About The Reverend Gary Jones, Ph.D.

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The Rev. Dr. Gary D. Jones is rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, where he has served since 2005. St. Stephen’s has grown by more than 1,000 members in that time, and is one of the largest and most vibrant parishes in the Episcopal Church with the fourth highest average Sunday attendance of U.S. Episcopal parishes.

The church is known for its outreach ministries which have expanded during Gary’s tenure. These include deep relationships with schools and community organizations in the East End of Richmond, as well as national and international relationships; a weekly farmers market; and two Sunday evening services that have attracted large numbers of unchurched people as well as those from other faith traditions. These include a sung Compline service, and a contemplative communion service with Celtic influences which has been studied and imitated in churches of varying denominations throughout the United States and in other countries—including Scotland—and has been featured on the PBS program “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.” The Celtic service is based on a liturgy originally used during Gary’s time at Church of the Holy Communion in Memphis.

Gary has also served churches in Tennessee, North Carolina and Pennsylvania during his 30 years in ordained ministry. Formative experiences with the Society of St. John the Evangelist have helped him delve more deeply into the contemplative dimensions of the Gospel. A serious bout with cancer in 2011 only enriched the journey.  

Gary, who recently completed a term as chairman of the board of Forward Movement (publisher of Forward Day by Day) is known for his preaching, writing and teaching.