In Memory of Bill Coke

It's with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that Bill Coke, the founder of Rooftop Nashville, passed away on March 14.

In 2005 a young woman walked into Christ Church Cathedral and asked if there was anywhere to get help with rent assistance.  Fletch and Bill Coke were welcoming guests that morning and helped her.  In the process they learned that rent assistance was the number one request by individuals seeking help from congregations, there was no organized way for congregations to assist individuals, and that there wasn't adequate rent assistance in Nashville.  Bill invited congregations to join him in researching the issue and creating a solution.  Rooftop Nashville become a nonprofit in 2006 seeking to assist Davidson County residents with rent and mortgage.  

That story perfectly illustrates Bill's approach to navigating the world. He identified an issue, conducted research, collaborated with the appropriate community members to take action, and dedicated himself to the task. I was lucky enough to be asked by Bill to join the group creating Rooftop Nashville.  He showed us that compassion and collaboration are the key to creating solutions.  Bill didn't just dedicate his time to Rooftop. His impact can be seen throughout Nashville, from Second Harvest Food Bank, to the city of Forest Hills, to his active involvement at Christ Church Cathedral.  

Bill modeled service in action.  I am grateful for his mentorship throughout the years. He consistently championed Rooftop and provided support to the staff by offering words of encouragement and sharing relevant articles that he encountered.

The Board of Directors and staff are grateful for Bill's passion, leadership, and the legacy he leaves at Rooftop. 



Lisa Wooley, Executive Director