The Rev. Dr. Dorothy Sanders Wells (M.Div., MTS, 2012; D.Min., Candler School of Theology, Emory University, 2018) is the Rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church, Germantown, Tennessee, where she has served since 2013. Dorothy came to the Episcopal Church while a student at Rhodes College, and has made it her home ever since.
Wells’s concern for supporting the most vulnerable in our community was fueled during her college years, when she began tutoring elementary school students at a Memphis neighborhood center. That work sparked a passion for caring for the marginalized in the Memphis area that has continued through her adult life.
Wells credits her studies at Memphis Theological Seminary with helping her to better focus on the needs of the local community and the ways in which Memphis-area churches can work together to help to address those needs. As a priest, she focuses on collaborative ministry with other churches and faith groups; together, she believes, we can do more to spread God’s Word and care for all of God’s people and creation. To that end, she has led an effort to bring together five Germantown worshipping congregations in worship and service in the local community. She also began an interfaith dialogue series with Christian, Jewish and Islamic faith leaders, which has drawn hundreds of Memphians to a better understanding of faith tenets shared by our traditions.
Wells’s doctoral work is entitled, “The Role of the Church in Racial Reconciliation Dialogue: Instructions from Matthew 15:21-28.” Portions of this work have been offered throughout the Memphis area, as a way to engage clergy and lay persons alike in the difficult conversation about race – and how the Church, even in her own need for repentance, should be best positioned to help advance our dialogue. Wells intends to continue this work with local churches to help create open and accepting environments in which these long-overdue conversations may take place.