The Methodist Church in South Africa on Friday announced the appointment of its first female bishop.
The Rev. Purity Malinga will take control of Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa.
"After experiencing cross and patriarchal discrimination for more than 200 years, women from the South African Methodist Church (MCSA) finally broke through the stained glass ceiling with the election of the first bishop who was a woman," Siwa said in a statement.
His successor was chosen through a vote in which 12 church synods cast their votes.
Shiva described Malinga as the ideal candidate for the position.
"Pastor Malinga is a proven and tested leader and we rejoice in his election as the presiding bishop. "The church's decision affirms our belief in the partnership of women and men – and affirms our knowledge and trust in black women in particular – as capable leaders in their own rights," said Siwa.
The Church said that before this appointment, Malinga had made history by being the only synod bishop ever elected in the MCSA.
He has served in that position for two periods between 1998 and 2008.
Malinga was born and raised in the rural town of Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and is a qualified teacher.
He practiced as a teacher for five years before entering service in 1981.
Malinga also holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard University and she previously served as vice president of the South African Church Council, chair of the KZN Church Council, a member of the Diakonia Church Council and also lecturers at Federal Theological Seminary and John Wesley College.
He also served as an education mission director and church service unit for the past three years.
The church prays for him in a new position.