The Rev. Jody Burnett
Jody began as the Rector of St. Peter’s in August of 2016. He earned his B.A. in History and Political Science in 2006 from the University of Southern Mississippi, and his M.Div. in 2009 from Virginia Theological Seminary. He previously served as Senior Associate Rector at Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna, Virginia, then as the Canon for Parish Ministry at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson. Jody is an elected member of the Diocesan Executive Committee and has served for the last several years as the Diocesan Liturgical Coordinator. He lives in Oxford with his wife, Julia and their son, Stewart.
The Rev. Ann Whitaker
Ann joined the staff of St. Peter’s in August of 2011. Ordained in 2001, she served several parishes in Mississippi before coming to St. Peter’s. Ann’s primary role is Pastoral Care and the many dimension of that ministry. She is a professed member of the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis, where she serves as an Area Chaplain. She and her husband, Jerry, have one adult daughter.
The Rev. Chris Robinson
Chris spent his formative years in Jackson, MS attending both St. Andrew’s Episcopal High School and Millsaps College, where he received a B.A. in Religious Studies. He attended seminary at the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria,VA, where he was ordained in 2010. He spent several years as Rector of Mediator-Redeemer in McComb-Magnolia, MS before joining the staff of St. Peter’s in the summer of 2014. He currently serves as Chaplain to the Episcopal Church at Ole Miss and Assistant Rector at St. Peter’s. He is married to Whitney Moore Robinson.
The Very Rev. Bruce McMillan
The Very Reverend Bruce Dodson McMillan has been the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Holly Springs, MS for twenty years and has served as the Associate Rector for the Hispanic Ministry at St. Peter’s for thirteen years. He was born in Jackson, TN and graduated from Sewanee with a B.A. in English in 1976. He received his M.Div. from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX in 1988. He served two parishes in the Diocese of West Tennessee before coming to Mississippi in 1995. He has served on the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and as president of the Standing Committee. Bruce has mentored young priests over the years and served as Dean of the Northern Convocation since 2007.
The Rev. Penny Sisson
Penny was born in Alexandria, LA and christened into the Episcopal church in a hospital incubator. She moved to Grenada, MS when she was four-years-old and grew-up at All Saints’ Church in Grenada. She received a B.A. in Math and Spanish from the University of Mississippi. She attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Mississippi. Over the course of her career she has taught English, Math and Spanish from Pre-K through Adult Education. For several years she lived and worked in Mexico. She was ordained to the diaconate in 2001 in the Diocese of Mississippi and has served at St. Peter’s ever since. Her primary areas of focus are St. Peter’s Hispanic Ministry and various lay pastoral care offerings. She is married to Ed Sisson, a retired Sociology professor at the University of Mississippi.
Janet grew up in Pope, MS and attended South Panola High School in Batesville, MS. She has worked at St. Peter’s for two years. Prior to her work with the parish, she worked in Medical Administration and billing for 30 years for both private medical practices and hospitals. She has been married to Mike McCord for 44 years. He is retired from Whirlpool, where he worked for 35 years. They have three adult children and five grandchildren. Janet is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lafayette County near Lafayette Springs, MS. Her hobbies include gardening and sewing.
Wren grew up in Vicksburg, MS and Camden, AR, and graduated from the University of Mississippi. She has worked at St. Peter’s since 2010. She oversees and maintains accounts payable and receivable financial records based on the annual church budget. She manages charitable contributions and donor records. She enjoys traveling, gardening and caring for others. She is married to Bill Dabney, a Communication Specialist with the University of Mississippi Foundation, and they have four children.
Director of Christian Formation & Children’s Ministries
Kara grew up in Tulsa, OK, was confirmed at Grace Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville, KY, and attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. She has worked in Christian Education since 2004. Kara was a member of the Cokesbury Curriculum team from 2005-2009 in Raleigh, NC. She joined the St. Peter’s team in 2012, working as the Director of Christian Formation and Children’s Ministries. Kara is a member of St. Peter’s church and is married to Michael Howland, the Coordinator of Veteran and Military Services and an an Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Mississippi. They have two adult children.
Organist & Choirmaster
Steve is originally from Chicago. He was confirmed at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas, TX in 1993 while working on his Masters degree of Sacred Music at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Steve began as the organist for St. Peter’s in 2006, while pursuing his Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Mississippi, which he completed in 2010. He eventually assumed responsibility as Choirmaster and organist at St. Peter’s in 2011. Steve also received his B.A. in Church Music from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL. Prior to moving to Oxford in 2006, Steve served as the Director of Music and organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, TN. Aside from his responsibilities at St. Peter’s, Steve works as one of two Assistant Directors in the the Office of Financial Aid at Ole Miss and as an accompanist for the Oxford Civic Chorus. Steve is an active composer and has had several pieces published by Chorister’s Guild.
