Tribute to Bishop Knoche

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, July 30, 2009

Within the African American faith community we have had an amazing increase in the number of Bishops. Some have been elected by denominational bodies of long standing and others have been appointed by clergy associations. The Lutheran faith community elects Bishops to serve geographic areas. Baltimore is in an area that has been served for the past years by Bishop "Jerry" Knoche.

This giant of a man is a true ecumenical clergyman. He worked tirelessly within a denomination that was steadily losing its relevancy to a diverse inner city population and who was in a downward spin of not only losing congregants, but also losing valuable inner city church property. Critics would say the the German originated faith perspectives of Martin Luther does not related to the Afro centric or Latino needs of a diverse population.


Bishop Knoche did not believe that and was embarking on a program to increase the diversity of his clergy and his congregants. I had the opportunity to meet, break bread, and benefit from his wisdom and wise counsel. He is a colleague who understood the importance of having a broad circle of collaborators and confidants.

In his retirement from the office of Bishop he will be missed.
As a Man of God he will be remembered.

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