Gary D. Jones
The Rev. Gary D. Jones has been rector of St. Stephen’s since 2005, and while St. Stephen’s was a strong and large parish when he arrived, it has grown by some 1,000 members over the past 10 years, making it one of the largest and most vibrant parishes in the Episcopal Church. Gary has served churches in Tennessee, North Carolina and Pennsylvania during his 30 years in ordained ministry. Formative experiences with the Society of St. John the Evangelist have helped him delve more deeply into the contemplative dimensions of the Gospel. A serious bout with cancer in 2011 only enriched the journey. Gary is known for his preaching, writing and teaching. His sermons are posted at ststephensRVA.org/sermons, and his blog is at ststephensRVA.org/rectorsblog. Gary and his wife Cherry Jones, a nurse practitioner, have three adult children: Garrison and Graham, who live in Boston, and Caroline, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Eugene H. LeCouteur
The Rev. Gene LeCouteur joined the staff as a seminary intern in June 2008 and, fortunately for St. Stephen’s, he never left! During his tenure he has focused on formation and education for adults, including Emmaus Groups, classes, and guest speakers. He is passionate about working with children and youth, regularly serving in Palmer Hall worship, and he is a trained catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. He has led youth and adult pilgrimages and regularly participates in youth group and Club 45 activities. Beginning in the fall of 2015 he will be devoting more attention to children’s programs as part of the family ministry team. He helps plan and lead liturgy at St. Stephen’s. Gene co-founded the Farmers Market @ St. Stephen’s and the Bookshop @ St. Stephen’s. He earned his AB in music and history from The College of William & Mary, holds an MBA from Cornell University, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. He was ordained to the priesthood in December 2014.
Stephen Y. McGehee
Steve returns to St. Stephen's (where he grew up) after serving as Associate Rector for Pastoral Care at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, S.C. Before entering the priesthood, Steve was a commercial banker with Bank of America for almost 30 years. Steve is a graduate of St. Christopher’s School, Washington and Lee University, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Virginia Theological Seminary. He and his wife Ruth lived in Atlanta before Steve entered seminary, and there Steve conducted his clinical pastoral education at Emory University Hospital. Prior to seminary, Steve was active in lay ministry in the Episcopal Church, serving on vestry, singing in the choir (tenor!), and serving as a lay reader and eucharistic minister. In 2005/06, Steve was the senior warden at All Saints, Atlanta. He was ordained to the diaconate in December 2011 and to the priesthood in October 2012. Steve and Ruth have three children, Teddy, Ben and Lisa, all grown and active in the world. They are also the proud “parents” of two awesome Wheaton terriers, Woody and Bogey.
The Rev. Claudia W. Merritt has served the church in four dioceses as rector, associate rector, and interim rector over the past 30 years. She earned her undergraduate degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, with a major in economics, her MBA from Vanderbilt University, and Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. She has served the wider church on the Commission on Ministry, as reader for ordination exams, and as a stewardship consultant. At St. Stephen’s Claudia serves in a variety of ministries including the pastoral care team, teaching, and welcoming newcomers. Her interests outside church are traveling and cooking. She is married to Craig Merritt; she has four children, two step-children, and one dog.
The Rev. Penny Nash joined the staff at St. Stephen’s in April 2014, after serving parishes in Williamsburg, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia. She first learned about St. Stephen’s by attending the Celtic service with friends and is happy to now be the pastor of that community. Penny also has particular responsibility for pastoral care at St. Stephen’s. In addition to Jesus and the church, she loves her family (husband, three grown children, and cats), travel (especially to islands and beaches), and 10-mile walks. She can often be found behind the lens of a camera taking pictures to post on her blog, One Cannot Have Too Large a Party.
William L. Sachs
This is Bill Sachs’ second time on the staff of St. Stephen’s Church, having served during the late Raby Edwards’ tenure as rector. After leaving St. Stephen’s, he served several parishes as rector and was on the staff of the Episcopal Church Foundation. He returned to this parish in 2006 to found the Center for Interfaith Reconciliation. Bill is the author of numerous books and articles, and is well-known throughout the church for his expertise in interfaith relations, church renewal movements and church growth. As priest associate, Bill provides crucial support in pastoral care, preaching and liturgy. He has also led several trips to the Middle East. He and his wife Austin Tucker have a daughter, Sloan, and two grandsons.