Elaine Blanchard

Elaine Blanchard

Elaine studied theater at Lambuth College in Jackson, TN and earned an associate degree in nursing from Union University in Jackson. She is a certified parish nurse. She worked for twenty years in acute care settings; ten years of that time she worked with people recovering from addictions. She earned a BS from UT Martin in 1992, with a double major in English and philosophy. She earned her Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary.

Elaine began her ministry in the United Methodist Church, serving as a local pastor for Methodist congregations from 1989-1994. Elaine has been engaged in effective ministries on the local, association, and conference levels of the United Church of Christ since 1994. She was ordained at First Congregational UCC on September 10, 2000. She served Neshoba Unitarian Church, 2006-2009, as Director of Religious Education. Currently she works as a chaplain for Hospice Advantage in Memphis. She taught a course, “The Preacher as Storyteller,” at Memphis Theological Seminary in the fall of 2011.

Elaine’s first book, Help Me Remember, was published and recorded by Pilgrim Press in 2005. Her short fiction won Honorable Mention in the 2008 Memphis Magazine Fiction Contest, and her nonfiction was published by Christian Century magazine. She is a company member with the Memphis theater company Voices of the South.

Elaine has been trained in nonviolent conflict resolution through Marshall Rosenberg’s Center for Nonviolent Communication. She is currently a Regional Partner for Women’s Ministries in the West Central Region of the United Church of Christ.

Elaine facilitates an ongoing class at Shelby County’s prison for women. The class meets twice a week. Over a four-month period each class of twelve participants builds trust, shares stories, and creates a dramatic staged production for the entire prison population. For her creative work in the prison system, she was awarded The 2011 Jefferson Award for Public Service. She was selected as an Upstander by Facing History and Ourselves. She was selected by the Commercial Appeal as one of the 16 Memphians who Made a Difference in Memphis in 2011.

Elaine co-wrote the play For Goodness Sake with David Prete. It is a one-woman performance. For Goodness Sake is a story about oppression and redemption. The show is currently touring and available to be booked in your area. For information about Elaine’s performances go to www.elaineblanchard.com, or the Facebook fan page for For Goodness Sake.


Role   Show
Creator / Coordinator ..................... Prison Stories