Lois Glory-Neal (b. 1931) was the first Native American woman ordained as an elder and the first to serve as a district superintendent. Neal, a Cherokee, was born in Tahleguah, Okla., the capital of the Cherokee Nation. She worked in lay ministry in Oklahoma City for many years, then pursued pastoral ministry after her husband’s death when she was in her late 40s. She completed her master’s in divinity degree from Saint Paul’s School of Theology at the age of 57. She served on the reservation in Horton, Kan., while attending seminary, then afterwards on the Kickapoo/Potowatomi reservation. In 1992, she was the first Native American woman to serve as a district superintendent, appointed in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. She also traveled for years as a missionary speaker and Native American ambassador for the General Board of Global Ministries. As a lay minister and then ordained clergy, she served nearly 60 years in the OIMC, where 92 Native American churches represent more than 37 tribes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Now retired, she lives near Shawnee, Okla.
Her biography on the General Commission on Archives and History’s website
Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference Facebook page
General Board of Global Ministries list of churches in the OIMC