Kay was born in New York City and moved to Oxford when she was six-years-old. She graduated from Oxford High School and completed her course work at Northwest Community College. She has been a member of St. Peter’s church since 1953. She was a teacher’s assistant for the Oxford Public Schools for nine years and then she was a teacher’s assistant for the Lafayette County Public Schools for another nine years. She was married to Joe Paris for 37 years. He was a retired employee of the Oxford Electric Department prior to his death in February of 2007. Joe and Kay taught first and second grade Sunday school from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. In addition to her nursery responsibilities on Sundays, Kay also teaches the two-year-old children Sunday school lessons by using Bible stories. She has two adult children.
Calvin was born in the Oxford-Lafayette County area. He attended St. John’s school, near the College Hill area, for primary and elementary education, and then the Abbeville school system for junior high and high school. He has served St. Peter’s for nine years as the Sexton. Prior to joining the St. Peter’s staff, he worked for Emerson Electric for 33 years in their maintenance division. He has been married to Bernice Harmon for 47 years. She is a retired supervisor of the North Mississippi Regional Center. Calvin and Bernice are members of Smith’s CME Chapel in Lafayette County near Abbeville, MS, and they have two adult children and four grandchildren.
Vestry(click images for bio)
Marty grew up in Laurel, MS, was confirmed at St. John’s in Laurel, and attended the University of Mississippi. She is a cradle Episcopalian and has been an active member of St. Peter’s since 1985. She is involved in a variety of ministries locally and on the Diocesan level, including serving on the Vestry and as Senior Warden at St. Peter’s. She currently serves on the altar guild, and participates in and often leads the Tuesday morning Bible study. She has worked with the pastoral care team and the adult forum committee. She is married to John Dunbar, an Oxford attorney and partner with Dunbar Davis, and they have two adult sons.
Caroline grew up in Clarksdale, MS, was confirmed at St. George’s in Clarksdale, and attended the University of Mississippi. She has been a member of St. Peter’s since 1995. She is a former Sunday school teacher and VBS volunteer. She has served on the newcomers’ committee, and supports Leap Frog and ECOM with food. Her areas of interest are outreach and women’s ministries. She is currently the Senior Admissions Receptionist in the Office of Admissions at the University of Mississippi. She is married to Cal Mayo, an Oxford attorney and partner with Mayo Mallette, and they have four children.
Andy grew up in Oxford, was confirmed at St. Peter’s, and attended the University of Mississippi. He has been a member of St. Peter’s since 1989. He has served as a Sunday school teacher, a Stewardship chair, a Vestry member, and a Lay Eucharistic Minister. Andy is an Oxford attorney, and a partner with Mitchell McNutt and Sams, P.A., and has two college-age sons.
John grew up in Charlotte, NC. He was confirmed at St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church in Charlotte, and attended the College of Charleston. John has been a member of St. Peter’s since 1997. He is the Associate Dean of the Sally McDonnell Honors College at the University of Mississippi. John volunteers at the Lafayette County Detention Center library through the Brotherhood of St. Peter, participates in the Parchman Prison ministry, serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and as a lector. He served on the finance committee at St. Peter’s from 2006 through 2011. On the Diocesan level, he has served as a delegate to the Annual Council three times–the most recent being 2009. John also served as Senior Warden in 2005. He is married to Katie McKee, an Associate Professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, and they have two teenage daughters.
Dana grew up in Oxford, was confirmed at St. Peter’s in 1999, and attended the University of Mississippi. She is a member of Daughters of the King, the altar guild and the property committee. She is a pumpkin patch volunteer, and an usher and lector at the 11:00 a.m. service. She previously served on the Vestry as Junior Warden. She has taught reading in the Oxford Municipal School District for 25 years. She is married to John Briscoe, a successful farmer in the Oxford area, and they have three adult children.
Mary Ann Connell
Mary Ann grew up in Louisville, MS, was confirmed at Grace Episcopal Church in Glendora, CA, and attended the University of Mississippi. She has been a member of St. Peter’s for over 40 years and has served as a Vestry member, Junior Warden, Sunday School teacher, ECOM cook, VBS teacher, Wednesday Healing service pianist, and as an usher and lector at the 11:00 a.m. service. She served as the University Attorney for the University of Mississippi for over twenty years. She is currently Of Counsel with Mayo Mallette in Oxford. She has four adult daughters and four grandchildren.
