The Right Reverend Charles Alexander Farmer
Bishop Alex was elected and consecrated in 2022 as the second bishop of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America.
He was first ordained in 2000 after serving a parish for three years as a youth minister. In 2002, he was called to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Gainesville, FL, a declining church in need of revitalization. He and the members of St. Michael’s reorganized in 2006 to found Servants of Christ Anglican Church, now a thriving congregation, where he served as rector until just after his election.
Alex also served for many years as the priest-in-charge of Camp Araminta, a week-long summer camp ministry of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese. His ministry over the years has focused on the cost of discipleship, the call to unity, and the essential need to be quiet before the Lord–empowered by the Holy Spirit. He has been married to his wife, Jody, for 31 years. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.
The Venerable Dr. Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones was raised in parish and diocesan ministry and was ordained in 2017. She serves as the Bishop’s Archdeacon and Canon for Leadership, which includes next generation discipleship, ordination preparation, clergy transfers, and clergy education. She has served in a variety of parish positions, including as a worship leader, as a Director for Christian Formation, and as an Executive Pastor. Jessica's educational experience has set her up to blend education, worship, and theology; she holds a Ph.D., a Specialist's degree, and a Master's degree, all in Educational Leadership, a Doctorate in Worship Studies, and her undergraduate degree is in Music Education. Jessica is the Associate Academic Dean, Thesis Director, and Professor at the Webber Institute for Worship Studies. She formerly served as the Provincial Canon for Next Generation Leadership for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), currently serves as their Diocesan Canon Coordinator, and serves on the Vision 2030 strategic planning team for the ACNA.
Mr. Chris McCarthy
Chris McCarthy joined the diocese staff in August 2022, after serving in parish leadership for 7 years at Church of Our Savior in Jacksonville Beach, FL as a Vestry Member, Senior Warden, and then Business Manager. In his diocesan role as the Bishop’s Executive Administrator, he manages all “support-side” business functions of the diocese while assisting member parishes with the same.
Prior to serving the Anglican Church, Chris was an aircraft carrier-based test pilot in the Navy, where he had a successful 25-year career gaining experience in strategic planning, data analysis, flag staff management, disaster response, and senior base leadership. He holds two engineering master’s degrees and an MBA, and continues to attend and serve at Church of Our Savior.
The Reverend Taylor Bodoh
Canon for Church Planting
Together with his wife Karissa and daughters Avila and Norah, Taylor has a special passion for raising up and sending out leaders into the mission of Christ, for racial reconciliation, and for calling artists and skeptics to give Jesus a fresh hearing. Taylor has also served on the national church planting leadership team for the ACNA called Always Forward, and is a founding member of the Anglican Multiethnic Network (AMEN).
The Reverend Mark Eldredge
Canon for Congregations
Mark was born near Buffalo, NY, but grew up in Palm Coast, FL. He received his Bachelor of Science from Florida State University and his Master of Divinity from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. After serving as an Associate Priest for three years at an Episcopal Church in Midland, TX, Mark moved to Jacksonville to be the Senior Pastor of Epiphany Episcopal Church. While leading that church through revitalization, he also moved the church into what has become the Anglican Church of North America. After 14 years in that church, Mark also serves a similar role as the Director of Church Revitalization for the American Anglican Council serving the Anglican Church in North America. Mark is married to his best friend, Ame, has three children from 26 to 16, and one grandson.
Mrs. Michelle Herbst
Michelle grew up in Jacksonville. She moved to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University, where she joined the InterVarsity campus ministry. Upon graduation, she came on staff with InterVarsity, serving as a Tallahassee campus staff for five years and then as the North Florida area director for seven years. She is deeply passionate about raising up leaders, church planting, and creating spaces for people to encounter God in prayer. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Jacksonville). She was on the core team that helped plant Incarnation Tallahassee, where she and her husband, Zach, still serve as leaders.
The Reverend Dr. Samuel Horowitz
Samuel was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and came to faith through as a child in an Anglican congregation. He earned a Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Jacksonville), and a degree in Family Youth and Community Science from the University of Florida.
