St. James Episcopal Church celebrates new rector

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Rev. Christopher R. Duncan

The calling of the Rev. Christopher R. Duncan as the 24th rector of the historic parish, will be the focus of a Celebration of New Ministry on Wednesday, January 16.

The Celebration of New Ministry begins at 6:00 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, at the corner of Convention and N. 4th Street in downtown Baton Rouge. All are welcome, and a reception will follow the festive service.

“I am filled with great excitement and joy to serve as St. James’ new rector,” Duncan said. “St. James has a distinguished history of faithful ministry that transforms lives, and together we will build upon that legacy as we look forward to the future God has in store. Together we will step out in faith in the name of and for the sake of Christ so that all might know the love of God.”

Duncan, a native of Houston, Texas, was ordained into the priesthood in 2010. He most recently served as the rector of St. Paul’s in Katy, Texas, where the parish saw tremendous engagement and growth, engaging in a capital campaign as well as addressing damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Duncan is married to the former Casey Rush, and they have two children, Carolena, age seven, and, Nils, five, who are attending St. James Episcopal Day School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science at Texas A&M University, graduating cum laude, and the Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2009.

St. James Episcopal Church was first a gathering of Episcopalians meeting for prayer, in 1819. The parish was established in 1844 following successful organizational efforts by a group of Episcopalians in the area, comprising largely of women, including Margaret Taylor, the wife of future war hero and president, Zachary Taylor.

The church building, a Gothic revival-style structure at the corner of Convention and N. Fourth Street was completed in 1895 and has been in use, since. The parish campus now encompasses the entire block, including the St. James Episcopal Day School, awarded the National Blue Ribbon of Excellence in education in 2009 and 2015.

Contributed by St. James Episcopal Church