The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce Appointed 34th Rector

Watch the Video Announcement

Watch the video announcing St. Peter’s thirty-fourth rector by clicking the image above.

From St. Peter’s Vestry

Greetings St. Peter’s Family,

The 2020 St. Peter’s Vestry, gathered with the clergy on the day of their investiture. From the top left to right: Ellison Clary, The Reverend. Jacob E. Pierce, the Reverend Amanda C. Stephenson, Harris Holt, John Buric, Mike Hoffman, Vera Greene, Chris Cudabac, Patricia Massey Hoke, Erin Chantry, Marcus Clarke, Chase Branham, Mary Lynn Sepkowitz, Tony Craghead.

It is with great joy that we announce the appointment of the Reverend Jacob E. Pierce as thirty-fourth rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte. The vestry met at the end of April and unanimously selected Jacob as rector, and recently received affirmation of our selection from our Bishop Diocesan, the Right Reverend Samuel Rodman. The steadfast guidance Bishop Rodman and his staff provided allowed us to explore more deeply who we are as a parish, and what we wanted and needed in our next rector. Thank you all for continuing to stay engaged throughout the discernment process. Over the past two years we completed a new strategic plan, expanded outreach efforts, engaged in more social justice events, continued the support of our youth ministries, supported our music ministries, and participated in a variety of book club and social gatherings…all designed to bring us closer together, with a better understanding of how we serve Christ and our neighbors.

As the Associate Rector in 2017, Jacob quickly showed his skills as a teacher, and displayed his leadership during the Reverend Ollie Rencher’s sabbatical later that year. While the priest-in-charge model we adopted is not a common path to take in pursuing a rector, with the departure of Ollie in 2018, the Vestry knew we had someone special with Jacob, and pursued that model with Bishop Rodman. As Priest-in-Charge, we relied on Jacob not only to lead our parish, but also to help craft our vision and re-examine our mission. He, as well as members of his staff and clergy, were actively engaged in the development of our new strategic plan. Who better to lead us than someone who has helped us look inwardly at ourselves and our connection to Christ’s mission? Jacob is an excellent teacher, visionary, and leader, and we as a vestry and parish look forward to his nurturing guidance for years to come.

During this time of social distancing, we will not have the opportunity to gather right now to celebrate Jacob’s permanent ministry with us. So, for the meantime, virtual hugs and praise will have to do, but rest assured, there will be a time for celebration, and we look forward to all of you being present. Alleluia!

Yours in Christ,

The St. Peter’s Vestry
Marcus Clarke, Senior Warden; Mike Hoffman, Junior Warden; Erin Chantry, Clerk; Ellison Clary, Harris Holt, John Buric, Vera Greene, Chris Cudabac, Patricia Massey Hoke, Chase Branham, Mary Lynn Sepkowitz, and Tony Craghead


The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Thirty-fourth Rector

Dear People of St. Peter’s,

I am honored and humbled by the call to serve as your next rector. It might seem strange that this announcement comes while we are closed for in-person worship due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but what a blessing for our vestry to provide some certainty in a season teeming with uncertainty!

Over the past three years I have witnessed the depth of your faith and your commitment to be a place of unconditional welcome and a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte. You have inspired me to live out my own ministry in new ways. I am so grateful to be your priest.

I want to say thank you to the vestry, to Bishop Rodman, to Canon Massey, and to each of you for your support and the trust you have placed in me. I also want to note that our rich legacy has never been the product of any single priest. Our uniqueness as a place of unconditional welcome, our diversity and inclusion, our social justice and outreach, our worship and music, our formation and pastoral care have all been the result of generations of parishioners who placed their faith in Jesus Christ and labored to shape a community rooted in his love.

Over our nearly 200-year history, St. Peter’s has transformed the lives of so many people in Charlotte. We have changed this city for the better. I am so excited that we have the opportunity to continue that legacy together, now on a more permanent basis. The future of our parish is bright. And together St. Peter’s will continue to serve our community in extraordinary ways.

Later this fall our bishop will join us to formally mark this new chapter with a Celebration of New Ministry service. I look forward to celebrating with you and seeing you in person.

Faithfully,

The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Rector


The Diocese of North Carolina

May 1, 2020

Dear People of St. Peter’s:

It is with great joy and thanksgiving that I write to add my support and blessing to the discernment of your Vestry, and the affirmative response of your Priest-in-Charge, through his own process of discernment, for the Reverend Jacob Pierce to be named the next rector of St. Peter’s.

It has been two years since we embarked on this process that, though unusual, seemed to be the right pathway for St. Peter’s. In that time, you and Jacob have moved forward in a deepened understanding of his gifts for leadership and of your trust in his gifts as a pastor, preacher, teacher, and administrator. I commend all of you for the care and faithfulness you have brought to this process, and I rejoice with you that the discernment and decision is clear and unanimous.

Jacob’s leadership and your faithfulness have been especially apparent in these past two months during the challenges of this pandemic. Your creative, collaborative, adaptive approaches to worship, pastoral care, outreach, and mission have demonstrated what a strong partnership this is. As you move forward and continue to build out your own mission strategy the movement and guidance of the Holy Spirit is abundantly clear.

I look forward to the time when we can be together, in person, to celebrate the ministry you share. Until then, I join with you in prayers of thanksgiving and in our Easter acclamation for this grace-filled discernment and decision: Alleluia, Alleluia!

Faithfully and with a full heart,

Samuel S. Rodman
Bishop of North Carolina