The Reverend J. Donald Waring has been the Rector of Grace Church since July, 2004. Previously he served as the Rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park, Ohio for nine years. Prior to his rectorate at St. Thomas, Don served as Associate Rector and then Interim Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Don earned his M. Div. from the General Theological Seminary in New York in 1989. During his studies at the General, Don served as a Seminarian at St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue, and then at Grace Church in 1988-89. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota and has won numerous preaching awards during his career. Don is married to Stacie Soule Waring and they have two sons, James and Luke.
The Reverend Stephen C. Holton, Associate Rector
(212) 254-2000 ext. 114
The Rev. Stephen C. Holton comes to us from Christ Church, New Haven CT, where he has served in a number of capacities since 2009, most recently as Curate. Stephen is a 2011 graduate of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and earned his B.A. in Music from Emory University in Atlanta. He has a passion for congregational growth and parish outreach programs. Prior to seminary Stephen worked for 12 years as a manager in the non profit sector.
The Reverend Sarah Wood, Assistant Rector
(212) 254-2000 ext. 121
The Rev. Sarah Anne Wood spent her first three years in ordained ministry as Chaplain at Christchurch School in Tidewater Virginia and then a four-year term as school Chaplain at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta where she also worked with an Episcopal and spiritual community for the homeless called Common Ground (an Ecclesia ministry). In addition to serving as Assistant Rector at Grace Church, Sarah serves as full time Chaplain at Grace Church School. Her work with young persons began as an undergraduate at The College of William and Mary where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with a dual concentration in Education and English Literature. After discernment in the Diocese of Virginia and studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, Sarah was ordained to the priesthood in May 2005. Sarah is passionate in the teaching and nurturing of all of God’s beloved children, no matter the age!
Dr. Patrick Allen, Organist and Master of Choristers
Dr. Patrick Allen, Organist and Master of Choristers at Grace Church in New York, previously served as Director of Music and Fine Arts at Independent Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to that appointment he served as Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York, Director of Music and Organist at both The Cathedral Church of Saint John and Congregation Beth Emeth, in Wilmington, Delaware. In the summer he is on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute held at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio. With Catherine Rodland, he co-authored The Chorister Training Program of The Royal School of Church Music in America, an American adaptation of the English Model SING ALOUD. Dr. Allen has received degrees from the University of North Texas and The Florida State University.
Stephen Tharp, Artist in Residence
Stephen Tharp is the first person to be appointed Artist in Residence at Grace Church. This position was created in the Fall of 2007. Having held a similar position for nearly two years at Historic St. Peter’s Church, Perth Amboy, NJ – the oldest Episcopal parish in the state – he also served as Associate Organist at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Manhattan, from 1998-2002, and was Organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 1995-1997. A native of Chicago, Stephen received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Illinois College (Jacksonville) and his M.M. from Northwestern University. Known today as the most traveled concert organist of his generation, his 30 intercontinental tours and over 800 U.S. recitals have included performances at such venues as the Royal Albert Hall, London; Cologne Cathedral, Germany; Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow; the Hong Kong Cultural Centre; the Crystal Cathedral; the Riverside Church, NY and the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia. He as 12 commercial CDs to his credit and is married to Maria Helena Tharp, Organist at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church here in Chelsea.
Melissa Spindler, Director of Youth and Family Ministry
Melissa is a native of Connecticut, a graduate of Smith College with a degree in Spanish and Education, and has studied at Union Theological Seminary in the M. Div. program. She previously worked doing conference coordination and grant management for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in Washington D.C. and substitute teaching in the public school system of New London, CT.
Chip Fears, Director of Finance
Brian Hagan, Director of Development
Church Sexton, Chief Engineer