In this episode, Dr. Meeks sits down with the Rev. Canon Nan Arlington Peete. This episode was recorded in Atlanta in November 2019 at the unveiling of the Barbara Harris Justice Center.
An Episcopalian priest, she was born on August 19, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School in 1955.
Prior to entering the seminary, Peete was a management consultant with Coopers and Lybrand Accounting Firm, where she was an expert in organizational management and financial analysis. After her ordination in 1984, Peete was the curate at St. Mark's Church in Upland, California, and in 1985 became rector of All Saints Church in Indianapolis. Working with the Indianapolis Episcopal Metro Council, she involved the parish in housing the homeless in the nave of the church, which eventually led to the development of the Dayspring family shelter ministry. From 1989 to 1994, Peete served in the Diocese of Atlanta as Canon to the Ordinary. In this assignment, she was responsible for the ordination process of priests, the Training-in-Ministry program, and the deployment of clergy for congregations seeking clergy.
In 1988, Peete was invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be a consultant for the Lambeth Conference, a conference of Bishops representing Dioceses around the world. She was the first ordained woman to address this body, which meets every ten years in Canterbury, England. She faced opposition but also received tremendous support as she made her case in the speech she gave. The speech was well-received, and resulted in an international policy change and the ordination of many women priests and the subsequent ordination of women as Bishops of the Episcopal Church. She was also a speaker at the pre-Lambeth meeting of the Afro-Anglican Bishops, held in Cambridge, England. She has been invited to speak and preach at a number of international and national meetings, conventions and assemblies.
From 1994 to 1999, Peete served on the staff at Trinity Church Wall Street as the associate for Pastoral and Outreach ministries, and as the Canon for Ministry in the Diocese of Southern Ohio from 1999 to 2003. She became Canon for Deployment and Ordination for the Diocese of Washington in March 2003. Nan retired in 2005 but continues to be active in the church.