Cynthia Black joined Redeemer as its sixteenth Rector in June, 2011. Previously, she served churches in Minnesota (as Interim Rector of Epiphany, Plymouth), Michigan (as Dean of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Kalamazoo), and New Jersey (Associate Rector and Interim Rector of St. Peter’s, Essex Fells).
During her 38 years in parish ministry, she has been a member of the Episcopal Church’s governing body (Executive Council), served as President of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, chaired the denomination’s Committee on the Status of Women and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. In 1995, she attended the U.N. World Conference on Women in Beijing. She has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church for years as a founding member of Claiming the Blessing and as a part of the Integrity legislative team for General Convention. In 2006, Cynthia was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, Calif., in recognition of her service to the Episcopal Church. Former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold praised her, saying, “Her ability to grasp the many dimensions of any situation and to articulate them clearly and boldly have been a gift to the [Executive] Council and the church.” She received the Polly Bond Award of Excellence for the documentary Voices of Witness Africa, describing the experiences of LGBTQ+ Anglicans in Africa. Cynthia grew up outside of Boston, went to college in upstate New York, and seminary in California. Before ordination she worked as a house painter, pastry chef, and freelance trumpet player. The daughter of an architect and a travel agent, her myriad interests include travel, photography, cooking, woodworking, and filmmaking that promotes the Gospel values of peace and justice. She is married to Dr. Rebecca Walker, a mathematics professor.