Announcing our New Senior Associate Rector – The Rev. Jennifer Southall

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to announce that we have extended a call to the Rev. Jennifer Southall to serve as our Senior Associate Rector.  Jennifer is a very talented and deeply faithful priest, and she has the gifts, energy, and personality we need moving forward.  She will be coming to Oxford the week of August 19, and her first day at St. Peter’s will be on Tuesday, September 4.  We will have the opportunity to welcome Jennifer officially at a parish-wide forum and reception on Sunday morning, September 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

I’d like to express my deep gratitude to the members of our search committee: Bryon Cohron, Lee Dean, Leslie Banahan, Scott Caradine, John Samonds, Carol Van Besien, and Becca Walton.  Our process was lengthy and involved, and together we were able to prayerfully identify the person who is just right for the position.

Please join me in welcoming Jennifer “home” to St. Peter’s!

From Jennifer

When I left Oxford for seminary in 2012, I never imagined I’d return for anything more than occasional visits. But the Holy Spirit blows where it will (so often in very surprising ways), and over the last several weeks, as I’ve discerned the Senior Associate position with Jody and the Search Committee, I’ve felt a genuine call back to St. Peter’s. I am thrilled that the committee has affirmed that sense of call, and am incredibly excited, honored, and humbled to be returning to you on September 4.

As many of you know, this is the second time I’ve discerned a call with St. Peter’s. The first was the call to ordained ministry, which resulted in Bishop Gray sending me to seminary. I attended Virginia Theological Seminary and while I was there, your prayers, friendship, and financial support meant more than you can know, as you kept me going on the path toward ordination.

I graduated in 2015 and was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Seage in June of that same year and to the priesthood in January of 2016. I served as Curate at St. James’ in Jackson for two years and then as Priest-in-Charge at the Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi for the last year. I remain deeply grateful for a wonderful curacy at St. James’ and for the opportunity to serve at Redeemer.

I am now so very thankful to be returning to St. Peter’s as your Senior Associate Rector. Your deep commitment to show forth the love of God in Christ in the many ways you do excites and energizes me, and I look forward to again being part of such a faithful and vibrant community. I also of course look forward to reconnecting with those of you who saw me off to seminary back in 2012 and to connecting with those of you who’ve arrived since that time. I can’t wait to be with you.

In the meantime, I very much hope that you will keep the Church of the Redeemer and me in your prayers as I transition out and they begin the process of searching for a new priest. Please know that you are in mine.