RI church leader taking sabbatical to transition to a woman


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Executive Minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches Dr. Rev. Donald Anderson will be taking a three-month sabbatical. 

According to an announcement by RI State Council of Churches Governing Board President Chontell Washington, Dr. Rev. Anderson shared with the Governing Board last fall that she is transgender and is “in the process of transitioning.” 

The organization has granted Rev. Dr. Anderson a three-month sabbatical to take the time she needs to do that “free of the day-to-day operations of the council.” 

Washington also noted during the sabbatical Rev. Dr. Anderson will be changing her name from Donald to Donnie. She added, “The council is appreciative of Dr. Anderson’s ministry and totally supportive of her transition. Please join us in wishing her well in this time of transition.” 

Rev. Anderson is expected to return to her role at the RI State Council of Churches in September. She has served the council for 11 years. 

Rev. Anderson has been vocal in her opposition to the Trump presidency social policies and an advocate for the creation of “sanctuary churches” to protect undocumented Rhode Islanders. 

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