Elected 1976, Day 4; served through 1985

Dr. Charles Lawrence, professor and Chairman of the Department of Sociology at Brooklyn College, CUNY, was the first African-American to be elected President of the House of Deputies. He was a distinguished academic who found time to be actively involved in the Church. In 1952, he became the vestryman and senior warden for Saint Paul's in Spring Valley, New York. Sixteen years later, he became the first black senior warden for New York's historic Trinity Parish. At the Diocese of New York, he was on the Diocesan Council and the Interparish Council. The diocese awarded him the Bishop’s Cross for Distinguished Lay Service in 1963. In 1967 he became a lay delegate of the House of Deputies, and held the position of President of the House from 1976 until his death in 1985. Dr. Lawrence served on several committees, commissions, and boards of the Church, and during his tenure focused on making the Church more diverse and welcoming, championing women’s ordination, racial equality, and participation of the laity in the Church’s governance. His daughter Paula Lawrence-Wehmiller became a priest in The Episcopal Church in 1998.