18 East 34th Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
The 200th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will elect persons to serve on the Board of the Corporation, Church Disciplinary Board, Diocesan Council, the Standing Committee, and a Trustee for the University of the South. Check here on the Nominations Page for complete information on elections at that time. Announcement of nominations will also be made through our weekly enewsletter From the Field.
Board of Officers of the Corporation – 1 lay person
The Board of Officers is charged with the oversight of the investments and disbursements of those funds entrusted to it through wills, deeds, and other trust instruments. The board meets quarterly. The person elected to it at Convention 2021 will serve through the Convention in 2029.
Leslie Lambert has an enduring interest in the management of non-profit endowments. Competent investment and advisor selection as well as thoughtful governance assures our parishes and donors that their funds will be well and carefully managed. Leslie was confirmed at the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill in 1966 and have attended Saint Paul’s since 1974. In that time she has served three terms on the Vestry, two terms as Junior Warden, several years each on worship/ music, education, and buildings and grounds committees, and two seven-year terms on the Diocesan Board of the Corporation. In the Augusta community, Leslie currently serves on the Board of the Augusta University Foundation and on its investment committee, the boards of the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society and the Augusta Choral Society. She retired from Edward Jones, LLP, in 2015 after a twenty-plus year career as a financial adviser.
Church Disciplinary Board – 3 clergy persons & 2 lay persons
Previously known and “The Ecclesiastical Trial Court,” the Disciplinary Board of the Diocese of Georgia is vested with jurisdiction to hear and determine all proceedings in which a priest or deacon has been charged with one or more offenses specified in the canons of the Episcopal Church. It meets only when necessary. The 3 clergy persons and 2 lay persons elected will serve a three-year term through Convention 2024.
The Reverend Deacon Geri Lee Nelson, currently serving Calvary in Americus, was ordained to the diaconate in Western North Carolina in 1999. Geri has served in the Diocese of Georgia since 2004, at St. Thomas, Savannah until 2017, and at St. Francis, Wilmington Island until 2019. She was appointed by Bishop Henry Loutitt as Coordinator for the Deacon School for Ministry (DSM), in 2009, as well as serving as Examining Chaplain for Liturgy and later as Examining Chaplain for Theology for the DSM.
Deacon Nelson served on the Diocesan Bishop’s Search Committee for the Tenth Bishop of Georgia in 2009, and eleven years later, served on the Diocesan Transition Committee for the Eleventh Bishop of Georgia. Geri was appointed by Bishop Benhase as a member of the Commission on Ministry, and has served as a Music Team member for several Cursillo weekends. She currently serves on the Albany Convocation Discernment Committee. In Americus, Geri is a member of the Americus-Sumter County Civil Rights Museum Committee, and is a volunteer for Christian Services Ministry and the Sumter County Food Bank. Deacon Geri continues to serve as a diocesan resource as a trained Spiritual Director.
“As followers of Jesus, we are called to a high standard of moral and ethical thought, speech, and action. Clergy are to be accountable to those we serve. As human beings, we fail and sometimes those failures are spectacular. Although the Disciplinary Board members are called to adjudicate, we are to do so with mercy, grace, clarity and humility, fully abiding by the Canons of our Church. I believe I am so called to serve in this way.”
The Reverend Joe Bowden is seeking election to the Disciplinary Board because he has previously served on what was then the Ecclesiastical Court and was President of that body during some difficult times. Joe feels he would bring that element of experience to the Board. He has been an Episcopalian for 46 years and prior to ordination he was an active lay person in all aspects of life at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta. As a lay person at Good Shepherd Joe served as stewardship chair, adult education teacher, lay eucharistic minister, lay eucharistic visitor, and completed the four year Education for Ministry program. He has served as Interim Rector or as Priest in Charge over the last nineteen years. Within the diocese Joe has served on the Standing Committee, both as member and as president, on the Ecclesiastical Court, both as member and as president, the Diocesan Council, as member and vice-president, multiple Cursillo teams, both as lay rector and as spiritual director. He led the formation of the infrastructure for the Search and Transition Committees for the election of the tenth bishop of Georgia. He has also served as Deputy and as First Alternate to the General Convention.
Sam Colville, a retired lawyer, believes he is best suited to serve this diocese on its Disciplinary Board. Sam has previously served two terms on this Board. He joined the Episcopal Church in 2010 when he became a member of King of Peace and have served one term on its Vestry. Sam has served his community having been elected to its City Council, appointed to its Development Authority and its Gateway Committee. He is a member of Kiwanis and The Navy League of the US which he has served as Council President.
