The Reverend Christopher T. Cunningham,
Fr. Cunningham began his ministry at St. James on July 1, 2013. He comes to us from the Diocese of Southern Virginia, where he served as Rector of Johns Memorial Episcopal Church in Farmville, VA. He has previous experience at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Bluemont, VA; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Purcellville, VA; Trinity Church, Manassas, VA; and as a Seminarian Assistant at St. John’s, Centreville, VA and Christ Church, Winchester, VA.
Prior to his ordination, Fr. Cunningham served several tours of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. When not on active duty, he was a business consultant and Director of Information Technology at Virginia Theological Seminary.
He is a graduate of George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science.
He earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary,
“At my ordination as a Priest, among other things I promised to be a faithful pastor to all I am called to serve, laboring together…to build up the family of God. As your Priest-in-Charge I will do my best to be a faithful and diligent pastor, and serve with the people of St. James and the Birmingham area to live into our Baptismal Promises. I look forward to becoming part of the St. James family: we have an exciting future together!”
Dr. Glenn Burdette,
Director of Music
Glenn became Director of Music Ministries at St. James in December 2002.
A native of western Pennsylvania, he won a National Merit Scholarship to Oberlin College, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance and music history. He then pursued graduate studies at Cornell University, where he was Assistant Organist in Sage Chapel, and at the University of Cincinnati, where he received his Master's degree in organ performance and Ph.D. in musicology.
Glenn has published journal and encyclopedia articles on 18th-century musical performance and 19th-century organ building history, as well as critical editions of historic music for A-R Editions and Kallisti Music Press.
Glenn’s earlier church positions included those of Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati and Director of Music at Grace Church, Utica, New York; and Adjunct Music Instructor at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati and Utica College of Syracuse University.
He is also an adjunct faculty member in music history and harpsichord performance at Wayne State University and Marygrove College. Glenn and his wife, Paddy live in Birmingham.
Minister to Youth and Young Adults
Chris became the Minister to Youth and Young Adults at St. James in December 2010.
Chris attained her Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002, during which time she also was student pastor at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Califon, NJ. Before entering seminary, she served as director of youth ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Freeport, NY, and director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Garden City, NY. She chaired the Presbytery of Long Island’s Youth & Young Adult Ministry Work group for six years, and served as director and chaplain, chaired small groups and helped plan the annual Silver Bay Presbyterian Youth Conference in New York State.
A native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, NY, Chris moved to Michigan in 2003 to accept a call as Executive Director of Skyline Camp and Retreat Center in Almont, MI. She has also worked on staff at First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, MI.
Chris has spent her entire career working in non-profits as a reference/computer assistant in a public library, in child guidance and teen center work, and with day camp and after school programs. A graduate of the New York City Police Academy in 1987, she earned two commendations as an officer with the New York City Police Department while walking beats in Times Square and then Chinatown.
Sharing the words of Kenda Creasy Dean, one of Chris’ seminary professors, Chris wholeheartedly believes that “the church’s job is to till the soil, prepare the heart, ready the mind, still the soul, and stay awake so we notice where God is on the move, and follow.” Chris sees that God is most certainly on the move here at St. James!
As Parish Administrator, Ellen's responsibilities as office manager includes work on St. James communication pieces, such as the weekly bulletins, monthly newsletter and website updates.
Her current flexible schedule at the church allows her to concentrate on her favorite job as a mother to triplet teenagers.
Peggy has been a parishioner at St. James since 1956. She began her position as Financial Secretary in September 1993.
As Financial Secretary, Peggy keeps track of all deposits, pledges, memorials and payroll. Working closely with the Treasurer, she pays invoices and prepares monthly reports for the Vestry and Parish (Endowment) Fund.
Only her dedication to her children and grandchildren can rival her dedication to St. James. On Saturday mornings, Peggy can be found in the knitter’s group.
Director of St. James Preschool
Shar has a degree in education, with advanced graduate study. She has been Preschool Director at St. James since 1998. She is a member of the National Association of Education of Young Children and its local affiliates. She also is involved with the Oakland County Director Coalition and is a member of the Michigan Association of
On a professional level, Shar knows and understands the difficulties families face when choosing a child care provider. She and the nurturing staff at the preschool provide a safe, secure, intellectually stimulating, socially motivating and most of all, happy environment for children. She believes that St. James Preschool offers families the best care and education available, so that it is truly “a great place to start”.
Shar and her husband Jon have been active members of St. James since 1985. They have two daughters who grew up at St. James.
Quenten has been St. James’ Sexton since 1994. His responsibilities include the general maintenance of the building and grounds. In addition, he helps prepare the church for special events, meetings and services.
Quenten enjoys being an integral part of the St. James family. His positive attitude and listening skills have endeared him to many. He is married to Kim, and is the proud father of six children.