American Dream Inspired Female Priest

The Illuminating Women Project highlights 30 inspiring women from Fond du Lac County.

We're sharing this exhibition online so you can feel inspired.  This week we're highlighting the Canon Precentor at St. Paul's Cathedral, Mother Ezgi Saribay Perkins.  Mother Ezgi Perkins now serves St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ripon and St. Mary's Episcopal Chapel in Wautoma.  She is inspired by the American Dream.

My experience photographing Mother Ezgi in St. Paul's Cathedral was magical.  The glorious light showed up at just the right moment, and I knew it would.


Mother Ezgi Perkins

Originally from Izmir, Turkey, Mother Ezgi Saribay Perkins came to the United States in 2006, as an exchange student.  She completed high school and college in Southern Missouri.  During this time, Mother Ezgi discovered Jesus Christ and converted from Islam to Christianity.  Mother Ezgi found a home in the Episcopalian Church and felt called to the priesthood.  After theological seminary and internship, Mother Ezgi now serves as the Reverend Canon, Canon Precentor and Administrator at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Fond du Lac.  Mother Ezgi loves serving her church through prayer and music.  She also loves her husband and her Weimaraner dog.

Mother Ezgi has always felt inspired by the American Dream.  Her attitude recalls the spirit of the early American pioneer women.  She is grateful for the opportunity to pursue a better future in the United States.  Encouraged by both her parents, Mother Ezgi believes in men and women as equal partners.  This belief drew her to the teachings and traditions of the Episcopalian church.  She leads with faith and openness.  Mother Ezgi treasures helping people, being part of their lives.  She feels truly herself at the altar, leading worship and being in communion with her parishioners.

Wise beyond her years, Mother Ezgi carries herself with grace and dignity.  At St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Diocese, Mother Ezgi is the first female pastor.  She is glad to serve.  She is also glad to hold her seat for the women who will follow.  Mother Ezgi seeks to give hope to the Fond du Lac community.  She works to create a welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds.  She hopes to welcome young people back to the church.  Mother Ezgi dreams of a world free of racism, sexism and discrimination where all are welcome and cherished.  She encourages others to try doing everything well, to the best of their ability.


- Written by Juliane Troicki of Illuminating Project



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Comment Below!



  1. Anne on April 24, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    It is the Episcopal Church and not the Episcopalian Church.

    • laura on June 11, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We value your knowledge of the Episcopal Church.