Mitzi McCoy, a lifelong member of Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta, has accepted nomination to the Church Disciplinary Board. Her insurance career focuses on high ethical standards, thorough investigations and good faith principles in corporate relationships. She participates in mediation to resolve liability disputes and serves as facilitator of appraisal proceedings. Mitzi’s ministry work in the recovery community emphasizes the values of honesty, accountability, compassion and forgiveness of human failings. She believes her professional work coupled with her ministry lend well to serving the Diocese as a member of the Board. Mitzi is a lay eucharistic minister and visitor at Good Shepherd where she serves on the Altar Guild. She has participated in the “Disciples of Christ in Community” program and is an Education for Ministry student. She volunteers at the Golden Harvest Food Bank and at the Christ Church soup kitchen in Augusta. She remains active in Cursillo having served as a team member and on the Cursillo Commission. Working as a Course Leader in Reboot Recovery, a faith based trauma healing program for combat veterans and first responders, brings Mitzi great joy following her retirement from the fire service.
Laura Wheaton is an an attorney in Statesboro who has practiced for nineteen years. She has been a member of Trinity for about that long. Her husband is a professor at Georgia Southern, and they have two boys ages. She enjoys cooking, bicycling, kayaking, and reading. Laura and her husband are the leaders of our church’s Moveable Feast ministry. She has served on Vestry and currently serves on the Bishop’s Canons and Constitution Committee. She is the past president of the board of directors for the Averitt Center for the Arts and serve on the boards of Keep Bulloch Beautiful and the Georgia Southern University Libraries Friends boards. She has been involved in community development with the Statesboro Blue Mile group.
Diocesan Council – 1 lay person or clergy
Council’s responsibilities are to carry out the polices, programs, and directions of Convention; to deal with contingencies as they arise; and to assist the bishop in developing the ministry of the diocese. It carries out the duties of Convention between Conventions. Council generally has four overnight meetings a year in various parts of the diocese. The person elected will serve a three-year term through Convention 2024.
The Reverend Joe Bowden is seeking election to the Diocesan Council because he has previously served on what was then the Ecclesiastical Court and was President of that body during some difficult times. Joe feels he would bring that element of experience to the Board. He has been an Episcopalian for 46 years and prior to ordination he was an active lay person in all aspects of life at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta. As a lay person at Good Shepherd Joe served as stewardship chair, adult education teacher, lay eucharistic minister, lay eucharistic visitor, and completed the four year Education for Ministry program. He has served as Interim Rector or as Priest in Charge over the last nineteen years. Within the diocese Joe has served on the Standing Committee, both as member and as president, on the Ecclesiastical Court, both as member and as president, the Diocesan Council, as member and vice-president, multiple Cursillo teams, both as lay rector and as spiritual director. He led the formation of the infrastructure for the Search and Transition Committees for the election of the tenth bishop of Georgia. He has also served as Deputy and as First Alternate to the General Convention.
The Reverend Kelly Steele is open to election to Diocesan Council because she really loves this diocese and deeply cares about its future. The Diocese of Georgia is Kelly’s adoptive home, so she wants to “pay forward” your investment in her formation. She currently serves as an non-voting member of Diocesan Council because of her election to General Convention, but Kelly would like to become a voting member of Council because she wants to help chart our course, troubleshoot issues, and celebrate our ministry alongside laity, other clergy and staff from our diocese. Kelly has been an Episcopalian since 2012, a member of this diocese since 2014. She has been a priest at St. Peter’s since leaving Epiphany in 2018, the parish at which she now serves as Priest-In-Charge since April 2021. Kelly’s service to the diocese has included being on the CDI training team, Disciplinary Board, and as a deputy and assistant secretary to the Committee on Ministry to the 79th General Convention in 2018. Additionally, she is the Chair of our deputation and a Secretary to the Committee on Evangelism and Church Planting to the 80th General Convention in 2022.
Standing Committee – 1 lay person & 1 priest
The Standing Committee is the bishop’s Council of Advice. In the absence of a bishop, the Standing Committee would act as the Ecclesiastical Authority for those purposes declared by General Convention. The Standing Committee must approve all ordinations and any financial indebtedness of parishes. It usually meets four times a year at the same time as the Commission on Ministry and in various locations throughout the diocese. The persons elected will serve a four-year term through Convention 2025.
Skip Jennings was born into the Episcopal Church in 1956. In his formative years, he attended St. Elizabeth’s in Floral Park, New York. In 1970, he moved to Savannah with his parents, Captain Harry E. Jennings and Bette Jennings. They all became members of St. Michael’s and All Angels in Savannah. In 1990, Skip married Stacy Tyre Jennings and joined her at St. John’s, Savannah. Skip and Stacy have two grown daughters. At St. John’s, he has officiated at Morning and Evening Prayer services, taught Sunday School and served on the Vestry, including a year each as Stewardship Chairman, Junior Warden and Senior Warden. He has served as one of St. John’s delegates to Diocesan Conventions for the past fifteen years.
