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A national leader in the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Winnie Varghese is known for her inspired writing, teaching and preaching. Before becoming the 23rd rector of St. Luke's, she served as Priest for Ministry and Program Coordination at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.
Prior to Trinity, Winnie served as Rector and Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s in the Bowery in New York. Winnie was also Chaplain at both Columbia University and University of California Los Angeles. She is a native of Dallas, Texas and is married to Elizabeth Toledo, a public relations executive. They have two grown children.
Winnie serves on the Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary, she chaired the General Convention’s Committee on the State of the Church from 2015 to 2018, and she served on the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Divinity School, 2013-2016. She is also a published author, editor, and podcaster.
Winnie’s parents immigrated to the United States from India, and Winnie spent part of her early childhood years there. She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA and earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She then attended Union Theological Seminary and graduated with her Master of Divinity degree in 1999. She was ordained to the deaconate in Los Angeles in 1999 and to the priesthood six months later in 2000.
Matthew Michael Brown, a native of North Carolina, is Director of Music at St. Luke’s, where he leads a vibrant sacred music program affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music in America and is Founder and Artistic Director of the Music at St. Luke’s series.
As a concert artist, he has performed for series and festivals in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, London; Barcelona Cathedral, Spain; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; Washington National Cathedral; Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York; Princeton University Chapel; Assembly Hall of the Mormon Tabernacle; Trinity Church on Copley Square, Boston; and the Episcopal Cathedrals of Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston, and Nashville. Several performances have been heard in radio broadcasts of American Public Media’s Pipe Dreams and the nationally syndicated program, With Heart and Voice.
He earned degrees in organ performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Eastman School of Music. He also holds the Sacred Music Diploma from Eastman's Institute for Music Leadership. As a grant recipient from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and The Robert Carwithen Foundation, he pursued two years of post-graduate organ studies with Dame Gillian Weir. Other major teachers included David Higgs, Jack Mitchener, and Wayne Leupold. Earlier in his career, he benefited from master classes with Marie-Claire Alain, Michel Bouvard, David Craighead, and Ewald Kooiman, and was a pianist for the New York City voice studio of Rita Shane, dramatic coloratura soprano for many of the world’s leading opera houses.
An advocate for new music, he has premiered major works by Kenneth Frazelle and Dan Locklair. He has also facilitated commissions from Barlow Bradford, David Hurd, Simon Lole, Ned Rorem, and Richard Webster. Beginning in 2023, the music program at St. Luke’s Atlanta will endeavor to become a leader in annually commissioning music by underrepresented composers for traditional liturgies of the Episcopal Church. This initiative launched with new compositions by David Hurd, Texu Kim, and Dorothy Papadakos to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Alston Memorial Organ.
Matthew is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians, American Guild of Organists, American Choral Director’s Association, and the Maurice and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé Association in Paris, France. He currently serves as Vice-President for The Leupold Foundation and on committees for the Taylor National Organ Playing Competition and the Southeast Region of the American Guild of Organists.
Each summer, he manages the Royal School of Church Music in America’s Carolina Summer Choral Residency at Duke University. In recognition for his significant work and contributions to the cause and advancement of church music, he will be made an Honorary Member (HonRSCM) of the Royal School of Church Music this October in Chester Cathedral (UK).