Beth Robinson Named Treasurer

Mary Beth Robinson of Savannah has been named the new Treasurer for the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. As treasurer, she will support the Diocese in its fiduciary oversight. Known as Beth, she succeeds Judy Draffin who served as treasurer since 2015.

An experienced human resources professional, she currently provides oversight of all human resources, facilities, IT and administrative operations at the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah. Robinson managed the Human Resources Department for the City of Savannah for 23 years and for the Housing Authority of Savannah for five.

She received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in public administration from the College of Charleston. Known as Beth, she is a member of the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah.

“I am so pleased to be working with Beth,” said Canon for Administration Katie Willoughby, “her wise counsel, leadership in the diocese, and strong background in human resources ensures that the culture of stewardship within the Diocese will continue.”


The Diocese of Georgia created the short video above for congregations to download from here and then upload to their Facebook page to use in drawing attention to a post listing service times on Ash Wednesday. The video is meant to be a reminder that Ash Wednesday is February 14 while also speaking to the issue of having one of two fast days of the church year (the other is Good Friday) fall on Valentine’s Day.


1300 Attend Revival

A standing ovation by 1300 people greeted Presiding Bishop Michael Curry following his introduction by Bishop Scott Benhase at Revival: Fearless Faith, Boundless Love, Saturday, January 20th at Honey Creek. The congregation stood again at the conclusion of his rousing message of Jesus’ love.

“The Revival was beyond what I could have hoped for,” said Bishop Benhase. “Even though we had to move it to January because of last September’s hurricane and shorten what we had planned to less than 24 hours, Presiding Bishop Curry brought his “preachin’ shoes” and enlivened us all with the Gospel of Jesus, plain and simple: The love of Jesus transforms us all out of our self-centeredness and liberates us to love one another. That couldn’t be clearer. Now, we must take that straight-forward message to our neighbors and invite them to trust the One who said: “Come unto me all that are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” It’s time for all of us to get up, get going, and share the Good News of God’s love in Jesus.”

The Presiding Bishop’s 24 hour-long visit to the Diocese of Georgia began the evening before the Revival when he had dinner with the clergy of the diocese followed by an informal gathering (at left) at Honey Creek Retreat Center.

That evening Curry also met with the youth of the diocese (at left) who participated in a retreatduring the weekend.

On Saturday the Presiding Bishop made a pilgrimage to Pennick where Deaconess Alexander had planted Good Shepherd Church and a school. The sanctuary was standing room only and those who were there heard a rousing sermon which included these words:  “Deaconess Alexander knew that education was one of the keys to real emancipation. It is not enough to simply free the mind, though. The way of Jesus guides the mind into what is good, right, and noble.”

On Saturday the Presiding Bishop made a pilgrimage to Pennick where Deaconess Alexander had planted Good Shepherd Church and a school. The sanctuary was standing room only and those who were there heard a rousing sermon which included these words:  “Deaconess Alexander knew that education was one of the keys to real emancipation. It is not enough to simply free the mind, though. The way of Jesus guides the mind into what is good, right, and noble.”

At noon the Revival at Honey Creek began with performances by the Savannah Children’s Choir, the Albany State University Concert Chorale, and Roger Moss.

In his sermon he said, ” “When I die, I want to ask Deaconess Alexander, ‘How did you love when your own church turned its back on you? How did you love when the law of this land denied you?’ She’ll go back to Jesus, who said ‘Come unto me all you who are heavy laden, and learn from me. For my yoke is easy. Trust in me even when you can’t see. Trust in me even in midst of the whirlwind.’ As long as you know there is a God, you can deal with unjust laws. As long as you know there is a God, you can make it.”

Two large screens beamed the action on the central stage and those who attended were truly members of the Jesus Movement.

To see more photos of the Revival, including the presiding Bishop’s time with clergy and youth as well as the service at Pennick, go here.

Note: The upload of the livestream of both the service at Good Shepherd Pennick and the Revival has been delayed. As we go to press we hope to see them on our website by Friday.


Watch the Revival Live!

We realize that not everyone can make it to the Revival tomorrow. There will be two different livestreams broadcast tomorrow.

To watch the Deaconess Alexander service live go to starting at 9:30 AM
To watch the Revival, go to starting at 12 Noon with the musical performances and at 1 PM for the service.

We will also share the livestream on the Diocese’s Facebook page.



Three centuries of Revival in the Diocese of Georgia

While this week’s tent revival at Honey Creek may seem out of character for the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Georgia’s history has been marked by revivals, including these three notable examples from our history:

18th century – Beef and Beer Dinners Lead to a Colony
Thomas Bray (1656-1730) was for most of his life, the rector of St. Botolph-Without-the-Walls, in London, but a brief tour of Maryland expanded the scope of his ministry. The Bishop of London, who was responsible for the colonies, sent Bray to the colony as his representative. Bray returned to England with a passion for assisting the work of the Gospel in the colonies. He developed a group of friends who ministered with beef and beer meals in the prisons on Sundays. A young James Oglethorpe joined him in this work. Bray suggested the idea of a colony where people could have a new chance at life. Though he died before Georgia was founded, the charter reflects his Christian utopian vision. Georgia was founded as a place where there would be no slaves, lawyers, and no accumulation of land beyond 150 acres per family.

