News

Posted: Jan. 8, 2020

Church Vestry Elections

Grace and Holy Trinity Church will elect five new members to the Vestry at the annual meeting on February 2, 2020. Please review the candidates bios below. For more information, contact any member of the Nominating Committee (Vestry class of 2020).

Candidates, in alphabetical order

Carl Blackwell

Carl Blackwell

Carl is a lifelong member of Grace and Holy Trinity Church.

He and his wife Missy have three daughters, two son-in-laws and recently welcomed their first grandchildren (twin boys, Whit and Peyton Conrad).

A commercial realtor for 40 years, Carl specializes in retail leasing and sales through the Southeast as a Senior Vice President/Partner with Commonwealth Commercial. He is also a managing member of a dog daycare and boarding business, Dog Services LLC.

Carl has been involved in many roles at GHTC, including children’s education, acolyte program, the breakfast team, as an usher, and he has served on the Vestry. Currently, Carl serves as a Trustee for the Grace and Holy Trinity Church Endowment.

If he is in Richmond, Carl usually attends the 7:45 or 8:45 a.m. worship service. He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College.

Mary Ann Blankenship

Mary Ann Blankenship

Mary Ann joined GHTC in 2016, after moving to Richmond when she retired. She loves GHTC because it provides opportunities to serve our neighbors and our city. The daughter of a Southern Baptist seminary professor, Mary Ann grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She converted to the Episcopal Church while she and her husband lived in Annapolis. She was active in parishes in Maryland, Tennessee and Kentucky as a lector, women’s ministry participant and EFM graduate. At GHTC, Mary Ann participates in choir, Circles RVA, Faith from the Margins to the Web, the Foyer Group, Spirited Sisters and the Thursday theology group.

Mary Ann spent her career in education and organizational development, culminating in a dozen years as Executive Director of the Kentucky Education Association, a position in which she coordinated the organization’s staff, field offices, budget and strategic planning. She holds a certificate in organizational development from NTL. Prior to working for KEA, Mary Ann worked for the teachers’ associations in Maryland and Tennessee and for their national affiliate.

Mary Ann has a BA in English, French and education from Georgetown College (KY) and an MA from the University of Kentucky. She and her husband Cary, a retired history professor, happily live with their two terriers in Bellevue on Richmond’s north side.

Bev Eggleston

Bev Eggleston

Bev Eggleston has been a member of Grace and Holy Trinity Church since 1980. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and spent many years running a small business.

His work at the church has covered many areas, including three previous terms of service on the Vestry. He has also worked as a Sunday school teacher, with the Generosity/Stewardship committee (as a member and two terms as chair), and with a group of lay leaders to call on new and prospective church members.

Bev is happily married to Leslie and lives in the West End.

Martin Erb

Martin Erb

Martin and his wife, Hope Armstrong Erb, have attended Grace and Holy Trinity Church for about 15 years. As a member of the GHTC Choir, Martin usually attends the 11:00 a.m. worship service.

Raised in Virginia as a Catholic, Martin attended Richmond public schools and earned his BCP degree at the University of Virginia. Baptized and confirmed as a Catholic, Martin was active in the Mennonite church from 1975-1989, when he became an Episcopalian.

Martin has worked in Information Technology technical and managerial roles since 1975. Having played string instruments and sung his entire life, Martin has sung in the choirs at St. Paul’s on Capitol Square, at St. Thomas in Ginter Park and at St. Mary’s in Goochland. He chaired committees and served two Vestry terms at St. Paul’s.

Martin and Hope have three adult daughters: Kate Caldwell (in Brooklyn, NY, mother to Lee and Rae), Emily Erb (Philadelphia, PA) and Esther Atkins (Greenville, SC).

Michael (Mike) Hale

Michael (Mike) Hale

Mike and his wife, Sandie, have attended Grace and Holy Trinity Church since 2017. They began visiting the 11:00 a.m. worship service, and quickly knew that this would be their new church home.  Mike and Sandie joined GHTC in 2018, and were confirmed by the bishop in April of 2019.

Before becoming a member of the Episcopal Church, Mike was a life-long Presbyterian and served several terms as both a deacon and an elder. Over the years, he participated in the Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir, along with serving on many committees and working with children and youth groups.

Mike graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1975, with a degree in Marketing. Since then, he has worked in the foodservice distribution industry, as well as in the retail and wholesale wine business.

Mike and Sandie have two grown children and enjoy spending time with family. Their son, Jonathan, lives with his wife, Carolyn, in Lynchburg, and their daughter, Sarah, lives in Mechanicsville, with her husband, Chris, and their three children,  Emma (5), George (2), and Lydia (8 months).

Emily Horne

Emily Horne

Emily Horne is a lifelong member of Grace and Holy Trinity Church.  She and her three brothers (Charles, Willie, and Barclay) were all baptized and confirmed at GHTC.  Additionally, she and her husband, Berkeley, were married in 2015, and subsequently had their two children, Burwell (3 years) and Charlotte (15 months), baptized in the church. Her mother, Jean Jumet, is a past vestry member and her grandparents, Bill and Charlotte DeShazo, are also active participants in the church. 

As a young parishioner, Emily grew up helping her mother with Altar Guild and learning to needlepoint with her while making the offertory plate cushions (a hobby Emily still enjoys). She also served as an acolyte, an acolyte leader, and participated in the various youth group activities over the years.  Emily is an active participant in the 20/30s Group, where she enjoys the company of the other young families in the church.

