Phyllis Rodgerson Pleasants TessieriAdjunct Professor of Baptist History
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Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ph.D., M.Div.
University of Virginia, M.Ed.
After interesting and varied careers as high school history teacher, office manager/paralegal, registered lobbyist in DC and ecclesiastical history professor for twenty years at academic institutions both in the US and in Europe, Phyllis completed her career as the John F. Loftis Professor of Church History at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Pre-Covid she enjoyed free-lance preaching and teaching in local congregations and a regular worship leadership position with Lakewood Retirement Community. In all that she does her focus is thinking historically in order to participate in creating the future. Particularly she is attuned to how religious organizations can exhibit characteristics of dementia when they experience dislocation in their context.
Phyllis was born in Louisville, KY, while her parents were enrolled at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She grew up in Bon Air Baptist Church where her father, Dr. Phillip E. Rodgerson, was the founding pastor and her mother, Bernice M. Rodgerson, established the church music program. Her education was: Huguenot High School, Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia (BA), University of Virginia (MEd), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv, PhD).