We are saddened to share the news of the death of Roger Knight on May 22nd. Roger served as conference minister of the Southeast Conference from the fall of 1988 to the spring of 1995. He is survived by his wife Beth, and four children, Steven, Geoffrey, Eric, and Leanne. Roger and Beth have been residents of Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN, since 2009. They have been very active in the life of Uplands village. The memorial service will be held on July 13th at 3pm at Pleasant Hill Community Church. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Beth Knight, PO Box 426 Pleasant Hill, TN 38578.
Roger’s ministry in the Southeast Conference was distinguished by a number of compliments. With the assistance of the United Church Board for Homelands Ministries, Roger brought administrative order to the Conference and restructured the staff to be deployed by portfolio rather than geographically. He led the first capital campaign in the history of the Conference, Visions ’91, in conjunction with the 25thanniversary of the Conference. He led the conference in developing Evangelism Institutes, and brought UCC concerns for racial justice, women’s rights, and progressive values more fully into the life of the Southeast Conference. During Roger’s ministry the Conference moved its offices from the basement of Central Congregational UCC, into Mid-Town where the offices continue to be located today. Conference Minister Tim Downs said “Roger Knight set in place the foundation upon which the renewal of the Southeast Conference has been built. Without his vision and courage, the ministries that have taken root in the last twenty years would not have been possible. This Conference owes Roger Knight a deep debt of thanks.” Following his ministry in the Southeast Conference Roger Knight went on to become pastor of Euclid Avenue Congregational UCC in Cleveland OH, from which he and Beth retired to Pleasant Hill.
Born in 1933, Roger Knight was ordained in the Eau Claire Association of the Wisconsin Conference in 1959. He served as a new church start pastor in Wisconsin, then continued ministry in various settings of the UCC, regionally and nationally for 25 years, before coming to the Southeast Conference.