Emily attended St. Catherine’s School and then Southern Methodist University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and biology. She also earned a Master of Science in physiology, and Bachelor of Science in nursing, and a Master of Science in nursing. Currently, Emily is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond serving on the Child Protection Team, where she provides care and advocacy for children who have endured various types of accidental trauma, non-accidental trauma, and neglect. Previously, she worked in the Pediatric Emergency Department and with the Pediatric Psychiatric in-patient service all at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

David Lewis

David Lewis

David Lewis is a history teacher and social studies department chair at Caroline High School in Milford.  He studied religion in Williamsburg and New Haven before reading church history at Cambridge where he met his wife, Ratna. 

David usually attends the 11:00 a.m. service unless his children, Sita Clare and John Hanuman, are singing in one of the children’s choirs at the 8:45 a.m. worship service.  The only time David showed up for Red Door kitchen duty, he cut himself.  As a lector, he has read but two lessons since the birth of his son.  His favorite adult forum days are discussions led by Mark Biddle.  He likes it when the organist plays something loud and French.

Before coming to Grace and Holy Trinity Church, David was an assistant to the rector and lay preacher at St. Asaph’s Episcopal Church in Bowling Green, Virginia. He has also served as chapel warden at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and as a student member of the board of trustees at Berkeley Divinity School.

Jodie Pully

Jodie Pully

Jodie transferred to Grace & Holy Trinity Church in 1989. She and Thomas were married at GHTC in 1991. She has worked in retail and marketing and now spends her time helping the elderly.

She has enjoyed serving in many ways with fellow parishioners for the past 30 years, including:  GHTC Child Care Center Board, Sunday School teacher, Youth leader, ECW, Cookbook Committee, Plum Pudding Committee, Vestry member, Prayer team, Pastoral Care, Midweek Visitors team, Missionary Society, Mission trips to Petersburg, Panama and Belize, VCU Campus Ministry, Grants Committee, Generosity Committee, Chalice Bearer and most recently assisting on Altar Guild. 

She is the immediate past president of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Virginia and continues to serve on the ECW board. She serves on the diocesan Gifts and Scholarship Committee and attends Community Bible Study.

Jodie says, “Church has always been an important part of my life and the parishioners at Grace & Holy Trinity are my family. We are one body of Christ working together in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Kathleen Thomas

Kathleen Thomas

After moving back to Richmond in 1996, Kathleen and her husband, John, soon landed at Grace & Holy Trinity Church—John’s family church home. She says: “Former Rector Hill Brown helped us through a traumatic time, his steadfastness a beacon of encouragement to make the drive from Goochland.”

From the get-go, Kathleen soaked in the church’s warmth, openness and intimacy. She is grateful for the community of love and support in raising three boys here.

Over the years, Kathleen has served as a youth group leader, Sunday School teacher and greeter. 

She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia and worked as a newspaper reporter, public relations consultant and freelance writer before landing a job at St. Christopher’s School teaching journalism and editing the school magazine. 

James (Jim) Taylor

James (Jim) Taylor

James and his wife Sheridan joined Grace & Holy Trinity two years ago on transfer of membership from First Presbyterian Church. James has been a member of the GHTC Choir for several years. 

James received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and History from Birmingham-Southern College and received his Master’s in Opera Performance from Yale University.

James has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia. As an educator, he has taught at Yale University, Drake University, the University of Alabama, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Virginia. His students perform at the Semperoper, Glyndebourne, the Opera Comique, the Danish Opera, New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, on Broadway, and on national tours of Les Miserable and The Phantom of the Opera.

James serves as a Lector at Grace & Holy Trinity, and will be training to serve communion to the homebound. He served two terms as Deacon at First Presbyterian of Richmond where he was Vice Moderator and Secretary. James has also served as a Minister of Youth and Music at churches in Birmingham, AL, Charlottesville VA, and Philadelphia, PA. James was the recipient of the Jay Wilke Professorial Scholarship at Southern Seminary in 1988.

He is the father of two daughters, Virginia (22) and Margaret (19). 

James loves to read the works of C. Baxter Kruger, James B. Torrance, and Brian Zahnd. He also enjoys any opportunity to play golf.  

Susan Webb

Susan Webb

Susan, a lifelong Episcopalian and Richmond Area resident, transferred with her family (husband Phil and children Chris, Heather and Kelley) to Grace & Holy Trinity Church in 1984. Each child was confirmed, Heather was married, and grandson Liam was baptized at GHTC. Susan has supported the Red Door, Christmas, and Prison Ministries, CARITAS initiative, and has an interest in giving back more to her community of faith. Currently, she volunteers with the World Pediatric Project.

Susan is now retired as a Registered Nurse after several decades with a local healthcare organization as a clinician and, for a number of years prior to retirement, the Director of Cardiovascular Excellence for a seven-hospital system in the Greater Richmond and Tidewater area. She graduated with a BS from the UVA School of Nursing and also earned MS degrees from VCU (Clinical Nurse Specialist) and University of Maryland (Nurse Informatics Specialist).

Vestry Requirements

The Vestry is a 15-member body that sets the course for mission and conducts the business of the congregation. Together with the clergy, staff and all the members of the parish, the Vestry is responsible for leading the church into faithful discipleship in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ.