A native of Newnan, Georgia, Julian Gordy served congregations in Mississippi and Tennessee before his election as bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Synod in June, 2007. He received the A.B. in religion from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia in 1972 and the M. Div. from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1985. He was awarded the D.D. degree honoris causa from Newberry College, Newberry, S.C. in 2014.
A long-time proponent of ministries of mercy and justice, Bishop Gordy has been a voice for immigrants and refugees, serving as the chair of the Conference of Bishops Immigration Ready Bench. He was a founding member of the board of MATS, a unique home for homeless persons in Morristown, TN, and of Samaritan Ministry of Jackson County, an ecumenical emergency relief agency on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He serves as a member of the Conference of Bishops Theological and Ethical Concerns committee and was a member of the Criminal Justice Task Force, which wrote the ELCA’s social statement on criminal justice reform.
Before attending Southern Seminary, Bishop Gordy worked in university and hospital administration and in housing restoration. He is married to the Reverend Dr. P. Morgan Gordy, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville. They have four children and seven grandchildren.