The Rev. Mr. Shannon L. Clark serves as deacon in charge, under the ecclesiastical authority of the Rt. Rev. John Upham, rector and bishop ordinary of the Diocese of the Atlantic States. The deacon is currently completing preparations for his ordination to the priesthood.
Vestry and Officers of the Parish
Mr. Phillip Blakey leads the vestry as senior warden. Mr. Fred Roth serves as junior warden. Mrs. Janet Seaman, Mr. Steve Williams, and Mr. Bill Street also serve on the vestry.
Mr. William McElwee accepted the post of organist and choirmaster in June 2018, bringing with him organ scholar Thomas Graves. The choir consists of parishioners who want to make a joyful noise unto the Lord as well as scholar-choristers from the University of Montevallo. No auditions are required.
Mr. McElwee, a native of Gadsden, Alabama, began piano studies at an early age. He was enrolled in the Early Learning Program at Samford University during his high school years, studying piano with Steve Nelson and Music Theory and History with Betty Sue Shepherd. Organ studies began in earnest with Dr. Patricia Fitzsimmons on a college level. Bill decided upon a different career path but continued his organ studies with his mentor, Idabelle Gay, at the Church of the Advent in Birmingham.
Bill has played organ and directed choirs regularly in various mainline Protestant denominations for many years. When Ensley Baptist Church (his last regular organist position) disbanded in 2005, Bill decided that he would concentrate on supply work. He substituted regularly at churches from Anniston to Tuscaloosa, from Greenville to Greensboro to Gadsden, and places in between. A long-time member of the Birmingham Chapter of the American Guild of Organists who has served on its Executive Committee, Bill saw a need at Holy Comforter.
His protegé, Thomas Graves (coincidentally also a student of the octogenarian Dr. Fitzsimmons) is pleased and excited to serve at Holy Comforter as chorister and organ scholar. Both Bill and Thomas are continuing their music education by rehearsing with the very fine choir at Highlands Methodist Church on Wednesdays and participating in the School of Hymnody at the Church of the Advent Tuesday evenings.