Another product of his two-and-a-half month tour was that Bray saw the terrible shortage of both pastors and books-Bibles and Prayer Books. On his return to England, he founded the SPG, the Society for the Proclamation of the Gospel, to provide priests with stipends for churches in the colonies. The SPG would later provide clergy for Christ Church, Savannah, and St. Paul’s, Augusta. He then founded the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), to provide books. While not a revival preacher like John Wesley who would serve in Savannah, Bray’s Beef and Beer Dinners were a different kind of revival, giving hope to those in prison, which was more fully realized in the new lives made possible in Georgia.

19th century – Georgia’s First Bishop Converted in Revival
The first Bishop of Georgia came to faith through a revival held at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. Stephen Elliott Jr. was a local attorney when he heard the Presbyterian preacher Daniel Baker was coming to Beaufort and would be preaching in the Episcopal Church he attended. Morning, noon, and night for a series of days in 1831, Episcopal liturgies at the historic church concluded with Baker climbing into the pulpit to open the scripture anew.

Of the eighty persons who experienced a conversion experience at St. Helena’s during that revival were eight young men who became ministers. Among these was Elliott, who would a decade later become the first bishop of Georgia. Baker’s memoir records an attorney converted in that revival exclaiming to him, “O, Mr. Baker, I have an ocean of joy!” -adding, “what would have become of me, if you had not come here.” Baker’s account of that revival is online here.

20th Century – Bishop Brings Revival to Georgia
In 1965, Georgia’s sixth bishop, invited 12 bishops from across the church to come to this Diocese to lead a Bishops’ Crusade. Bishop Albert Rhett Stuart told the

Savannah Evening Press, “The purpose of the Crusade is not to foster our Episcopalianism, but to bring the Gospel to the people of South Georgia.”

The bishops gathered with our diocesan convention at the Aquarama on Jekyll Island where the Primate of Canada preached and Bishop Stuart commissioned the team to go preach the Gospel. They were sent out to 12 communities to preach from January 31-February 4, with the group giving 60 sermons as well as radio and TV interview and informal talks in factories, knitting mills, and railroad yards. Every night averaged more than 3,000 people taking part in the events and every morning sizeable groups turned up at 50 churches for the daily celebration of Eucharist Bishop Stuart named as essential to the work. The revival led immediately to the founding of St. Philip’s Hinesville as an out-growth of the Jesup meetings and there were many large classes of confirmations soon after the meetings.

Bishop Stuart led the Diocese through a time of unprecedented growth as the Diocese of Georgia added parishioners at a pace that was not only faster than population growth, but exceeded the rate the Georgia Baptist Convention grew in the same time period. To bring the story of these three revivals full circle, the offerings taken during the 1965 Bishops’ Crusade were given to fund the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in thanksgiving for Thomas Bray’s work. Click here to read the article from the May 1965 issue of The Episcopalian: Crusaders in Georgia.


Ready for the Revival?

Are you ready for the Revival? We have planned a full day beginning with a morning service at Good Shepherd, Pennick followed by the Revival at Honey Creek Retreat Center. A variety of food trucks from the Savannah Food Truck Coalition will be serving food at a reasonable cost starting at 11 AM. Performances by the Albany State University Choir, the Savannah Children’s Choir, and soloists Trina Meade and Roger Moss will begin at noon. The Presiding Bishop will begin to preach at 1 PM.

Schedule for the Presiding Bishop’s Two-Day Visit

January 19th
5:30 PM
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has dinner and then talks with clergy of the diocese.
8 PM
The Presiding Bishop spends time with diocesan youth.
January 20th
9:30 AM
Service honoring Deaconess Alexander at Church of the Good Shepherd, Pennick
11 AM
Food Trucks open for service at Honey Creek
Noon to 1 PM
Fellowship Hour with performances by Albany State Choir, Savannah Children’s Choir
1 PM
The Revival begins with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preaching
3 PM
Buses depart

For full information, go to



196th Convention Concludes

The 196th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia concluded Saturday with changes to the Canons approved, the election to fill diocesan committee openings completed in short order, and a gathering representing every church in the diocese inspired to  begin evangelizing in preparation of the Revival on January 20th.

To see election results, view the PowerPoint presentations used throughout Convention, and more go to


Register for Convention 2017

Keynote Speaker: Carrie Boren Headington

The 196th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will be held November 9-11 at The Patterson in Valdosta. The theme of the Convention: Fearless Faith, Boundless Love, serves as a prelude to the Revival which will be held January 20th at Honey Creek Retreat Center.

