The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, was the preacher and celebrant at an 11 a.m. service at Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church located located at 310 Main St. in Elkin.
The Rev. Gaye Brown, Vicar for the Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church, said it takes up to two years for church hierarchy to visit a parish.
“We’re delighted to have him,” Brown told The Tribune.
Bishop Curry was elected eleventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina on February 11, 2000 and ordained bishop on June 17, 2000, at Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
“I came to be with the people of the Galloway Church and to join two others who were reaffirming their faith,” Bishop Curry informed The Tribune while pausing from a lunch pot luck to speak with us.
Being a bishop for the Episcopal Church wasn’t always the plan, stated Bishop Curry, but preaching for the Lord and being his servant came to him early in life, he said.
“I knew when I was shaping my life in the early years of college that being a preacher was what I wanted to do,” said Bishop. “Now it’s about guiding the community and those who minister toward doing the work that Jesus wanted us to do.”
According to Bishop Curry, he feels the social issues and the church are directed connected. Bishop Curry stated he has a focus on the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, reminding The Tribune that God is everywhere and that Jesus loves everyone.
“We are all connected,” stated Bishop Curry.
The Bishop is concerned about family struggles and the financial hardships that families are feeling due to congress and Washington’s fiscal cliff matters. Elkin residents have been feeling the crunch with paychecks being lower each week compared to what they were bringing home in 2012.
“Everyone is feeling the pain, and that’s going to cause a burden on the church and especially the economy,” said the Bishop.
According to church officials, Bishop Curry is best recognized for being the first African American bishop to lead a southern diocese of the Episcopal Church, he has a national preaching and teaching ministry, has been featured on The Protestant Hour and is a frequent speaker at services of worship and conferences around the country.