The Rev. Martin Bell, a nationally known author and educator, was called as rector in 1989 and immediately established the parish as a place for serious theological inquiry. The altar-centered “communion-in-the-round” arrangement for our worship space dates from this time.
The Rev. Rebecca DeBow was called in 1996, the first female priest to serve as full-time rector of a self-supporting parish in Alabama. Rebecca led St. Francis for 10 years and oversaw the construction of a new worship space completed in 2003. The altar-centered “communion-in- the-round” arrangement strongly influenced the design of the new building, as did our commitment to having wheelchair accessible facilities, which is a practical and symbolic embodiment of a strongly held value at St. Francis.
The Rev. Neil Kaminski was called to be St. Francis’ rector in November, 2007. During his tenure a Memorial Garden was established and a running-water baptismal font fashioned of stone, tile, and glass replaced the wooden font that had been used since the parish was founded.
From January, 2014, through December, 2015, the Rev. Martin Begay served as interim rector, providing spiritual and administrative leadership during a time of reflection and study, as we sought to identify the core values of our congregation and develop a vision for the future.
Currently the Rev. Margaret Taylor, a retired priest in the diocese, leads our Sunday morning worship, while the vestry and its committees oversee the church’s other activities, including administration and Christian education. Pastoral care is provided by our deacon, the Rev. Judy Lee, who also oversees St. Francis’ many outreach activities.