Let your light shine
18 East 34th Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
The 201st 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 personThe 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 2022 will serve through the Convention in 2029.
Carolyn Eager retired from Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor after 30 years. Most recently for 5 years she served as chair of the Investment committee of the Valdosta State Foundation.
She has served in the past for 2 terms on the Board of Corporation.
Church Disciplinary Board – 2 clergy persons & 1 lay person
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 2 clergy persons and 1 lay person elected will serve a three-year term through Convention 2025.
The Rev. Eric Biddy does not relish the prospect of working on the Disciplinary Board, but believes he would be good at it and is eager to be helpful to the Diocese. His academic training is in Christian Ethics and his vocation is to be a pastor, which seem like a useful combination for the work of the Disciplinary Board. He cares deeply about church safety and clergy health, and has a tenacious hope in God’s work of reconciliation and restoration.
He has been an Episcopalian for sixteen years, a priest for eight of those years, and the rector of Saint Paul’s, Augusta for one year. He previously served on the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Chicago, where he was occasionally involved in addressing disciplinary matters. He was also a regional dean in Chicago. Before ordination, he served in many parish-level roles.
The Rev. Michael Gumulauskas would like to serve on the Disciplinary Board because he thinks his previous background in the drug and alcohol field could be a real service to the community. Also this helps Mike learn more about the Episcopal Church and its Canons and its Rules of Order. He has been a member of the Episcopal Church for six years, and was ordained to the Diaconate in 2018, and ordained to the priesthood in 2022. He has been the rector of St. Andrew’s and St. Cyprian’s in Darien since July 2022. This would be his first elected position in the church. He was the president of the Mission Society at Virginia Theological Seminary in the 2020/2021 school year.
Pat Burau is honored to be nominated for a role that she believes is a lifelong calling beginning with 40 years in public education, serving as first as a teacher and principal, journeying to Personnel/Human Relations. It was Pat’s responsibility to develop and enforce numerous policies and procedures in this area. A very important aspect of the job was to assist struggling employees develop and maintain skills needed to continue their status and even improve. The last step for her was the termination of an employee. When someone is struggling to achieve their goal, it is critical that they have opportunity to learn and grow, until it is proven that will not happen.
Pat has been a member of the Episcopal Church for 70 years beginning at Saint Albans, Augusta and Saint Augustine of Canterbury for 60 years. Previously serving on the Ecclesiastical Trial Court confirmed her calling. Diocesan experience also included serving on the search committee for the 10th Bishop of Georgia and the Convocational Council. In the parish she has served as Senior Warden under several Rectors and currently as a Lay Minister and Lay Eucharistic Visitor, Pastoral Care Team and Prayer Team member. She was privileged to spearhead the ongoing involvement the with Community Meal ministry at Christ Church, Augusta. Newest ministries serving the community include the Laundry Love team and as a volunteer for the Story Box ministry.
Neil Dickert served as a Superior Court Judge in the Augusta Judicial Circuit from 1997-2007. He currently practices law with Hull, Barrett P.C. Dickert was a Judge of Superior Court, Augusta Judicial Circuit from 1997 to 2007. As judge, Dickert presided over civil, criminal, and domestic cases, to include over 100 jury trials, in this three-county circuit. He has practiced law since 1974 and has served on the Board of Governors of the Georgia Bar Association, as Chairman of the Board of Elections in Richmond County and in many other civic and professional positions. Trained as mediator in 40-hour course sponsored by Dispute Management in 1994. Successfully completed over 250 mediations. He was listed in Best Lawyers in America under category of Mediation. He is an active member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, where he has served on the vestry and for three years as the Senior Warden. He served as a First Lieutenant, United States Army Medical Service Corps (1969-71), Receiving Bronze Star and the Vietnam Service Medal. J.D., University of South Carolina, 1974. M.B.A., University of South Carolina, 1969. B.A. in Economics, Wofford College, 1968. Married to the former Floride Clarkson, June 4, 1969, they have one son, Dr. Neal W. Dickert, Jr., Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine.
