The Episcopal Church was formally established in the State of Tennessee in 1834. In 1982 the western third of the state, between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, was separated from the Diocese of Tennessee to become the Diocese of West Tennessee.
The Diocese of West Tennessee is small, both geographically and in terms of membership (about 11,000 baptized members). It includes 33 parishes and missions, 19 of them located in the Memphis metropolitan area, and ranging in size from just a handful of parishioners to over 2,000 members. The diocese has a rich history of developing unique programs and facilities, including St. Columba Center (a diocesan conference and retreat center), Emmanuel Episcopal Center (a ministry to public housing communities in south Memphis), The Good Shepherd Center (a training center for The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd), Bridges USA (a community of young leaders committed to advancing racial, social and environmental justice), and The Haiti Partnership (an ecumenical ministry in service to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Montrouis and St. Vincent’s Hospital and Orphanage in Port-au-Prince).
Our parish of Grace-St. Luke’s participates actively in the programs of the diocese, with a number of our parishioners presently or having in the past served in important diocesan posts, most notably as diocesan treasurer thrice in succession. Our youth are active in the Diocesan Youth Council and in programs for young people such as the Happening movement.
To learn more, visit the Diocese of West Tennessee website.
Our bishop, The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson, was consecrated in 2001, and is the third bishop of the Diocese of West Tennessee. Bishop Johnson is a native Tennessean whose ministry is focused on making our diocese a place “where God’s promise in Christ is good news to all people.” His time as bishop has been marked with an emphasis on youth ministries that invite, form, and strengthen young people in a lively relationship with Christ. He is known for working collaboratively and often behind the scenes to assess, advise on, and negotiate situations on behalf of the wider church at the national and international levels. He also serves the national Church as a professional coach for new bishops.