistant director of communications, have been named by church President W. Grant McMurray to fill two vacancies in the church's chief missionary and field administrative quorum. Their designation is subject to the approval of the biennial World Conference when it convenes March 28 through April 5.For Booth and Mengel, their anticipated conference approval and subsequent ordination will open the way for them to serve in a way that continues the church's effort to engage women in increasingly responsible and influential leadership roles throughout the world. As ordained apostles for the church, they will be assigned as major field administrators with the tasks of developing and supervising the ongoing activity of the church's jurisdictions in a wide variety of functional areas.
Women were first formally ordained as to the lay priesthood in the RLDS Church beginning in November 1985. The church now has 5,028 women in ordained service out of a total of 19,188 ministers, most of whom serve in a self-sustaining capacity.