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 2025.
The Rev. Terri Degenhardt is seeking election to the Diocesan Council because of her desire to serve this diocese. Terri has been ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Georgia for five years. She is currently serving as Priest in Charge of Liturgy and Pastoral Care at St. Augustine of Canterbury in Augusta, Georgia; Missioner for Augusta University; and as a member of the Commission on Ministry. Her past experience includes serving as Priest in Charge of St. Mary Magdalene in Louisville, GA and Homiletics examining Chaplain for the Deacon School for Ministry. Before being ordained as a priest, Terri taught English for Augusta Technical College and served as Department Chair as well as Director of Instruction for Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro, GA. Her experience in educational leadership as well as her focus on outreach ministry lends to her being a strong candidate for a position that focuses on policies and programs and ministry development.
The Rev. Ri Lamb would like to serve on the Diocesan Council to provide a voice for our community needs at large and to be part of the team to guide our Diocese into the next years as we all work to recover from the pandemic and the rapidly changing society. Lamb is a lifelong Episcopalian and have been ordained as a vocational Deacon since 2009. She has served at the Episcopal Church of St. John and St. Mark since Ordination during which time hse retired after 35 years as a Registered Nurse. In her life as a military wife (now Retired), Lamb worshiped with Episcopal congregations across the US and often with Anglicans overseas. She has served on Altar Guilds, as Vestry and as Youth Minister. Mission trips with youth and adults have been part of her ministry. Currently she serves as a Chaplain at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, on the Commission on Ministry and as the Director of the Deacons School for Ministry.
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 2026.
The Rev. Becky Rowell is currently serving as assisting clergy at Christ Church, Frederica on St. Simons Island where she has served since her ordination in 2014. She has been a part of that congregation for the past 42 years ago, serving in a variety of lay leadership positions. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Virginia Theological Seminary. She has served on the Diocesan Disciplinary Board since 2016, several terms on the Convocational Discernment Committee, and Chair of the Honey Creek Camp and Retreat Center Commission. She is a trainer in the Leading with Grace Leadership Development Program (formerly CDI) and Conflict Transformation Skills for Clergy.
At the request of the Bishop, she and other trainers intervene with churches experiencing moderate to high level conflict and offer parish-specific training in appropriate conflict/reconciliation skills while assisting the parish in establishing a forward-looking vision. She offers workshops for vestries and lay leaders focused on strategic planning and recognizing and preventing conflict. She is a coach for clergy and lay leaders in the church.
She loves this diocese and is excited about the opportunity to serve God and the church in this role, as we recover from the pandemic and plan our future together. She is an iconographer an avid pickleball player while married to her husband Uli Keller.
The Rev. Sonia Sullivan Clifton sees it as such a blessing to return home to the diocese after serving elsewhere for a number of years. She is ready to dive back into supporting the ministry of the diocese through gifts of leadership, energy, and creative insight.
Sullivan Clifton was raised up for lay and then ordained ministry in this diocese since she was a child. After receiving an MBA and working in the business world, she answered the call to ordained ministry, graduated from Sewanee, and was ordained in 1993. She currently serves as the Chaplain and Chair of Religious Life at Episcopal Day School and at Church of the Good Shepherd (Augusta). She has served on New Beginnings and Happening staffs and as the Program Coordinator for Middle School Summer Camp since returning to the diocese. Prior to this, she served on the staff of St. Thomas’ in St. Petersburg, FL and as Rector of St. Matthew’s in Orlando for many years. Sullivan Clifton has also served as a school chaplain over the last 20 years. When not serving at Good Shepherd on Sunday mornings, she enjoys serving as a supply priest around the diocese. She has served on Diocesan Council in the Dioceses of Georgia and Southwest Florida, the Standing Committee in Georgia, and Youth Ministry Councils in Georgia and Central Florida. She has served as a youth ministry consultant in churches across the southeast. Spending the first 10 years of her ordained ministry in yoked missions in rural Georgia sparked a passion for creating partnerships in ministry specifically to reach the under-served in the community. Moving to a metropolitan area made this need even more evident. A self-sustaining community garden with the Mormons, a multi-agency cooperative to resettle hurricane refugees, and a support group for school social workers serving the poorest schools in Orlando are a few examples. She has also contributed to the most recent revision of the Safe Church, Safe Communities training used across and beyond The Episcopal Church.
She would love the opportunity to use her history within and beyond the diocese, her past experiences on Standing Committee and other bodies, and the gifts God has given her to participate in this ministry of servant leadership.
Charlotte Blue is truly honored to be nominated to serve on the Standing Committee. This will give her an opportunity to expand my involvement with the Diocese. A native of Savannah, Blue graduated from Savannah High School and Savannah State College (now University) with a degree in Business Administration. She has been a member of St. Matthew’s, Savannah for 65 years. Currently she is serving as an acolyte, Lay Eucharistic Minister, and recently asked to serve as Verger. Blue has also served in many other capacities: Vestry Member, Senior Warden, Financial Secretary, Stewardship Committee, Anniversary Committee, Guild President, ECW Member, and VBS. Prior to retiring, she worked with the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education for 35 years. She looks forward to serving Bishop Logue, the Diocese of Georgia staff, and our members.
Molly Stevenson is seeking election as a Lay Member of the Standing Committee because she loves the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Georgia and understands the importance of, appreciates and values the Church’s governing processes. Having previously served on the Standing Committee, she feels her experience, discernment and listening qualities will be beneficial as a member.
A Cradle Episcopalian, Molly has been a member of Christ Church, Valdosta for more than 30 years. At Christ Church, she currently leads the Adult Formation team, is President of the St. Nino Chapter of the Daughters of the King, serves as an acolyte, lay reader, chalice administrator, and sings in the St Gregory Choir. In the Diocese, she serves on the Honey Creek Commission and the Southwestern/Albany Convocations Discernment Committee. She previously served on the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Cursillo Commission and the Happening Steering Committee. She is a past Deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Georgia, having served in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2022, where she served on legislative committees several times. Between Conventions, she had the honor of serving on the Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism from 2009 to 2015.
Molly’s work at Lowndes County enables her to serve her local community. On a Diocesan level, she has been active in Christian Formation through Cursillo and youth programs, including summer camp, Happening and New Beginnings.
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 2025.
Whit Davis is honored to be nominated to serve as a Trustee for the University of the South. He graduated Sewanee in 1997 and will celebrate his 25 year reunion on the Mountain in November of this year. Whit is thankful to Sewanee for his education, the relationships formed there, and his path to the Episcopal Church. He looks forward to giving back to the University as a Trustee to help it grow and thrive throughout the coming years.
Whit was born and raised a Baptist in Savannah before attending Sewanee. HIs life after Sewanee has been shaped in many ways from his time there. He credits his liberal arts education as providing the foundation for professional growth which has allowed his career to adapt and grow. He also gained an appreciation for serving others while volunteering for the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department, Orientation Core Committee and various fraternity leadership roles. Mostly importantly, it was at Sewanee that he met his wife Claire, a cradle Episcopalian. They were married at All Saint’s Chapel in 1999.
Prior to relocating home to Savannah in 2021, Whit and Claire were members of St. Anne’s Church, Atlanta. Whit was an usher and served on the investment committee. He and Claire taught Sunday School, and Claire served as Sr. Warden. Whit now serves as an usher at Christ Church, and their 3 children are acolytes. They look forward to growing in their service to Christ Church in the coming years.
General Convention Deputies – 4 clergy deputies and 4 clergy alternates; 4 lay deputies and 4 lay alternates
The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church that meets every three years. The enxt session of the General Convention will be in Louisville, Kentucky in 2024. All eight deputies and the first alternates both lay and ordained travel to the convention. Additional alternates are elected in case deputies find they are unable to attend prior to the convention’s start. The Province IV Synod is comprised of the General Convention Deputies of the twenty diocese in nine Southern states. Those elected to serve as deputies or alternates must be able to travel for the Province IV Synod.
The Rev. Michael Chaney is a bi-vocational priest serving the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Savannah and the homeless Community of St. Joseph. Prior to Epiphany he served as diocesan missioner to Savannah area Universities and was curate at the Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah. He has been a member of this diocese since 1998. He accepted the nomination for deputy to General Convention as a call to witness for emerging evangelism in the 21st century. As a bi-vocational priest Michael works in the secular world as a Professor of Film and Television at SCAD. He has a deep passion for exploring how the Church can reach those who are un-churched or harmed by the church by sharing the good news of the Gospel through emerging and non-traditional platforms and venues. The Rev. Chaney is interested in how legislation at the General Convention can both broadly and specifically address contemporary and long-term concerns of the Church through the assessment and affirmation of liturgical and Spirit guided principles.
The Rev. Ted Clarkson currently serves as the interim rector of Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta, where he has been serving since January 2021. From 2006 through 2020, Clarkson was the rector of St. Andrew’s and St. Cyprian’s, Episcopal churches in Darien, Georgia. A life-long Episcopalian (64 years), he was ordained to the priesthood in 2006 after completing his M.Div. degree at the School of Theology of the University of the South (Sewanee). He is a Canterbury Scholar, having attended the program for seminarians during the summer of 2005. Clarkson has previously served the diocese as president of the Standing Committee, dean of the Southeast Convocation, chairman of the Honey Creek Commission, a member of the Search Committee for the Tenth Bishop of Georgia, and president of the Ecclesiastical Trial Court. He has served the wider church on the Board of Trustees of the University of the South and the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral in the United States.
Clarkson has also been a deputy to General Convention in 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2022 where he served on the Clergy Disciplinary Rules (Title IV) Committee. Before attending seminary, he practiced law for 21 years with an emphasis on commercial litigation. Clarkson served the legal profession on the Disciplinary Rules Committee of the State Bar of Georgia and the Lawyers Advisory Committee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and remains an inactive member of the State Bar of Georgia and the South Carolina State Bar. Clarkson serves his hometown community of Augusta, Georgia as chairman of the Sacred Heart Cultural Center, president of the Summerville Neighborhood Association, co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Race Relations, and vice-president of the Boy Scout Council.
In addition to his church work in Darien, Clarkson served the Darien community on the board of Habitat for Humanity and the Ministerial Association of McIntosh County. Clarkson’s desire to serve another term as a deputy to General Convention is based on his involvement in the ongoing work of improving our procedures for clergy discipline. On this committee he is one of the few who have worked as an appointed advisor to clergy charged with an offense, and he believes that he can bring an important perspective to this work of General Convention.
The Very Rev. Alvin B. (Al) Crumpton, IV is honored to be nominated in the election for General Convention Deputies. Having served in leadership at the diocesan level, Al is also currently serving in roles at the convocation and parish levels. Al is eager for the opportunity to bring his experience and knowledge of the Diocese of Georgia to the national level as a clergy deputy for the Diocese at the next General Convention.
As a life-long resident of Georgia, Al came into The Episcopal Church through Calvary – Americus in 2002. After discerning a call to ordained ministry, he was sent by Calvary to The University of the South School of Theology in Sewanee, TN in 2008 where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. Since 2011, Al’s entire ministry has been in the Diocese of Georgia where he has served at St. Mark’s – Brunswick, King of Peace – Kingsland, and where he is currently the rector at Our Savior Episcopal Church in Martinez, GA.
In addition to his parish ministry, Al was recently appointed by Bishop Logue to be the dean of the Augusta Convocation. Al has served on the Standing Committee and as president of the Committee during the search process for the Eleventh Bishop of Georgia. Additionally, his previous roles have included chairperson of the Southeast Convocation Discernment Committee, and on the Cursillo Commission. His community services included roles as a chaplain at Hospice of the Golden Isles and the International Seafarers’ Center in Brunswick. He did a weekly show on a local Christian radio station in St. Mary’s, GA, plus delivered homilies and led prayers at inter-faith and inter-denominational services in Camden County. In the last few years at Our Savior, he worked with parishioners in finding creative ways to stay connected through the pandemic by implementing online platforms for worship. He also led the parish through a successful capital campaign for renovations and improvements to the buildings on campus.
The Rev. Leeann Culbreath caught the church governance bug in Baltimore as a first-time alternate deputy at GC80. There, she learned the importance of church policies, processes, and structures in shaping the church’s witness of the Gospel to the world. She desires to serve as a General Convention delegate in 2024 to help strengthen and transform The Episcopal Church as it faces new opportunities and challenges.
Mtr. Leeann has been an Episcopalian for over 25 years and ordained for nine years—seven as a deacon and 2 as a priest. As a priest, she has served several part-time assignments near Tifton, where she lives. In the Diocese, she has served on the Creation Care Commission (founder and chair), Commission on Ministry, General Convention delegation, and joint commission with the Diocese of Atlanta to abolish the death penalty in Georgia. She co-founded and now co-facilitates the Episcopal Migration Ministries Asylum and Detention Ministry Network, and was recognized for this work by name in a courtesy resolution that passed at General Convention 80.
At the parish level, she is currently an EfM mentor, has been a missioner to the Dominican Republic four times, and has completed CDI. At the Province IV Synod this year, she submitted a resolution to establish a new policy position on immigrant detention and surveillance, which passed unanimously and was eventually passed by the General Convention. She regularly gives webinars and talks for national audiences on migration issues and care of Creation. In 2016, she was awarded the St. Stephen’s Award by the Association for Episcopal Deacons and co-founded AED’s Young Deacons Task Force. For seven years, she has co-hosted the Episcopal Tent at the annual Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina. She is already working on resolutions for the next General Convention and hopes to shepherd them forward as a delegate!
Archdeacon Yvette Owens has been an Episcopalian for 20+ years at Christ the King in Valdosta and Deacon for 16 years. She has been appointed the Archdeacon for the last 3 years. Owens has been a member of the Honey Creek Commission, Church Disciplinary Board, Constitution and Canons Committee, the Southwest Convocation Discernment Committee, Diocesan Council (at large), and a Department of Defense (DoD) employee for 31 years at the 823d Base Defense Squadron at Moody Air Force Base. It would be an honor to be nominated as a representative to General Convention as a Deputy as she deeply cares and loves the Diocese and its future. With her experiences within the committees that she has served on for the past 16 years, she will work for the Diocese’s mission and ministry and for the conformity with the doctrine, and worship of the Episcopal Church. She looks forward to doing this by bringing dialogue to the table with the many topics of discussion at General Convention with other clergy and laity.
The Very Rev. Tom Purdy would be honored and would love to serve as a General Convention Deputy from the Diocese of GA. He served as a GA Deputy in 2022 and as an Alternate Deputy in 2018 and 2015. He has attended four other General Conventions in various roles and Purdy treasures the particular way in which Episcopalians discern and shape the ministry of our beloved Church. To be a part of that process, as messy as it may be, is a great honor and an important part of who we are. Purdy has a deep love for our tradition; we have a special message about the Jesus movement to share with our communities and the wider world. There are great days ahead for the Episcopal Church. He would like to help make that a reality and not just a hope. He would be happy to represent GA once again if elected.
The Rev. David Rose looks forward to standing for election for General Convention. It was a joy and privilege to serve as a first-time deputy to General Convention this past summer even as the convention itself was shortened due to Covid-19 restrictions. To witness firsthand the work of the larger church was both inspiring and exciting. As the Episcopal Church continues to move into changing and uncertain times, he believes that the ministry experiences and gifts he brings can make a positive contribution as we boldly move into the future together, witnessing to God’s grace.
Rose has served in the Diocese of Georgia since his graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2011, and since that time, he and his family have made this place their home. His parish, St. Luke’s, Rincon, received a congregational development grant from the diocese 9 years ago, and so he has experienced first-hand how the life of the church in one place can support and enliven the church in another. He currently serves on the Standing Committee and over the years has been a member of Diocesan Council, a Spiritual Director for Summer camp at Honey Creek every year we have had camp for the past 10 years, and various youth retreats. Rose has also been part of 3 mission trips to the Dominican Republic since he came to Georgia. In his community, Rose currently serves on the board for Family Connection in Effingham County, and for the countywide Backpack Buddies organization (where he also regularly volunteers). Rose has also served on the board and as volunteer for Family Promise, and his neighborhood HOA. He helped form a ministerial group dedicated to fostering racial reconciliation and healing in Effingham County in 2017 – the Love One Another Coalition – which is still active.
The Rev. Kelly Steele is honored to accept the nomination to General Convention because when she gets to see the larger church at work, she is energized and encouraged in God’s work in our midst in Georgia. Steele always leave regional and international church gatherings sensing that we shouldn’t be afraid of the hurdles we face in the next generations because we have everything we need. That’s why she accepted the nomination. She feels we need to meet our numerical decline with bravery, creativity and trust in the Holy Spirit as we look toward renewal in our Church and society. Steele believes the church in Georgia is well-poised to make some bold moves and we have much to learn and share with the greater church. She hopes that she can help us meet our future with courage, no matter what happens, whether or not she is a deputy for General Convention. By the grace of God, Steele came to Georgia as a Duke Divinity intern in 2014, accepted sponsorship to the priesthood that year from St. George’s, Savannah. She was ordained a priest in 2016 and served as a church planter for young adults, community organizers and Savannah creatives in what became Church of the Epiphany until August 2018. She now serves as Rector of St. Peter’s on Skidaway Island in a very similar capacity: helping to grow our congregation through, despite all the setbacks, by trusting God’s providence. In a similar vein, it is delightful for her to see God at work in Diocesan Council as at-large representative, Diocesan Conventions, General Conventions (‘15 as an aide,’18,’22 as chair of deputation), as a trainer in CDI (now Leading With Grace) and in the Diocese of Georgia’s Commission on Ministry as a GOE Chaplain. She served as a legislative aide for the Committee on Marriage at General Convention in 2015, a Georgia deputy and an Assistant Secretary for the Committee on Ministry at General Convention 2018 and as Secretary for the Committee on Evangelism in 2022 while initiating the passage of a resolution to endow Episcopal evangelism initiatives for future generations. She loves using the material from Kaleidoscope Institute in parish work and, for that reason, she is an associate-in-training for Kaleidoscope Institute as well. Steele roller skates, bikes, does yoga and paint watercolors these days outside of church.
Andrew Austin has been a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta for over 10 years. He and his wife moved to Augusta for work about 18 years ago, and explored churches until finding a home at Good Shepherd. Their son attended the Episcopal Day School for 5 years before getting accepted into the Davidson of Fine Arts school. Andrew was born and raised in England attending a Church of England school in Essex. He was already familiar with the liturgy and hymns, and has found a permanent and loving home as an Episcopalian.
Andrew works as an Optimization Analyst for Truist Financial, where he is tasked to problem solve and provide solutions in a myriad of situations; he would bring these skills to this role. At Good Shepherd, Andrew has served as delegate to the Diocesan Convention, vestry member, high school teacher, finance committee member, and is currently treasurer and member of the Community and World Ministry. He is on the change ringing team that met regularly before 2020 (and recently back to the ropes); Andrew organized and participated in the worldwide event “Ringing Remembers” commemorating the 100th year anniversary of Armistice Day. He is in his fourth year of EFM and also serves as a Eucharistic Minister and Lay Reader.
