our new associate pastor
Meet our new Associate Pastor, The Reverend Doctor Richard Coble.
Richard Coble is called to Grace Covenant as a community united in the love and mission of God, a community willing to learn from all of God’s children and to remain vulnerable in openness. He sees Grace Covenant as a curious and thoughtful church family that seeks to hear God’s call when and where we are not expecting and willing to entertain new ideas even while it values history and tradition.
In Richard’s own words...
My call to Grace Covenant is an answer to years of prayer. I seek to bring together concrete experiences and questions about care, healing, and justice, with the scholarship of theology and psychology. My work in ministry includes youth ministry, pastoral internship, counseling, and hospital chaplaincy. Over the past year, I have been teaching at Wake Forest School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, NC. While I have grown and been shaped powerfully by the knowledge, skills, and questions of graduate study and theological education, I am called vocationally to be involved in a caring, self-reflective, and socially conscious congregation. I have found such a community in Grace Covenant. The depth and playfulness of your educational program, the devotion of your care, and the thoughtfulness of your outreach, perhaps most beautifully but not exhaustively signified by your community garden, all illustrate to me that the church is a place that can be a fitting and formative partner in our ministry together. I hope to mirror and work through the openness, welcome, and care you show to members of your congregation and the wider community of Asheville.
Also moving to Asheville with me are my spouse Lindsey Williford, a long time Family Nurse Practitioner and lover of books and exercise, and my twenty-month-old son Joseph, a toddler who loves to dance, sing, and climb on furniture. The final member of our family is our eleven year old black lab Duke (a name that, as longtime UNC fans, we reluctantly inherited when he was adopted five years ago). Though now in his golden years, Duke believes he is a puppy, and will gladly play fetch until he falls over.
Bachelor of Arts in English, Highest Honors, 2006
Princeton Theological Seminary
Master of Divinity, 2010
-Master of Arts, Religion, Psychology and Culture, 2014
-Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, 2015
-PhD, Religion, Psychology and Culture, 2017
2016-2017: Visiting Faculty in Pastoral Theology and Care, Wake Forest School of
Divinity, Winston-Salem, NC
2015-2016: Pastoral Intern at Second Presbyterian, Nashville, TN
2015-2016: Fellow at Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, Nashville, TN
2014-2016: Chaplain at St. Thomas Health System, Nashville, TN
2012-2014: Teaching Assistant in Pastoral Care, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
2011-2013: Intern at Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee, Nashville, TN
2010-2011: Chaplain Resident at Hospital at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2009: Chaplain Intern, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ
2005-2007: Director of Youth Ministry, First Baptist, Stantonsburg, NC