Skip was appointed by Bishop Loutitt to the Savannah Convocation Discernment Committee in 2007. He served as Chairman of the Committee for seven years. He continues to serve on the Committee. In 2008, he was appointed by the Standing Committee to the Search and Nomination Committee for the Tenth Bishop of Georgia. Skip has served two prior terms on the Standing Committee (2010-2014 & 2015-2019). In his secular life, Skip is a lawyer, musician, disc jockey, emcee and baseball fan. He has served as the President of the Coastal Jazz Association, the organization that produces the Savannah Jazz Festival each year. He also has served as Chairman of the Chatham County Board of Registrars and on the boards of numerous civic and non-profit organizations.
“I found my earlier terms on the Standing Committee to be very fulfilling. It enabled me to use my legal training in combination with my spiritual training. Whether we were meeting with candidates for holy orders, dealing with disciplinary or legal matters or advising our Bishop, the work was always interesting. At the end of almost every meeting, I experienced a feeling of contentment; that we had done our best in service to God’s church, hopefully ensuring a firm foundation for our Diocese, thereby allowing the members of all of our congregations to focus on the work of His church through worship and outreach. It is my sincere hope that the people of this Diocese will once again entrust me with a seat on our Standing Committee.”
Elise Miller would like to serve on the Standing Committee to be part of the Episcopal church at the diocesan level. She attended the two-year Congregational Development Institute and learned how to sustain a healthy, vibrant parish. Having been a part of a schism and the
re-building of Calvary, she believes her parish has grown stronger from the experience and learned ways to remain focused on being the presence of Christ for one another and the community of Americus / Sumter County. Elise did not join the Episcopal church until 1979 even though she attended an Episcopal girls’ high school in Charlottesville, Virginia from 1964-68. She has been a confirmed Episcopalian 42 years, 16 of which have been at Calvary in Americus, Georgia. Before moving to Americus, she attended St. Luke’s church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Being part of a small parish has provided her many opportunities to serve. She is currently serving on the vestry for the 2nd time; she has been a delegate to convention twice, as well as a volunteer once when it was in Albany, Georgia. She has served (and chaired) Calvary’s Parish Life committee (all “Inreach” activities); she is on the Outreach committee which includes handling, pricing and selling for our thrift store, The Mustard Seed, assisting with the Men’s club Boar’s Head Feast (fundraiser), preparing spaghetti luncheons to raise money for the Americus food bank, and co-chairing the annual Art show that raised money for the shelter for battered women in Albany. Elise has been part of a convocation group dealing with Racial Injustice. She serves on the Altar Guild and has always worked as a volunteer for vacation Bible school in Americus.
Elise has tutored teenagers (including young women at the Methodist Youth Home), and mentored an “at risk” senior in high school who earned both a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. She worked with 3rd graders in reading weekly at Furlow Charter school. She was also instrumental in starting the garden at Furlow which involved the Sumter County school system in “Farm to school” statewide. She used to participate in ALAI, which promoted literacy. Elise also served as a reading tutor for adults, as well as helped organize the annual fundraising spelling bee. She has been a server for 2 city festivals as well as “Shop with a Cop” dinner. She was appointed by mayor and city council to serve 3 years on the Theater Authority, which she chaired. Before Elise retired, she focused her life on her children when she wasn’t working; all of her volunteer work benefited her children – at church and in school. Since retirement her “work” is volunteering at church and in Americus.
The Reverend Steve Clifton is glad to be home! Although he was away for some years serving in “the land down under” (Florida), he has always maintained both love for and connection to the diocese where he was baptized, ordained priest in 1985, and served congregations in Augusta, Bainbridge, Savannah, Valdosta, and Quitman. Having recently moved back to Augusta, Steve is currently serving as Priest in Charge of Grace Church in Sandersville and providing Christian formation support to St. Mary Magdalene in Louisville. Now that Steve is home again, he is eager to offer his gifts in service to the diocese that has raised him up and nurtured him for so long. Steve believes that through his experience here and elsewhere he can make a worthwhile contribution to the valuable and necessary work of the Standing Committee as our diocese continues to strengthen and deepen its commitment to Christ. Steve’s ministry experience in the larger church includes service on Diocesan Council; a time as Diocesan Youth Coordinator; Trustee of the University of the South (Sewanee), where he received a Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Development; Vice-President of the Happening National Committee; participation in development and implementation of the Safeguarding God’s People program; Disciplinary Board; work on various diocesan commissions involved with faith formation, congregational development, youth ministry, worship and music; and service on many Cursillo and Happening teams in several dioceses.
The Reverend Walter Hobgood is a lifelong Episcopalian growing up in a rural community in Louisiana. During this time, he served as a Sunday School teacher and a Lay Eucharistic Minister. He has also served on vestries and as a Senior Warden in a number of churches. He has served as an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Georgia for the past 10 years.
