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For People Welcomes Bishop Phoebe Roaf

Feb 2, 2023

Hope with Bishop Phoebe Roaf

Dr. King was born in Atlanta and was murdered in Memphis. And though we’ve seen change since then, there are still unarmed Black and Brown people dying in senseless violence. Just this past week, police murdered Tyre Nichols in Memphis. As our country reckons with another act of police brutality, we bring you an episode with two Black Bishops, our own Bishop Wright and Bishop Phoebe Roaf of West Tennessee – the diocese that includes the city of Memphis.

In the episode, they have a real conversation focused on how Christians find hope in times when some find none. They take up where the church has a responsibility to respond to community tragedy and name steps to make sure we don’t push comfort over change. Listen in for the full conversation.

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Bishop Roaf is a lifelong Episcopalian. She grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She was rector at St. Philip’s, the oldest African-American church in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, where she she had served as Rector since 2011. Before St. Philips’s, Bishop Roaf was associate rector for three years at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans.

Bishop Roaf, who earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and clerked two years for Judge James L. Dennis, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, worked in commercial real estate before being ordained. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and MPA at Princeton University. She attended Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. She is vice chair of the board of trustees at Virginia Theological Seminary.

The diocese, which covers all of Tennessee west of the Tennessee River, has 8,260 active members and an average Sunday attendance of more than 3,000.