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2024 Vestry Nominees

Ben Crowley

I have been fortunate to call St. James home since 2001. Danielle and I were married here in 2010, and you have probably been witness to my two children (Finn 11, Grace 7) tearing around Baker House on Wednesday nights. I am a Pilgrim’s Path graduate, have led and participated on mission trips to Alaska and Honduras, served as an usher, an EYC leader, Shrine Mont Chief Rocketeer, and most recently a JYF leader. I have received far more from St. James than I have ever given and I am both called and excited for the opportunity to give back. I look forward to being part of the tremendous possibilities that the next three years will bring for our church. I am a dentist, and when I am not managing my practice, I enjoy skiing, camping, and flying control-line airplanes.

David Gardner

My name is David Gardner and I’ve been a member of St. James’s since 2012. My wife Laura, a life-long member of St. James’s, and I were married at St. James’s and we have an 8 year old son, William. I have enjoyed participating in numerous activities and ministry opportunities at St. James’s over the years as an usher team leader, Sunday school teacher, baptism guide, and member of the Tuesday Men’s Bible Study. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as a vestry member during a very important time in the life of the parish. Penny Nash, our interim rector, has defined our current period of transition ministry as a time to assess the health and vitality of the parish, and clarify its identity and mission as we ultimately work towards the calling of a new rector. I hope to be able to help support Penny, current vestry members, parish staff and the congregation as St. James’s works to solidify its foundation for the next chapter in its life as an integral part of our Richmond community.

Outside of St. James’s, I am a financial advisor with Wells Fargo and enjoy coaching William’s athletic teams, playing golf, and reading.

Teri Miles

Teri Miles has been an active member of St. James’s since 2004. During that time, she has served on the Altar Guild and as a LEM, while also committing to the EfM four-year course of study and attending Sewanee’s School of Theology. In addition to her commitments here at St. James’s, Teri is active in many non-profits, including VMFA, SPARC, University of Mary Washington, Richmond Society of Human Resources Management, and Elder Homes, among others. Teri has been an attorney at Altria, in the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, Circuit City Stores, and McGuire, Wood, Battle & Boothe. She is an enthusiastic traveler.

Melinda Parker

Melinda joined St James’s when she moved to RVA in 2018 on a recommendation of a native who knew Melinda’s love of choral music and liturgy. A native Washingtonian, she joined the Episcopal Church as a child when her father took the position of choirmaster and organist at All Souls Memorial (by the Zoo). Wherever life has taken her, Melinda has been involved in church life. She has served on the search committees at Winchester’s Christ Church and The Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore where she also served on the Vestry.

As a new member at St James’s, she immediately felt welcomed by so many, and has loved being a part of the Parish Choir, volunteering with Caritas, helping with The Taste of St James’s, and contributing to our famous hospitality. She is especially grateful to two special St James’s friends who facilitated the connection to her husband, Mark Cooper. Their clan now includes Mark’s three daughters and their families, and Melinda’s two sons and their families. Melinda will soon be retiring from nursing and looks forward to spending more time with her adventurous husband and family, hiking, biking, and gathering together.

John Reynolds

Dr. John W Reynolds retired from his medical practice in 2014. He was a pathologist working in Richmond since 1984. He has worked in both the Bon Secours and HCA systems. He graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, in 1974. Training included a residency at Baylor Hospital, Dallas, and a fellowship at MD Anderson Hospital, Houston. He has attended St James’s parish since 1984. After retirement, he became active in the Thursday morning men’s breakfast and has volunteered as an usher at the 11:15 AM service. He has been active in EfM. He is interested in the future of the parish and The Episcopal Church in general.

Karen Townsend

Karen has been an active member of St James’s for 15 years, having completed Pilgrim’s Path together with her husband, Johnny in 2009. She can be found on Sunday mornings in the alto section of the West Gallery Choir and on Wednesday nights in the kitchen leading a cooking team. The Advent Fair is another favorite St James’s tradition for Karen, as her family annually scours their old homestead in James City County for wreath-making greenery. Karen is grateful to St James’s for many formative faith and community experiences, especially MLK Evensongs, Shrine Mont and Emerald Isle retreats, WomenKind, and service on the Outreach Committee.

Outside of church, Karen does tech-oriented work–as owner/operator of a small software company specializing in real-time hurricane tracking and decision support tools for emergency management. In her off hours, she is an avid gardener and steward for the City’s trees and parks. Karen and Johnny met in graduate school classes within the Forestry Department of Clemson University, where she studied urban forestry and he pursued a botany degree. With daughters, Robin and Sarah both away at college, Karen is glad to apply her ’empty nest’ energies to the work of the Church vestry.

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