He earned BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University and completed the Senior Executive Program at Stanford University. Prior to ordination he had a successful career as a corporate executive responsible for worldwide operations in a variety of Agricultural businesses. During this time, he and his wife Gail and family lived and worshiped in Singapore, Australia, St. Louis, Honolulu and Valdosta. In 2005 he owned and operated an employment agency while providing executive coaching and organizational development services to business clients. During this time, he received his theological training at the University of the South.
In 2008, he was appointed by the Standing Committee to the Search and Nomination Committee for the Tenth Bishop of Georgia.
Following ordination, he served as Priest in Charge of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Moultrie, Georgia and is currently serving as the Interim Rector at St. Paul’s in Albany, Georgia. At the same time he was honored to be asked to help establish a leadership development program for the Diocese by Bishop Benhase. For the past ten years he has served as Director for Leadership Ministries for the Diocese of Georgia. In this role, he served as the coordinator and a trainer in the Church Development Institute (CDI) program. He currently serves as the lead coordinator of the National Coordinating Council for Dioceses that have CDI programs.
He has also administered other components of the Diocesan Leadership Development Program which includes Peer Coaching, Emotional Intelligence Training and Conflict Resolution Workshops. As an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coach he has served as a coach and led the Peer Coaching Program in the Diocese since its inception. He has served as a Board Member of the Center for Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations Training (EQHR) for 6 years and is a certified trainer. He has worked with others to develop a Conflict Resolution Program for Clergy and other church leaders within the Diocese. This program is now offer to Clergy in other Dioceses.
“I have served God around the world as a member of the Episcopal/Anglican church and believe that my business and church leadership experiences can help move our Diocese forward into the future.” Walter and his wife have 3 children and 7 grandchildren in Missouri, Virginia and Mississippi.
Trustee of the University of the South – 1 lay person
The board meets in Sewanee, TN, early in October each year. The two laypersons and one priest who serve on the board from the Diocese of Georgia are to represent the university to the diocese. One lay person will be elected for a three-year term to serve through Convention 2024.
Val Crumpton is honored to be nominated to serve as a Sewanee Trustee for another term. The last few years have been challenging times for the University as they saw a transition in leadership amidst a pandemic. As a Trustee and member of the Growth and Development Committee, Val was part of pertinent discussions that seek to enhance and protect the lives of students both at the University and School of Theology, the staff, faculty and community during this difficult time.
Both her husband, The Rev. Al Crumpton and Val graduated from the School of Theology in 2011. The School of Theology and life on the domain have formed, shaped and prepared them for a life in ministry. Their many experiences on the Holy Mountain have not only been challenging at times, but very enriching and wholesome. The Crumptons have made many friends not only in the classroom but also within the entire community. On graduation day, Val was awarded the School of Theology Community Service award for her work and service involvement on campus and the surrounding communities.
Val has been a clergy spouse for the last decade and have been actively involved in the churches where her husband has served as clergy within the Diocese. Her engagements have mostly been in church fundraising, organized an overseas mission trip, garnering volunteer support for parish outreach ministries, facilitating theological book studies and most recently, was involved in a Capital Campaign for her church, Our Savior Episcopal Church in Martinez, GA. Val attended Cursillo #113 and was on the Diocesan Cursillo Commission for about 3 years, assisting with the development of promotional materials and serving on staff.
At present, Val runs her own business, VTC Consulting LLC that provides churches and small businesses with social media marketing and communication services as well as some grant writing and fundraising consultancy for nonprofit organizations. It would be an honor to represent the Diocese of Georgia as a Sewanee Trustee. Val would be grateful for the opportunity to continue being part of the discussion to improve and update campus facilities as well as to further enhance the learning and life of future leaders for the Church and the world.
Cam Mathis graduated from Sewanee in 1985. She is thankful for the education and college experience she received. Cam learned invaluable skills to help her research new subjects, assimilate information and communicate complex ideas. These skills helped Cam greatly in her 27-year career with the City of Savannah where she held progressively responsible positions in Engineering, Environmental Services and Cam’s last eight years as Director of Information Technology. Cam sees the opportunity to serve as a Trustee as an opportunity to give back to the University. She would like to be able to help the University as it navigates current issues regarding social justice and historical ties to the Confederacy while continuing to strive to offer excellent educational opportunities to all students. Cam is a cradle Episcopalian. Her home parish is Holy Trinity Parish in Decatur, Georgia. She participated in summer camp activities at Camp Mikell in Toccoa, Georgia from elementary school through college. She has been a member of St George’s, Savannah for over 13 years. She has served two terms on Vestry, and am currently Senior Warden. She also serves as an LEM, Lector, Usher and serve on Altar Guild. Cam is the Assistant Treasurer and administer our Realm contact management database. She has served on Diocesan Council, has attended numerous Diocesan Conventions and is a past member of the EYCS (Episcopal Youth and Children Services) Board.