He was ordained a deacon in 2010 and a priest in 2011 and has served parishes in the Jacksonville and Metro DC areas. In addition to his work for the Diocese, he is Assistant Pastor and Technical Director at Grace Anglican Church in Fleming Island, and a Missionary Companion of the NAMS Network.
He is married to the beautiful and talented Allison, and has one son.
Mr. Dennis Kelemen
Bookkeeper & Treasurer
Dennis has lived in Jacksonville, Titusville, Gainesville, and Palatka Florida. Dennis attended the University of Florida, receiving an undergraduate degree in Accounting, and the University of North Florida, receiving a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Dennis has worked in the accounting departments of several companies in various industries. These industries include healthcare, architecture and engineering, and pulp and paper.
These experiences include managing professional and clerical staff, implementing new accounting systems, working on cross-functional teams responsible for responding to audits, implementation of strategies to retain or procure customers, and complying with regulations or service agreements.
Dennis has attended All Souls Anglican or Calvary Anglican church in Jacksonville Florida. He has been a member of All Souls from 1981 to 2000, Calvary from 2001 to 2012, and a member of All Souls from 2012 to current. He serves on the Missions Committee at All Souls. He has led several missions trips to Dominican Republic and was on the missions team to Honduras. Dennis has taught several Sunday School classes on Missions, and Biblical prophecy.
Dennis has been married to Marilou for 42 years and has two grown children.
Rev. Leah Slawson
Director of Safeguarding
The Director of Safeguarding oversees our Safeguarding Committee, comprised of three teams: the Response team, the Prevention team, and the Training team. The Safeguarding Our People Committee exists to protect our people, our congregations and communities and the diocese, from unnecessary or unforeseen risks; to assist with consistent and uniform policies throughout the diocese; and to help prevent, and respond with integrity to, crises arising under any diocesan policies through a supportive and transparent process
Leah holds a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Auburn University. In addition to her work for the Diocese, she is Pastoral Associate for Students and Families at Christchurch Montgomery. She has worked as a high school English teacher, in the corporate world, and as freelance writer. She is married to Guice and they have a son, a daughter and a son-in-law.
More Diocesan Leaders
The Rev. Canon B. Keith Allen
Canon for Global Mission
Keith Allen serves the Gulf Atlantic Diocese as the Canon for Global Missions, as well as serving as the rector of Christ Church Anglican Vero Beach. Since 2017, he has served as the ACNA Provincial Canon for Myanmar. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Board for Rwanda Ministry Partners in 2016, and a Board Member for Anglicans for Life, 2011 to 2014, and is currently on the board of New Wineskins Missionary Network.
The Rev. Canon
Canon for Governance
The Rt. Rev. Neil G. Lebhar
The Right Reverend Neil G. Lebhar was consecrated in 2010 as the first bishop of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese. Previously, he served as rector of Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville, FL, as well as Assistant Rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, VA.
He and his wife Marcia were married in 1971. They have two daughters and a son, and nine grandchildren. They also have a foster daughter who has three children.
Bishop Lebhar received his B.A. from Princeton University and holds masters degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary. Neil and Marcia have led dozens of groups to study in the land of Israel. He loves the Lord, his family, and is grateful for the Lord’s mercy.
The Rt. Rev. John E. Miller III
Following a career as a marine biologist, John attended Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA, earning an MDiv, and was subsequently ordained to the priesthood. He then served as Assistant Rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Melbourne, FL, and Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Melbourne. In February 2004, John joined the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) and planted Prince of Peace Anglican Church in Melbourne.
He was consecrated as a Bishop in the AMiA in 2008 and then served as one of the founding Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America. In 2012, he re-entered parish ministry, accepting a call as Rector of Christ Church, Vero Beach, where he remained until “retirement.” He now serves as a SoulCare Pastor, ministering to those struggling under the pressures of ordained leadership.
John has led three mission trips to Rwanda, and he and his wife, Joyce, have hosted seven pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and another to Greece and Turkey to study the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. He enjoys gardening, fishing, hiking, and travel.