Ralph grew up in Jackson, MS, was confirmed at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson, and attended the University of Mississippi. He is a member of Foyers and a member of the choir. Prior to moving to Oxford in 2012 and joining St. Peter’s, Ralph was an active communicant at St. Andrew’s, where he sang in the choir and served as a lector. He also served on a discernment committee for the Cathedral. Ralph is Professor emeritus at the University of Mississippi’s School of Medicine, in the department of Oncology, where he taught for over 40 years. He is married to Douglas Vance, a retired music teacher from St. Andrews Episcopal School in Jackson, and they have two adult children and one grandson.
Lynn grew up in Memphis, TN, was confirmed at Church of the Holy Communion in Memphis and attended the University of Memphis. Prior to her move to Oxford in 2000, she was a member of St. George’s in Germantown, TN. She joined St. Peter’s in 2001. She has previously served as a member of the Vestry and as Junior Warden. She has been an Education for Ministry (EfM) and Cursillo student. She has hosted and served as the co-chair of “Fun in the Country,” and twice served the parish as a delegate to the Annual Council. She has served as a VBS “Art Banners” teacher, and is currently the co-chair of Stewardship. Lynn is a retired architect. She is married to Trammell Wells, who owned an advertising agency in Memphis prior to his retirement. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.
Michael grew up in Huntsville, TX, was confirmed at St. Stephens in Huntsville, and attended Troy State University in Troy, AL. He has been a member of St. Peter’s since 2012. Michael has served as a Sunday school teacher for the Junior High children; served on the building and grounds committee and the newcomers’ committee. He has volunteered with the Episcopal Kids Church (EKC), assisted with the Veterans Day ceremony, and served as the usher committee chair from 2012 to 2014. He is the Coordinator of Veteran and Military Services and an Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Mississippi. He is married to Kara Howland, Director of Christian Formation and Children’s Ministries at St. Peter’s, and they have two adult children.
Ed grew up in Grenada, MS. He was confirmed at All Saints’ in Grenada, and attended the University of Mississippi. He has been a member of St. Peter’s for over 35 years. He has served the Brotherhood of St. Peter ministry; as a Lay Eucharistic Minister; a Vestry member; a leader in the Hispanic ministry and mission; the Parchman Prison ministry, and as an usher and lector. He is a retired professor of Anthropology and Archeology at the University of Mississippi. He is married to the Rev. Penny Sisson, the Parish Deacon at St. Peter’s.
Catherine is from Oxford. She was confirmed at St. Peter’s, and attended the University of Mississippi. She returned to Oxford in 2013 after spending most of her post-college/adult years in the Memphis, TN/Little Rock, AR area. She is a member of Foyers, the pastoral care committee, and helps cook for the Canterbury ministry and 55+. She is currently serving on the search committee for St. Peter’s new Rector. Catherine is a senior agent for USHealthAdvisors with most of her career-focus in the areas of sales and marketing.
Leslie grew up in Granite City, IL. She was confirmed at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Church in Granite City and was received into the Episcopal Church at St. Peter’s in the mid-80s. She attended the University of Mississippi and has been a member of St. Peter’s since 1978. She has served as a Sunday school and VBS teacher; a Canterbury chaplain search committee member and advisory committee member; a Pumpkin patch volunteer coordinator, a Leap Frog volunteer, a member of the altar guild, a “Giving Tree,” and “Little Dresses” coordinator, and an usher. She also serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. Leslie is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Mississippi. She has two adult children and three grandchildren.
Beverly High, Treasurer
Beverly was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She received her BBA in accounting at Memphis State. She was employed at Baptist Memorial Hospital serving as cost accountant/reimbursement specialist for 26 years. She was employed in the Medicare division of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee as an auditor for 10 years before her retirement in August, 2009. She was confirmed at Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Memphis in the early 1980s. She joined St. Peter’s in Oxford in September 2009. She is a graduate of the EFM program and Cursillo. Currently she serves on the Altar Guild, participates in the Tuesday Morning Bible Study, 55+ and leads the daily office during the week. She has two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
Alan Spurgeon, Clerk
Alan grew up on a farm near Hannibal, MO and attended Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. He taught public school music in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. Before coming to teach in the music department at Ole Miss in 2001, he taught at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK for 18 years. He was confirmed at St. Mark’s Church in Weatherford. He is married to Dr. Debra Spurgeon, who also teaches in the Ole Miss Department of Music. Both are members of St. Peter’s choir.