The Columns

Alum Takes the Pulpit at Historic Church

— by on June 23rd, 2011

A historic Presbyterian church in Germantown, Tenn., has a new pastor, and he’s a W&L alumnus. The Rev. William Gray Jones, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1992, now leads the 800-plus members of Germantown Presbyterian Church, which dates to 1838. Its Evans Chapel, built in 1851, is Germantown’s oldest public building.

“It was clear he was special,” said a member of the church’s nominating committee in a press release about Will’s appointment. “He became the standard upon which we compared all the other candidates.”

Will, who was born and grew up in Memphis, has a B.A. in history from W&L. He earned his M. Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1996 and his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2006. He’s been the youth director at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, in Memphis, and at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta.

In addition to studying in Scotland, he served as associate pastor of a church there, St. Michael’s Parish Church, in Linlithgow. Most recently, Will was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Brownsville, Tenn.

Will is a teacher as well, with current stints as an adjunct professor in the Honors Program at the University of Memphis and in the department of philosophy and religion at the University of Mississippi.

Will and his wife, Susan, have three children: Lelia, Mary and Grace.