The Rev. Christine Fentress-Gannon, Rector
Pastor Chris, a proud, native New Yorker, has been in the ministry over 30 years – serving in churches and ministries throughout New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. She grew up very active in the Roman Catholic church and attended Catholic schools through high school. As a young adult she found her way to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and heard the call to ministry in her work with youth and young adults, then entering their ordination process. After graduating with her MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary she took a call in Michigan directing a camp and retreat center, owned by a Presbyterian Church. Longing to be back in the rhythm of church she answered the call to St. James Episcopal Church, in Birmingham as the Director of Children and Youth Formation. It was a coming home of sorts, after growing up steeped in the liturgy of the
Catholic Church. During her 12-year tenure at St. James she was received into The Episcopal Church and entered our ordination process. Pastor Chris was ordained a Deacon in December of 2019 and a Priest in November of 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During her 30 plus years of ministry, while her official titles often included the words ‘Children, Youth, and Young Adult’, her ministry was to the whole church…young and older. She loved hanging with the ladies who knit but could never actually learn how to knit. Some of her favorite moments were with the Preschool at St. James as they asked the most amazing questions during Chapel time.
She comes to us at St. John’s with her wife, Sara, a California native. They have three adult children – Kiera, a third-year law student at Michigan State; Clayton (Kiera’s twin), who is severely, multiply impaired, and lives at home with them in Beverly Hills; and Logan, a computer engineer who lives in Chicago.
Sandy Goga, Parish Administrator
Sandy joined the St. John’s family as our Parish Administrator in September 2019. Sandy comes to us with more than 14 years’ experience as an Executive Assistant, with additional experience in bookkeeping, technology, and a history of community involvement.