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.
Elizabeth has served at St. Lukes since February 2015. Elizabeth has a passion for liturgy and a love for all things community. Her focus is around fostering opportunities for spiritual development and growth. Before seminary she developed and subsequently directed the Johnson Intern Program at Chapel of the Cross, an Episcopal Service Corps program in Chapel Hill, NC while also working as the family coordinator for Chatham Habitat for Humanity. She has served at the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City and All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta as the priest for outreach, liturgy and pastoral care. The connecting thread through all of Elizabeth’s work has been engaging in compelling questions about God, living as a person of great faith and intellectual inquiry, and responding with action and intention in how we live. She loves camping with her children and dogs, Ana and Fig. Elizabeth is always up for travel and adventure. Having been raised in North Carolina and as an alumni of the University, Elizabeth is an avid Duke basketball fan.
A graduate of Morehouse College, Boston University, and Vanderbilt in theological studies, Horace came to St. Luke's in July 2017 after a twenty-seven year vocation as a college and seminary professor and hospital chaplain. While he has served on a part-time basis at a number of parishes, currently he has oversight for the pastoral care ministry and provides leadership for the fifteen Community Ministries here at St. Luke’s.
An award-winning author of the groundbreaking, Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in the Black Church, he was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 2005 and has passionately devoted his parish ministry to social justice, racial reconciliation and LBGTQ equality in the Church.
His fundamental belief that we are called to love God and treat all humans with love and equal justice is at the heart of his ministry. When he is not working on making the world a better place, he enjoys music, concerts, and film. He is interested in reading books on religion, African American and Gay history, and First Ladies.
He has concertized throughout the USA and abroad, and several performances have been heard in broadcasts of American Public Media’s Pipe Dreams and the nationally syndicated program, With Heart and Voice. He has performed in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, London; Barcelona Cathedral, Spain; 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, Charleston, and Nashville.
He is a member of the Anglican Association of Musicians, American Guild of Organists, and the American Choral Director’s Association. Each summer, he manages the Royal School of Church Music’s Carolina Course at Duke University.
A parishioner of St Luke’s for over 25 years, Elizabeth has served since the summer of 2019 as our Interim Director of Operations. Drawing from her prior management experience in the carpet industry, she leads the team covering Human Resources, office administration, property management, and finance.
Our faith teaches us that God’s love is limitless. But like the loaves and fishes, it only multiplies when we offer it to God’s glory. Big Love calls us to be courageous; to prepare the way for miracles.
Big Love is St. Luke's call to collective, courageous generosity. We give each other permission to be extraordinary!