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We Have A New Rector

The Vestry and Search Committee are pleased to announce that St. Thomas-Bath has elected The Rev. Copeland D. Johnston to be our new Rector. His tenure will begin on September 15, 2021.

 

The Vestry and Search committee, after many months of diligently seeking the best person to lead our Parish, unanimously voted to call Father Johnston. The Rev. Canon Roberts and The Rev. Bishop Skirving endorsed our selection and wish us well on our new journey together.

 

We are grateful to Rev. Jim Horton, Rev. Bob Hudak, Rev. Polk Culpepper, Rev. Katherine Mitchell, and Larry McAvoy for their dedicated service to St. Thomas over the past twenty months.

 

For your information the following is a short Bio for Father Johnston.

 

Father Johnston was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi of the Diocese of Utah. He was raised up for Holy Orders by the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Salt Lake City. Prior to accepting the call to be the new Rector of St. Thomas he served the Church faithfully in Utah, Chicago, and Fond du Lac. Before his ordination he was employed by the University of Utah in the College of Humanities. While working at the University, he was instrumental in the development of two burgeoning programs in the College: Religious Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies. He also taught classes in both disciplines.

 

Father Johnston earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Seabury Western Theological Seminary, and his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History from the University of Utah. As an undergraduate he developed an appreciation for opera and performed with the Utah Opera for 8 seasons, Salt Lake City’s premiere opera company.

 

While a staunch advocate for the arts and humanities, his call to the priesthood remained constant leading him to full-time parochial ministry. He brings with him years of experience from a variety of congregations, a passion for Church history, theology, and music. As a convert to the Episcopal Church, he has a profound reverence for Anglicanism, our historic faith, and sacred traditions. By default, it also makes him partial to British culture and its inceptive influence on American history and the apostolic Church.

 

Father Johnston was born and reared in southern California and is the oldest of 3 children. He is married to Andrew A. Pizzello of Elmhurst, Illinois. They met one another 13 years ago while attending an Episcopal Church in Chicago. Andrew is a certified public accountant (CPA) and earned degrees from Western Illinois University and Texas A&M. They adopted two curious Airedale Terriers named Archie and Auzzie. They are also uncles to 11 nieces and nephews, and in their spare time they enjoy their family, friends, travel, dining out, and local events.

 

As we welcome Father Johnston and enter this phase of our spiritual life together, we pray that the entire Parish will unite to make this transition unified with unconditional support and respect.

 

In Your Service,

 

The Vestry

St. Thomas Episcopal Christmas 2020 Sermon