Governance Committee Members & Representatives
The Standing Committee is an elected group of clergy and laypersons who serve to assist the Bishop in effective leadership of the diocese. The Standing Committee supports the Bishop the way a vestry supports a rector, and annually reviews the Bishop. They also help review and approve congregation and clergy transfers as well as ordinations.
The Diocesan Council is an executive body with power to implement policies and programs adopted by Synod. It is composed of the Bishop, Secretary, Chancellor, Deans, SC Chair, Treasurer, three clergy (elected), and three laypersons (elected). The Bishop has authority and responsibility for budgetary and fiscal management, but the Diocesan Council works to propose and submit the budget annually. They also oversee the work of the Finance Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Constitution & Canons Committee.
The Rev. Christopher Jones
Mrs. Julie O'Steen
The Rev. Matt Wilkins
Mr. David Mica Sr.
The Rev. Jon Hall
Mrs. Kim Hassell
The Rt. Rev. Alex Farmer, Chair
The Ven. Dr. Jessica Jones
Mr. Chris McCarthy
The Rev. Canon Taylor Bodoh
The Rev. Canon Mark Eldredge
The Ven. Dr. Jessica Jones
The Rev. Canon Keith Allen
Mrs. Michelle Herbst
The Rev. Dr. Sam Horowitz
Mr. Sam Garrison, Vice Chancellor
The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Petty, Standing Committee Chair
Mr. Mose Stuart, Chancellor
Mr. Dennis Kelemen, Chair DRC
Mr. Justin Smith, Secretary of Synod
The Very Rev. Marcus Kaiser, Cathedral
The Very Rev. David Ball, Northeastern
The Very Rev. John Wallace, Central
The Very Rev. Mike McDonald, Southern
The Very Rev. Andrew Rowell, Western
The Diocesan Finance Committee is appointed by the Bishop and has oversight of the business and financial control methods of all parishes and congregations in the diocese.
Delegates Through 2025: Mr. Dennis Kelemen, DRC Chair; Mr. Chris McCarthy, Executive Administrator; The Rev. Jon Hall, Central Deanery; Mrs. Kim Hassell, Northeastern Deanery; Tracy La Cagnina, Southern Deanery
Constitution and Canons Committee
The Constitution and Canons Committee consists of three clergy persons and three lay persons, one member being a practicing attorney, and all appointed by the Bishop with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee. The responsibility of this committee is to consider all proposed amendments to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese as recommended by Diocesan Council. They present proposed amendments to the Synod for vote. Each member serves a three year term.
Mr. Dean Mooty
The Rev. David Trautman, Chair
Mr. Mose Stuart, Chancellor
Mr. Sam Garrison, Vice-Chancellor
The Committee on Nominations is charged with developing a slate of candidates for each office to be filled by election at Synod. Departing Diocesan Council members rotate onto the Nominating Committee each year.
The Rev. Bill Driscoll, Chair
Mrs. Beth Kirby
The Rev. Taylor Ishii
Mrs. Karla George
The Rev. Christopher Jones
Mrs. Julie O'Steen
The Synod elects one clergyperson and two lay persons to serve 5-year terms as members of the Anglican Church in North America's Provincial Council. The member of the clergy nominated must be serving either on the Standing Committee or the Diocesan Council at the time of nomination.
Delegates: Mrs. Karissa Bodoh (Lay Representative through 2025), The Very Rev. John Wallace (Clergy Representative through 2027), Mr. Mark Wilkerson (Lay Representative through 2027)
Ecclesiastical Trial Court
Four clergy and three lay people are elected every two years for a two-year term. Members through the end of 2024: The Rev. James Manley, The Rev. Dr. Travis Boline, The Rev. David Marten, The Rev. Sudduth Cummings, Mr. Charlie Stambaugh, Mr. Tony Ladd, Mr. Bill Norwood
The Secretary of Synod
Synod elects a Secretary for a term of two years. The Secretary takes the minutes of the proceedings, and once approved, enters them into a journal, preserves the journal and records, attests the public acts of the body and faithfully delivers into the hands of successors all books and papers in his or her possession relating to the Synod.
Mr. Justin Smith is the Secretary of Synod through the end of 2024.