Dr. Phebe McPherson

  Firesoul Directory

Dr. Phebe McPherson

Ordained in 1977, Phebe McPherson was the first woman ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Maryland. She served two churches in Baltimore for the first ten years of ministry while serving on numerous diocesan and national church committees including heading the Deputation to the General Convention for five terms.

In 1987 Phebe became the rector of Epiphany Church in Odenton, MD and has overseen four building projects—a state-of-the-art children’s center, exterior and interior restorations of Epiphany Chapel as the only WWI Chapel in the United States establishing a WWI social history museum, and restorative gardens including a labyrinth and a WWI Centennial outdoor chapel.  Receiving a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2006 from VTS, she focused her studies on the writings of Dr. Howard Thurman, spiritual mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her thesis, “Racial Reconciliation and Church Membership Development” reflects the character and vibrant development of Epiphany as a multiracial congregation over her 35-year tenure.  Her passion for racial justice has been the central focus of her work.  The Governor of Maryland appointed her a member of the Legacy of Slavey in Maryland Commission. For ten years she produced The Saturday Sundown Coffeehouse shared with music director Jim Ballard, nephew of John Coltrane. Her background in theatre and passion for racial justice is now focused on the development of a New York jazz musical entitled “Givin’ It Up.” It is a love story that races across the color line of mid-twentieth century America featuring the music of trumpeter Donald Byrd. Phebe and her husband, The Rev. Bruce McPherson, live in Annapolis, Maryland.

My Sacred Place

Epiphany Chapel

One project in which Episcopalians have been directly involved is the Peace Garden and labyrinth, dedicated in 2002 on the grounds of Epiphany Chapel and Church House in Odenton, Md., to honor the 2,929 military chaplains who served in World War I.

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