At work Andrew was asked to create his own personal purpose statement, and he believes it is also very relevant in his personal life, it is “To provide both subjective and objective solutions and practices that improve efficiency and efficacy while preserving the essence of the platinum rule.” It is in the position of helping others that we are truly following Christ. He would be honored to represent the Diocese of Georgia as Deputy to the General Convention.
Cissy Bowden had the opportunity to serve as a Deputy for the last General Convention, which was shortened to four days due to continuing Covid concerns. She would be happy to serve again as a Deputy and hopefully experience a more typical convention in 2024.
Bowden has been a member of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta since 1977, and currently serves as a Eucharistic Minister and Lay Reader. She has served several terms on the Vestry and have served as a delegate to Diocesan Convention for many years. Recent involvement on the Diocesan level includes serving on the Search Committee for the XI Bishop of Georgia and on the Finance Committee. Bowden is currently serving on Diocesan Council, the Honey Creek Commission, and the Commission on Cursillo. She is also currently serving on the Board of the American Red Cross for East Central Georgia. She and her husband, Joe, live in Augusta with their two beloved Shih-Tzus. It would be an honor to her to be able to serve again as a Deputy to General Convention.
Madison Cook is honored to be nominated to serve as a deputy for General Convention. Madison has been heavily involved with the Episcopal Church since a very young age, especially in youth programming. She was baptized into the St. Thomas Church in Thomasville, and grew up attending there until her family took a small hiatus from the Episcopal Church. Madison made the decision to go back to the Episcopal Church during middle school, and that’s where she became involved in youth ministry. She attended Honey Creek events, and slowly grew into leadership roles at those events. At the end of high school, Madison was lead teen for New Beginnings #51 in 2018. Through middle to high school, she served as lead acolyte at her home church. Madison attended the University of Georgia, and graduated with a Bachelors in Journalism in May of 2022. As a college student, she served her sorority as chaplain and held weekly bible studies. She currently serves as a lay minister for her church and is a member of the choir. Madison also is kickstarting the youth program for the St. Thomas church after its hiatus from COVID-19. She is extremely excited to get back to her love of youth ministry and be more involved with youth ministry at the diocese level. Madison would like to serve as deputy because she is passionate about the Episcopal Church and the future of the church. She brings a young perspective to the table and hopes she can be an asset to the diocese.
Jody Grant is a member of Our Savior, Martinez, a lifelong Episcopalian, and currently the Minister for Youth and Young Adults at Our Savior. Previously at Christ Church, Augusta, he was youth group advisor, Sunday School teacher, Acolyte Master, Lay Eucharistic Minister, and Senior Warden. He recently retired as the Diocesan Coordinator of the Happening program after many years working with this ministry. He served on the Transition committee for the 10th Bishop of Georgia, and was a deputy to the 2012, 2015, 2018, 2022 General Conventions.
For General Convention, he served on the Credentials Committee in 2015 and 2018 and was the Chair of this Committee in 2022. Jody is also serves on the Diocesan Commission on Worship. At the national level, Jody served on the Happening National Committee and completed a 4 year term as the Vice-President/Secretary of Happening National Incorporated which is the executive committee of the Happening National Committee.
Professionally, he has been teaching high school science for 22 years, is the coach of the swimming and diving team, and the Athletic Director. He wants to continue to represent the Diocese of Georgia and be a part of the exciting change that is occurring in the church as it proclaims the Gospel.
Eli Irvin is humbled to accept nomination and stand for election to serve the Diocese of Georgia in the lay deputation to General Convention. Baptized and confirmed in 1995 at Calvary in Americus, Eli is currently serving as the catechist, LGBTQ+ Missioner and Senior Warden on the inaugural vestry at his home parish of Epiphany-Savannah, where he has served since early 2018. He is also the evening worship Minister of Music at St. Luke’s-Rincon. He’s driven by the Holy Spirit via a series of questions: Of the energy you expend in your daily life and work; Does it feed the hungry? Does it heal the sick? Does it clothe and shelter the poor? Does it love, comfort and champion the marginalized? All other things are secondary to a Christ-centered life.
