The Rev. Bertie Pearson
I began to feel a call to ministry as a small child, and while discernment was a constant feature of my prayer life through high school, it wasn't until college that I entered the process in earnest. In the late 90's I left my hometown of Austin for Berkeley, California where I studied intellectual history. During my sophomore year, I studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, and became very involved at The American Cathedral, the Episcopal church in Paris. There I began a series of conversations about the priesthood, which continued with my parish priest in San Francisco. Through years of discernment, it became clear to me and to my church that I was indeed called to a life of ministry, and I began seminary at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific after finishing college.
I seem to be one of very few clergy in the Episcopal Church to have put himself through seminary by DJ-ing electronic music and playing the drums in rock bands. One evening, waiting for a soundcheck before a performance, I was reading a church history book in the back of a nightclub. A young woman from Holland named Rahel, who was recently arrived in the US for a post-college year abroad, sat down next to me and asked what I was reading, and a conversation ensued which has continued to this day. After I finished seminary, Rahel decided to return to Holland to do a Masters of Psychology and I followed her to Europe, doing further graduate study at Oxford University, where I also served as Assistant Chaplain at Hertford College. Rahel and I later returned to San Francisco where we were married and I was ordained. I spent my first two years as a priest serving on the staff of the Diocese of California, and later served as priest in charge of two churches simultaneously, Holy Innocents and St. John the Evangelist.
One of the great dangers of marrying a Texan is that we almost always come home. In 2012 Rahel and I moved back to Austin where she began a PhD at UT in Clinical Psychology, and I was called as Vicar of San Francisco de Asís in South Austin. I was also called to serve on the adjunct faculty of both the Seminary of the Southwest and the Iona School for Ministry where I taught Church History for seven years. In 2015 we welcomed our daughter Helena into the world, and in 2016 I began serving at Grace. (Dr.) Rahel is now a visiting scholar at the UT Dell School of Medicine working on a PTSD study for the VA and our son Augustine was born in 2020. We have found Grace to be the world's warmest, most prayerful and fun Episcopal Congregation, and we hope to see you in church!
The Rev. Mary Ann Huston
I am delighted to be part of the Grace community, and I look forward to getting to know you all. I come to Grace from St. Mark's in Houston, where I served first as the Curate, and then as the Associate Rector. I learned much from my time there, and am eager to share my experience with you.
A common thread throughout my life has been an interest in peoples' stories. I studied Anthropology in college, worked as an archaeologist between college and graduate school, and later worked at an historical society in Kansas and the State Historic Preservation Office in Iowa. Part of what I enjoy most about ministry is hearing the stories of people's lives and how God is working in them.
I have served in God's church for much of my life. I grew up in Fort Worth, where I sang in the children's choir and was an active member of our youth group. As an adult, I served in our church in East Tennessee. I answered my call to ministry while our two children were small by becoming an EfM student and mentor for twelve years, a Sunday School teacher, and a pastoral care coordinator. I got additional training in
chaplaincy at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. When we moved back to Texas for Michael's work, I was able to finally attend seminary. I served as a hospital chaplain at South Austin Medical Center during and after my studies at the Seminary of the Southwest. I also served in an interim capacity at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, as their Adult Formation Coordinator.
My husband, Michael, and I have been married for 32 years. We have two adult children who are creatively making their ways in the world. Ann is a Park Ranger for Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona. She also is a poet whose work has been published in several journals. Thomas is living in Chicago and doing art installations in art museums and galleries, as well as selling clothes. Michael is recently retired from Texas StateUniversity, where he taught biology for the past 13 years. If you are interested in nature, ecology, biodiversity, or the Big Bend area, Michael is a good person to talk with! We are all excited to begin a new journey at Grace.
The Rev. Anne Matthews
The Very Rev. Kevin Martin
The Rev. Sue Ross
Jill was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She moved to Austin, Texas in 2005 and currently resides in Georgetown. She has 4 boys, and they all reside in the greater Austin area which allows for wonderful family get-togethers at holidays and birthdays. Jill has a bachelor's degree from Penn State University in Letters, Arts and Sciences. She considers herself a life-long learner and stays busy with a variety of interests and hobbies.
Dr. David Polley
David Polley began serving in the position of Director of Music at Grace in September 2015. He comes to this position after serving 17 years as Organist at University United Methodist Church in Austin. He is also an adjunct Professor of Organ at Southwestern University. After forty years of teaching secondary music education, Dr. Polley retired to pursue a more active career in church music. He earned degrees from Concordia University, Seward, NE; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; and the University ofNebraska-Lincoln, NE. He has served Lutheran, Catholic, and Methodist churches in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Texas.
