DETROIT (WWJ) — A local pastor is taking her place in the pulpit and in history.

Rev. Dr. Dee Dee M. Coleman became the first woman to lead the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit & Vicinity in the group’s 52-year history. Founded in 1965, the Council now has 170 churches as members and more than 700,000 congregants.

In 1999, she became the first female pastor of the Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, which is over 100 years old.

“My church motivates me,” Coleman said. “My drive comes from my church.”

It wasn’t until 2000 that women pastors were even allowed to join the group.

“Every council member did not walk out of that meeting when they said women would come in,” Coleman said.

Coleman said her focus will be on social justice issues like incarceration, education and rising utility rates.

WWJ Newsradio 950 celebrates Black History Month by recognizing our local African-American professionals and their heroes – you can hear these reports throughout the day: 6:23 a.m., 9:23 a.m., 12:23 p.m., 5:23 p.m. and 10:23 p.m.


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