5400 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast, Florida 32137
Phone: 386-446-2300
dollyb@stthomaspalmcoast.com

 
Living and Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Community, Eucharist and Servanthood
  • The Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard
  • Bishop of Florida
  • The Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard, a native of North Carolina, was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida on May 16, 2003 and was consecrated at St. John's Cathedral, Jacksonville, on November 1, 2003. He was instituted as bishop of the diocese on January 29, 2004.

    From 1997 through 2003, Bishop Howard served as vicar of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York. Active in New York church and community activities, Bishop Howard served as president of John Heuss House, a homeless drop-in shelter in downtown Manhattan, and as a board member of St. Margaret's House, which furnishes housing for elderly and mobility-impaired in New York. He also served on the board of the Downtown Alliance, a local community advisory and development board in lower Manhattan.

    Bishop Howard was one of the leaders of the congregation and staff of Trinity Church, Wall Street and Saint Paul's Chapel in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001. He assumed a leadership role in the city, speaking on a variety of issues regarding redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, transportation, and public services.

    Prior to moving to New York, Bishop Howard was rector of St. James' Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and before that he was assistant to the rector of Holy Comforter Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Bishop Howard graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1989. He practiced law in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1976 through 1986, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney and Lead Attorney of the Federal Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Eastern District of North Carolina. In 1985 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals appointed him Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina. In that role, he established and directed the first Federal Public Defender office in that state. He also served as an attorney on the staff of the United States Senate Commerce Committee.

    In addition to being an alumnus of Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, he is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and of the Law School of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Bishop Howard and his wife Marie have two sons: Augustus is a graduate of Duke University Law School and Charles is a graduate student at the New York Institute of Fine Arts.

  • 904-356-1328 ext. 14
  • The Reverend Robert Cowperthwaite
  • Interim Rector
  • Father Robert Cowperthwaite, Interim Rector

                      Bob Came to St. Thomas in March, 2017 to serve until a new Rector is chosen by the Vestry.  Bob retired in 2014 after 41 years of ordained ministry.  He, his wife, Susan and their dog, Bishop live near Crescent Beach.  Susan was born in St. Augustine.  Bob grew up in Gainesville where his family was active at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. They have 2 grown children, Christopher and his wife, Kari and son, Porter live in Raleigh, NC.  Their daughter, Sarah lives in Los Angeles, CA.

                      After graduating from P.K.Yonge Laboratory School in 1966, Bob earned a B.A. in Political Science from Washington and Lee University.  In 1973 he received an M.Div from Virginia Theological Seminary.  Upon returning to the Diocese of Florida Bob served as Assistant at St. Catherine’s, Jacksonville and Vicar of St. James’ , Macclenny for three years.  From 1976 to 1981 he was Assistant to the Rector of San Jose Episcopal Church in Jacksonville.  From 1981 to 1988 he was Pastoral Officer on the staff of Trinity Parish, New York City.  In 1988 Bob was called to be the Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, TN, where he served for 26 years.  St. Paul’s was the first Episcopal Church in Tennessee, founded in1827.

                      Since retiring, Bob has served as Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s, Jacksonville, Assisting Priest at Church of Our Savior, Mandarin and Priest-in-Charge at Church of the Redeemer, Jacksonville.

                     

                      

     

  • The Reverend Horace S. Johnson
  • Assisting Priest
  • Born in Jamaica, W.I., the eldest of nine children and the son of a Pentecostal minister, I learned from a very early age that ‘God is good all the time; all the time God is good’. My mother was deeply rooted in her Pentecostal faith and very much devoted to her church. Each day my father would call on me to lead morning devotion with my brothers and sisters, each having their individual part to play. This practice planted the seeds of yearning for a call to ministry.
     
    I met my wife to be, Fay Clarke in Jamaica, and both of us migrated to Montreal, Canada where in May 1967 we got married at St. James the Apostle Anglican Church. We had our first child, Jacqueline Michele.  A few years later, the family moved to Hartford, Connecticut where I began a 30+-year career in business and finance with The Hartford Insurance Group and then with The Connecticut Community College System as their Business Manager. I attended the University of Connecticut (BSc in Finance) and The University of Hartford (MBA).
     
    Adding a son, Horace Lancefield, to the family, Fay and I focused the next years of our lives on raising our children. At the same time my involvement with the church intensified while a parishioner at St. Monica’s Episcopal in Hartford. I was constantly encouraged by my church community and by my former rector and mentor to consider ordained ministry.
     
    The children had by now become adults, and so with my family solidly with me in my decision, I answered the lingering call to ministry. I entered seminary at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. In May of 200.1 I took early retirement from the State of Connecticut, and was ordained a Deacon in June 2001 and into the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut on December 15, 2001.
     
    I spent the next five years in full-time ministry at Trinity Episcopal Church, as the Associate Rector, a position I thoroughly enjoyed having an opportunity to minister not only to my congregation but to the broader community in which I had spent a lot of time as a leader in particular the West Indian Community. In August 2006 I retired to Ormond Beach with my wife Fay.
     
