Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Episcopal Bishop Breaks Race, Gender Barriers

From Afro-

“Now, let me get this straight. You are a successful attorney, making a good salary, and you are about to make partner, which will give you even more money,” Phoebe Roaf’s mother said. “But you want to leave all that, go to seminary for three years with no salary, and pay $100,000 because you know it’s got to be paid for. That’s really what you want to do?”

Roaf’s mother was incredulous about Roaf’s next career move.

“My mother was just being a mother,” said Roaf. “But I told her, “Yes, Mom, that’s just what I want to do. It makes me happy. The ministry will make me happy.’ After a while, my mother began to understand and support me in my position.”

Roaf’s life-changing direction culminated when Bishop Elect Phoebe Roaf became the first female and the first African American elected to lead the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee. Her Consecration Service was Saturday, May 4th, at Hope Church.

“This is so exciting because I will be consecrated by my boss. Well, God is my boss, but my earthly boss is the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry,” said Roaf. “You remember, he is the one who preached the sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Bishop Curry is, himself, the first African American to hold the presiding bishop’s office.”

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