The keynote speaker, Carrie Boren Headington will continue the work begun at last year’s Convention with Invite-Welcome-Connect as we discover how we share Fearless Faith and Boundless Love beyond the walls of our church: as individuals in our daily lives and as parishes in our communities. She will walk delegates through key ways of developing an invitation strategy for their parish and every congregation will leave the Convention with clear next steps toward a plan for their church.

Registration is now live and can be found by clicking here. A discounted rate of $55 for registration is in effect until October 4, regular registration of $65 runs October 5-November 1 and late registration of $75 begins November 2 and continue until November 7 when online registration closes. It will be possible to register in person at Convention and pay the late registration cost also.

See the Accommodations page for information on our block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn and the Hampton Inn and Suites.

A renovated turn-of-the-century S.H.Kress building, The Patterson is a new event space in downtown Valdosta. We will meet in convention close to the Episcopal Church of Christ the King. That congregation will bring their worship to The Patterson on the Friday evening of Convention, with a meal to follow. Thursday evening, we will worship together in an Evening Prayer liturgy at Christ Episcopal Church at 1521 North Patterson Street in Valdosta.

The 196th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will meet in the ballroom at The Patterson in downtown Valdosta, Georgia.

Visit the Convention Website for more information



First Person: Helping Through the Red Cross

As Hurricane Irma began to make its way towards Georgia, the Red Cross sent out an appeal for volunteers to assist with the evacuees our city would be hosting. Two of the people who responded were Gail and Robbie Jarrell, longtime members of Holy Comforter. Here’s their story, by Gail.
Robbie and I worked as volunteers through the Red Cross at the shelter set up at Patriots Park for evacuees from the path of Irma. A littlebackground info – after Katrina, we traveled with a group from Holy Comforter to New Orleans to help “muck-out” houses in May of 2006, eight months after Katrina hit. We saw first-hand how the recovery process is a very long, difficult one for those that lost all of their belongings. We also saw how important it was for those people to get back “home” or to whatever was left of it. They desperately wanted to return to a daily routine – a “normal” life that so many of us take for granted. When we had the opportunity to help out with this disaster, we took it.

Robbie and I received a brief training through Columbia County Emergency Management and the Red Cross last Friday. We were selected to work on Tuesday from 8 AM to 2 PM at the Patriots Park shelter.

I was assigned to the dining area. Robbie assisted folks as they prepared to return home and, since they were closing some of the shelters in Richmond County, he assisted with getting them settled at Patriots Park.

I was able to greet clients as they made their sleepy way to the dining area. We offered them cereal, doughnuts, yogurt and a hot cup of coffee which they all insisted needed to be strong. As is usual, folks begin to share stories over their cup of coffee.

There was a family of 19 adults and children that had made their way up from Naples, Florida. Instead of sitting down to eat, they just wanted to get on the road and get as close to home as possible. They had heard, of course, that their area had been one of the hardest hit areas, so they had no idea what they would return to find. We packed food for the road and wished the best for them as they traveled back to an unknown future.

Then there was a 92 year old gentleman that lived just outside of Jacksonville. He said he was told he had to leave, so he gathered a few items and beloved dog of 10 years and got in the car and started driving north. A deputy found him at a gas station and brought him and his dog to Patriots Park. There are strict rules about pets not being allowed in the dormitory space at any of the shelters; however, the volunteers found a nice, comfortable place for his dog too. When Robbie and I arrived on Tuesday, he was very anxious to go home. He kept insisting that he just needed someone to point him in the right direction and he would make it home just fine. So, reluctantly, we packed some food for him and his dog, and a deputy took him back to his car and pointed him toward home.

There was a couple that had gone to Miami for work on a construction site. After working two days, they were told they had to evacuate for Irma. They drove to Daytona Beach, where they were told they couldn’t stay because they had to evacuate. So next they went to Jacksonville, then to Savannah with the same message in each city. They decided they just needed to head inland and ended up in Grovetown with just the clothes they had packed.

As you can imagine, every evacuee had a story. And each one waited anxiously for word that they could return home. As each of them left, they were very grateful for the meals and a place to stay. It was interesting how they seemed to form a bond with each other as they prepared to leave. Several families decided to follow each other as far as they could.

God blessed Robbie and me with the opportunity to provide at least a little comfort for a short time for those that are struggling with so much uncertainty. We were also blessed to see how folks will come together and care for each other during difficult times. During these past days of so much strife and division, we could see that there are so many people that really do care and want the best for those that may be struggling.

Now we pray. We pray that folks have safe travels as they journey “home”. We pray that when they get there, if they are faced with the task of rebuilding their property or their lives, that the journey will be a short one. And we pray that we can continue to work in the direction that God points us and that we can continue to be some comfort to those that may be facing hardship. And we thank God for all of his wonderful blessings that we receive each and every day. Especially the blessing of routine and a sense of “normal”.

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