Welcoming Anthony W. Calzia Jr.

Dear Grace-St. Luke’s Church and School Community:

I am pleased to announce that Anthony W. Calzia Jr. has been hired to serve at GSL as full-time Director of Children and Family Ministries beginning Friday, August 12, following the July 21 leave-taking of part-time Director of Children’s Formation Mary Shea Quach. In this expanded staff position, Anthony is charged with being the designer of offerings and strategies which create and build connections among parents of households with children, and collaborating with the clergy, staff, and children and family ministries advisory committee as lead teacher and recruiter of volunteers to serve children and families by the formation offerings of approved curriculum. The role will work closely with the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries (Amzie Williams) as part of our focus on a continuum-approach to forming Christian children, youth, and adults.

Respected as a creative, collaborative, and passionate leader with diverse experience in adolescent faith formation and family ministry, Anthony Calzia is a Catechist at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Nashville where he and his family are members. Prior to current part-time work as an Associate Lay Chaplain at Ascension/St. Thomas West Hospital, Anthony served as Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. Based on his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School and pledge to the Jesus Movement (, he is a life-long student of theology, values ministry in a program of the Episcopal tradition, and incorporates the research into how human beings learn and grow individually and in community.

Anthony, his wife (a critical care nurse), and their three children (5, 6, 8) will be relocating soon and plan to be among us on Sunday, August 14, for worship, fellowship, and introduction. This also is Blessing of the Backpacks & BLTs Sunday – a great day to connect with households with children! I hope that many will be present on this and future Sundays both to welcome Anthony and to get involved with the parish life offerings set to increase between August and September.

I am deeply grateful for those who assisted the rector, Father Ollie Rencher, and me with the recruitment and interview process: The Rev. Laura F. Gettys, Associate Rector for Community Engagement and Congregational Life, Mary Shea Quach, Former Director of Children’s Formation, Ben Cowan, Vestry Commissioner for Children’s Formation, Amzie Williams, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Amy Hudson, Allison King, Julia McDonald, and Sharon Shipley.


The Reverend Jesse W. Abell, DMin
Associate Rector, Pastoral Care and Formation
901-252-6330 |

Posted by Lucy Anne Owens at 20:20