Bishop Susan Goff Announces Appointment of Diocesan Missioner for Racial Justice and Healing

The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority, is honored to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr. J. Lee Hill, Jr. as the Diocese of Virginia’s first Missioner for Racial Justice and Healing.

In this role, Dr. Hill will collaborate with lay and ordained leaders to engage all congregations and diocesan organizations in the work of healing across racial and other divides.  He will support existing ministries of racial justice and healing, work with groups across the Diocese in the development of new ministries, and facilitate courageous dialogue about race that is rooted in Christ and that honors different experiences. He begins his ministry in the Diocese in early November.

“I can scarcely contain my excitement about the Rev. Dr. Hill and I can’t wait until the people of this Diocese meet him,” said Bishop Goff. “He brings passion, energy, abiding faith and deep joy to the important and challenging work that lies ahead of us.  We are going to learn so much together as we work intentionally toward justice and healing of divides.  God bless the beginning of this chapter of our diocesan life.” 

Since 2010, Dr. Hill has served as the Senior Pastor of Christian Fellowship Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in San Diego, California. He previously served on the senior ministerial staff of The Riverside Church in New York City; Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC; and Emmanuel Baptist Church, also in Winston-Salem. He is an ordained minister in both the Alliance of Baptists and the United Church of Christ. Dr. Hill holds a Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University and a Doctor of Ministry from Emory University. He also holds a post-graduate certificates from Princeton Theological Seminary, the Morehouse College of Pastoral Leadership, the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University. A native Virginian, Dr. Hill attended Chesterfield County Public Schools and George Mason University.    

At the November 2020 Annual Convention of the Diocese, Bishop Goff announced plans for the creation of the position of Missioner for Racial Justice and Healing. In June 2021, in consultation with diocesan governing bodies and key leadership groups, the Bishop’s Office launched a nationwide search that led to the calling of Dr. Hill.  

“I am both excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in this inaugural role,” said Dr. Hill. “I am honored to join such a gifted and talented staff in ministry and eager to share in ministry with such a broad and diverse community.  Advancing and supporting the ministry of racial justice and healing in the dismantling of racism, colonialism, and white supremacy throughout the Diocese will require tremendous courage, audacious imagination, bold hope—and the empowering of the Holy Spirit to realize healing and flourishing.  Through the selection process as I met with Bishop Goff, members of the staff, and representatives of the Diocese, clergy and lay—I felt, very deeply, the transformative power of the Spirit in the fashioning new hopes.  I am excited to begin this new chapter—and pray God’s riches blessings for our journey ahead.”