Mrs. Elizabeth “Betsy” Dyer was the first woman to be seated in the House of Deputies in 1946. Many in the Diocese of Missouri, including Bishop William Scarlett and his wife Leah, felt that it was high time that the Church had female deputies, and Mrs. Dyer, though reluctant to be in the spotlight, was chosen on the grounds of her Anglo-Catholic connections, moderate views, and highly active Church life. She was elected on the first ballot to stand as a delegate from Missouri. Her husband Randolph and their three children accompanied her to the Convention in Philadelphia, where they watched from the balcony as she was seated. Though her seating was accepted that year on the grounds that the term "layman" was all-inclusive, no other woman was seated again until 1970, when a landmark amendment to the Constitution substituted “layperson” for “layman.”

Mrs. Elizabeth Dyer at General Convention in 1946.