BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After nearly two centuries, an area church is getting its first female priest.
"I am the priest in charge here at the Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi as of today," said Rev. Jennifer Southhall.
For the first time in the church's rich 168 year history, a woman will now take on the role.
"There's never been a female priest. This year is actually the 40th anniversary of ordained women in the Episcopal church," said Southall. "As a woman, I'm happy and thankful for all the women that have gone before."
It's a move that Parrish administrator and church secretary Faye Jones didn't see coming, but says is a move in the right direction.
"We have a lot of the older parishioners in the church that say it should be a man. But, the younger people of the church have gotten to where they approve of a lady being in here and on the altar," said Jones.
Although she's still learning the ends and outs of the building, Southall is hoping to do all she can with the church to make it a comfortable place for everyone.
"We....just want to share the love of God and Jesus Christ, and hopefully I can do that as a woman. I'm just thrilled to be here," said Southall.
Her first service will be Sept. 3 at 8 a.m.