    In my retired lifestyle, while a volunteer Assisting Priest at St Thomas since September 2006, assisting the priest at mainly the 7:30 and 8:45 services on Sundays, and visiting the sick and shut-ins during the week, I enjoy spending time with the grandchildren - Davis and Avery, completing a daily crossword puzzle, and playing weekly rounds of golf.
     
    I constantly remind myself of some of the words of ordination and hold them dearly, “To love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak…”

  • The Reverend Robert Roger Elfvin
  • Assisting Priest
  • The Rev. Robert Roger Elfvin was born to Charles Donald and Gloria Audrey Elfvin on January 25, 1945 in South Carolina.   Both parents were engineers, one from Purdue and the other, Cornell; so he grew up needing to know math and science just to have conversation at the dinner table, as did his brothers and sister.   Both of his parents were faithful worshipers in the Episcopal Church.  All his grandparents were immigrants -- one, an orphan from England, two from the Falkland Islands and one from Sweden. 

    Initially Fr. Rob thought about being a teacher.  Later he thought about being a preacher because something in him thought it would be the most important thing to do with my life.  He went to a coed college, Ohio University.   There he continued classical language and philosophy studies.  Admitting that he was not exactly impressed with most of the young women that he met he honestly thought that he could live the celibate life without feeling it would be even sacrificial.   Then he met Karen. 

    Karen was a gift from God and she did not even mind that he was thinking of going into the ministry.  She had a great sense of humor and still does.  It was needed.  They married in 1966 in New Jersey, and, he says, “I haven't had a bad week since.”They have four children and six grandchildren.   Father Rob went to seminary in New Haven, Connecticut and continued his love of classical languages and especially Greek.  As he tells it, “My grade was so high in Greek it gives me a nose bleed when I think about it.”  Not many Priests can say that -- especially not many Episcopalian ones! 

    Father Rob became an assistant in Ohio for two plus years and later a Rector at a church not far from his first assignment. He was Rector in Findlay for seven years before moving to Des Moines, Iowa where he spent thirty-one years as Rector of St. Luke's Church. 

    “I always knew that if I worried the church leaders enough I would be banished to Iowa.  However, churches tend to do well with whatever my ministry could be called.  A couple of them doubled in size while I was hanging around.  I do not take credit.  The deal is to not discourage what God is doing.  He builds churches.  I thank God for the success of those churches.   I thank God for every blessing and especially healing without which I could not even write this page.”

    Father Rob and Karen came to Florida because it is best for his limited mobility, etc.  They chose Palm Coast because it might actually be cool occasionally. 

    And now we have him assisting and focusing in our Teaching Ministry.  Or, as he likes to say, “We showed up at St. Thomas because of the faithful in evidence at your worship services.  We will still go north for a time each year.  We are grateful for this place of prayer.  May the Lord bless His Church."

  • Rev. Pastor Al Stafanik
  • Assisting Priest
  • We agreed. It was her choice to move to Palm Coast. After all she had accompanied me as I served parishes from Vermont to Long Island to Maui to Martha’s Vineyard and back to Northern Vermont. Claire Stefanik, a retired psychotherapist, charted our move here in June, 2014. We had previously relocated from Long Island to the Green Mountains to raise eight children on our homestead in Cambridge in 1969. That was our successful effort to live off the land tending two gardens, ducks, geese, hogs and three hundred chickens. Claire and I were received into the Episcopal Church from Rome in 1975. Bishop Robert S. Kerr recognized my ordination in the Roman Catholic Church and licensed me as priest in 1977. At that time I served as a non-stipended (worker) priest at an experimental mission in Johnson. My salaried work continued as a social worker in child abuse/neglect and as an instructor in English at Johnson State College and the Community College of Vermont until 1983.

    In 1983 Bishop Kerr appointed me as campus minister at the University of Vermont. The Lutheran Bishop (ELCA) appointed me as Pastor to the Lutheran Students at UVM. In 1988 Trinity Parish, Shelburne, VT called me to be their rector. Specifically, my strongest talent was helping parishes transform their dysfunctional systems into healthy relationships. I have a strong affection for the healing ministry of Jesus. My preaching squares Scripture with what’s happening now and vice versa. I like the words of the Prophets and Jesus; especially when they confront injustice. Praying the Prayer Book daily complements my love to be in silence – that’s where Elijah found God.

    From the Green Mountains back to the Atlantic, will I surf again? I began surfing in 1948 on Long Island. Surf fishing? A better bet than surfing. My brother and I were very good at beaching striped bass. Then there is the trombone. I might just join the local band here. Practicing expands the lungs. Books? Just finished a bio about my unconventional grandmother – American Compassion from an Immigrant: We All Got Bellybuttons. Two more books (novels) are in progress. Because I love Claire’s company at the local eateries, weightlifting in my garage keeps my body weight in check. So does walking with my Tibetan Terrier, Zbigniew; he meditates too.

 
 

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  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church
  • 5400 Belle Terre Parkway
  • Palm Coast, Florida 32137
  • United States
  • Phone: 386-446-2300
  • Fax: 386-446-2303
  • dollyb@stthomaspalmcoast.com