As an accompanist, Dr. Polley has toured with the Southwestern University Chorale and the San Gabriel Chorale to China, Hungary, Italy, and France where he played the largest organs in China (Shanghai) and Hungary (Budapest). He has also performed as a featured recitalist in concerts in the Georgetown Festival of the Arts playing the music of Schubert, Schumann, Saint-Saens, Vierne, as well as Gade, Grieg, and Larsen. His most recent invited recitals include Church of the Heavenly Rest Episcopal, Abilene, TX and St. Austin Catholic Church and Westlake Presbyterian in Austin, TX.
In the future, Dr. Polley plans to continue serving as an accompanist and clinician in the area public schools as well as playing recitals in Central Texas.
I am excited to be the newest Grace Sexton, or as I like to say, Patty 2.0! I've worn many different hats at Grace over the past 9 years from planning the Grace School golf tournament, to running the ARK After School Program, and of course helping Patty during the times she needed an assistant. Originally a Kerrville native I met my husband in Washington, D.C. after graduating from the University of Mississippi. My husband, Nathan, and I share three children, Emma 9, Maddie 7, and Harrison aka Harry, 2. Our daughters attended Grace School for Preschool and are currently in 4th and 1st Grade at Village Elementary. Harry is in the 2's class here at Grace with Ms. Julie, and absolutely loves it. Nathan spends his days at Capital Farm Credit, financing farm and ranch agriculture property all over the state, that good ole Texas dream. We absolutely love our community of Georgetown, and enjoy taking part in all it has to offer. I am also a very big advocate for our public school district in Georgetown and serve as the President for PTA Council of GISD. When we aren't working we enjoy cooking, music, hanging out with friends, and enjoying our beautiful town square with our family. I am honored to be given this opportunity to serve at Grace Episcopal Church and look forward to getting to know the Grace family better!
Dayna graduated from Georgetown High School in 2001 and earned her Master of Accountancy degree at Abilene Christian University in 2006. Following college graduation, Dayna completed an accounting intern in Indonesia with the Christian international relief organization, Samaritan's Purse. Dayna met her husband Ryan, a fellow intern, during this time and they were married a year later. Dayna obtained her CPA license in 2008 while working as a public auditor. Later she and Ryan returned with Samaritan's Purse in Liberia, Africa, where she served as Finance Manager.
In 2009 they settled back in Georgetown and Dayna began an accounting position at Southwestern University. Their first son, Sawyer, was born in 2012 and their second son, Micah, in 2014. Dayna has primarily been a stay at home mom since then. She spends most of her time with her family and friends, and also enjoys biking and serving in local ministry. She is grateful for the opportunity the Lord provided to serve as the bookkeeper at Grace.
I began serving as Head of School at Grace Episcopal School in June 2000. I was offered the position by the original school board after having taught elementary school for 5 years and middle and high school math for 2 years in Hutto I.S.D. While attending Texas State University (formerly SWT) in San Marcos and earning my Bachelors of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in mathematics, I also met my future husband. In May 1991 I graduated Summa Cum Laude from SWT, and in June 1991 Chris I were married at Saint Albans Episcopal Church in south Austin. After getting married, we settled in Round Rock. I began teaching in Hutto at that time, and Chris began his career at Dell, Inc.
As Chris and I are both cradle Episcopalians, we began attending Grace Episcopal Church in 1995, and in 1996 we moved to Georgetown to be closer to our church. We have lived in Georgetown for 26 years and have three children: Addison (26), Kaden (23), and Ainsley (15).
Some hobbies I enjoy include reading, working out, puzzles, and attending my children’s sporting events. Five nights a week I tutor all ages and levels of math out of my home.
Having served as Head of School for over 22 years, I have seen the school grow in so many ways. Some of my first students at GES now have children of their own at the school! We’ve come a long way from the Mother’s Day Out program that Father Cotton originally started in 1992! I look forward to the future of Grace Episcopal School.
Our Vestry is made up of church members who are elected by the congregation to serve 3 year terms. The Senior Warden leads the vestry and the Junior Warden is responsible for the church property and buildings. The Vestry manages the resources and finances of the Grace Church, and works with the Rector to further the mission of the Body of Christ.
Senior Warden -
Junior Warden - Art Geis