On Sunday, June 27, Bishop Susan Haynes will be back with us for the 10:15 Holy Eucharist to celebrate the designation of the Honorable Reverend Dr. Joseph N. Green, Jr., as Canon Theologian of Christ & St. Luke’s.
Father Green has left an indelible mark on the city across many generations. He earned his theology degree from the University of the South in 1965, one of the first two African Americans to graduate from The School of Theology at Sewanee in the midst of a time when the odious practices of Jim Crow were much in evidence. Today, his portrait hangs in the lobby of the Administration Building at The School of Theology, a fitting tribute to one of its most distinguished graduates.
Serving as Rector of nearby Grace Episcopal Church, Father Green led one of the most dynamic congregations in the diocese for 30 years. After serving on the Norfolk School Board, he was the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Norfolk City Council where he served for twenty years, ten as Vice Mayor.
Father Green helped lead a transformational period in the city’s history as a civil rights leader and a fighter for justice and equal rights. He led the the effort to preserve the Church Street Historic District and the Attucks theatre, sacred to African American history and culture in Hampton Roads. He is the embodiment of our baptismal covenant to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.’
His efforts to promote affordable and accessible housing and education have changed the city forever. He was a strong proponent of mass transit, championed the inclusion of a public housing tenant on the Housing Commission and was instrumental in the establishment of the downtown campus of Tidewater Community College.
At 95, Father Green is still speaking truth to power with compassion and humility. Christ & St. Luke’s is profoundly honored to welcome Fr. Green and Mrs. Evelyn Green to our community. As Canon Theologian and a member of our clergy staff, Fr. Green will teach and guide us as we seek to be a more welcoming and inclusive church.