In community and partnership with both Epiphany and St. Luke’s, Eli leads efforts to further healing and reconciling ministry focused on our LGBTQ+ siblings, particularly those who have experienced marginalization, harm and injury in faith communities. He currently leads efforts to foster presence and holy listening opportunities in the Savannah LGBTQ+ community by facilitating partnership between the Savannah Convocation and First City Pride Center in Savannah, the only LGBTQ+ community center in Georgia. This ministry of partnership is leading to loving, healing and reconciling conversations with Coastal Empire’s queer neighbors. Using the the philosophies and techniques of “Invite, Welcome, Connect,” Eli hopes to begin assisting other lay leaders and clergy throughout the diocese identify opportunities for ministries of radical affirmation of and ministry to our LGBTQ+ siblings.
Prior to the work he now does with Epiphany & St. Luke’s, Eli has served as a lay minister at St. Paul’s-Savannah, St. Thomas-Savannah, St. Stephen’s-Leesburg and Calvary-Americus in the areas of music and lay pastoral care. Additionally, he has served on the Diocesan Cursillo Commission & on numerous Cursillo teams since 2004 and has completed two years of the 4-year EfM program. Professionally, Eli works on the national philanthropy team for CommonSpirit Health, a Christian-based healthcare ministry consisting of 140 hospitals and 150,000 staff who serve the most marginalized in their respective communities, focussing deeply on human kindness in treatment.
Molly Stevenson is seeking election as a Lay Deputy to General Convention because she has previously served and would be honored to do so again and feels she would bring an element of continuity and experience. She also loves the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Georgia and appreciates and values the Church’s polity.
A Cradle Episcopalian, Molly has been a member of Christ Church, Valdosta for more than 30 years. At Christ Church, she currently leads the Adult Formation team, is President of the St. Nino Chapter of the Daughters of the King, serves as an acolyte, lay reader, chalice administrator, and sings in the St Gregory Choir. In the Diocese, she serves on the Honey Creek Commission and the Southwestern/Albany Convocations Discernment Committee. She previously served on the Standing Committee, Cursillo Commission and the Happening Steering Committee. She is a past Deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Georgia, having served in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2022, where she served on legislative committees several times. Between Conventions, she had the honor of serving on the Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism from 2009 to 2015.
Molly’s work at Lowndes County enables her to serve her local community. On a Diocesan level, she has been active in Christian Formation through Cursillo and youth programs, including summer camp, Happening and New Beginnings.
Liz Williams is excited to stand for election once again as a Lay Deputy for General Convention. A lifelong Episcopalian, Liz has been fortunate to have served as both a lay volunteer and as church staff. She has always loved the church – the liturgy, the hymns, and most importantly, the way we love others. Because of her experiences within the Church as a kid through adulthood, it has propelled Liz’s involvement and been an integral part in her faith formation. She’s experienced Christ in amazing ways through Diocesan Youth Programs both as a teenager and as an adult staff member. Liz has served on staff at multiple parishes in Children and Youth Ministry, and continues that work within the diocese. For two years, she was coordinator for the Adults Who Work With Youth conference at Kanuga, where she was able to curate dynamic speakers and formational resources for church professionals who work with youth across the Church.
Currently she serves as the Communications Manager for the diocese, which includes social media, public relations, and connecting with the larger Church. Liz is also Chair of the Episcopal Communicators Conference Planning Committee for the 2023 conference. Through all her work in the diocese, she’s been able to see and participate in the inner-workings of in our diocese–the work behind-the-scenes–and loved the opportunity to experience the church on a national scale as a Deputy for General Convention in 2022. It would be an incredible honor to once again represent the great Diocese of Georgia at General Convention 2024.