Murdered Memphis woman remembered as ‘bright light’ at Episcopal school where she taught

Posted Sep 7, 2022

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians in the Diocese of Tennessee are mourning the death of an Episcopal school teacher who was kidnapped and killed last week in Memphis.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, a junior kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, was out on a jog when she was forced into a sport-utility vehicle on Sept. 2, according to police. Her body was found Sept. 5, and police have arrested a suspect in her murder, Cleotha Abston, 38.

“Liza is well known to many in the Episcopal community in West Tennessee and we grieve along with her family, friends and colleagues,” West Tennessee Bishop Phoebe Roaf said Sept. 6 in a written statement. “Your prayers have meant so much to members of the Fletcher, Orgill and Wellford families, and we appreciate the efforts of all who have participated in the investigation.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School said it began the school day on Sept. 6 in its chapel to grief the loss of a beloved teacher.

“We are heartbroken,” the school said in a Facebook post. “We lit candles to remember Liza who was a bright light in our community. Liza embodied the song that we sing every week in Early Childhood chapel, ‘This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.'”