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Blaylock called to serve as first missioner for discipleship for the Episcopal Diocese of the Centra

After a search process and interviews with six exceptional candidates, we are pleased to announce that The Rev. Dr. Joy Blaylock will be joining our team as the new missioner for discipleship. This position has been created to amplify the discipleship component of our overall diocesan vision statement of "Discernment, Development and Discipleship," and to focus on “Transforming people from members into disciples and, even further, into apostles."

Moreover, this position is being added in order to respond more effectively to a charge in the canons of The Episcopal Church: Title III. Canon I. Section 1: Each Diocese shall make provision for the affirmation and development of the ministry of all baptized persons, including:

  • In understanding that all baptized persons are called to minister in Christ's name, to identify their gifts with the help of the Church and to serve Christ's mission at all times and in all places.

  • Assistance in understanding that all baptized persons are called to sustain their ministries through commitment to life-long Christian formation.

Specific responsibilities for this new position will be to: develop a long-term plan for our diocesan school for ministry. In addition to the formation of ordained ministers, this plan will address ways to expand educational offerings to equip and inspire lay leaders in congregations. The missioner will oversee our annual Discipleship Day and other formation events sponsored by the bishop's office, specifically, Fresh Start, Education for Ministry, and clergy continuing education opportunities. Finally, the missioner will develop and communicate curriculum ideas and resources with the congregations of the diocese. This work will include engaging directly with church leaders in our convocations to develop local formation programs for adults and young people.

We invite you to share in the gladness that Blaylock's position as missioner brings as we continue the work of sharing the hope and grace of God's love for all.

In faith,

Bishop Russell and the Duvall Center Staff


About The Rev. Dr. Joy Blaylock

Joy Blaylock was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and first came to feel a call to the Episcopal Church when she attended Bishop Kendrick’s ordination as bishop. It was during this time that Blaylock began to discern a call to ministry in the Episcopal Church as provided for by the ecumenical partnership between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA). Blaylock attended Lutheran Southern Seminary and was ordained in the ELCA in August of 2010. She became an Episcopal priest in May of 2017.

Blaylock is priest-in-charge of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Mobile. She has also been serving as the dean of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast’s School for Ministry. Additionally, she has served in a variety of other settings including St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Forest Hill United Methodist Church.

Blaylock is thrilled at the invitation to build upon the work she has done as the dean of our school and expand her ministry with Bishop Kendrick’s staff as the missioner for discipleship.

“It has been humbling and very exciting work as the dean [of the School for Ministry] in forming new priests and deacons locally in our diocese. The dynamism and energy in the students’ engagement and learning impels me to ask: where and how can we all dig deeper in bearing the fruits of discipleship as the priesthood of all believers? This is not an easy question. If answered honestly, it will challenge and disrupt who we are and everything we think we know and will reorient the depths of our identity. I am ready, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary next year, to find out how this milestone can invigorate and incite new fruits and ministries in us and in our future together.”

To contact Blaylock directly, e-mail


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