Our Staff

The Reverend Joshua A. Hoover
Rector
248-644-0820 ext. 7222
josh@stjamesbirmingham.org

St. James celebrated a New Ministry and welcomed The Reverend Josh Hoover as Rector on January 30, 2016 during a ceremony officiated by The Right Reverend Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Bishop, Diocese of Michigan.

During 2015 as appointed Priest-in-Charge and now, as Rector, Josh is engaging and challenging parishioners to consider how they can make a difference to the greater community using their unique skills and abilities. Taking action to Share Christ’s Love with the World fulfills an important part of our Mission Statement.

Josh served as Rector of St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, Fenton, Michigan for nine years prior to coming to St. James. He is a 2002 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. Josh is a 1994 Cum Laude graduate of Alfred University with a Bachelor of Arts.

His wife, Allie and their three children, William, Julia and Timothy are active and engaged participants in our parish life. 

Dr. Glenn Burdette
Director of Music
248-644-0820 ext. 7206
music@stjamesbirmingham.org

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.

Chris Gannon
Associate for Formation & Outreach
248-644-0820 ext. 7203
chris@stjamesbirmingham.org

Chris became the Minister to Youth and Young Adults at St. James in December 2010 and was given a new job title, Associate for Formation & Outreach in 2016. This new title reflects both responsibilities that Pastor Chris has taken on in the last few years, and some new items that Fr. Josh has asked her to add.

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! 

Elaine Belz
Parish Administrator
248-644-0820 ext. 7200
churchoffice@stjamesbirmingham.org

Elaine Belz, our new Parish Administrator, joined the St. James staff on January 2, 2017.

Elaine is a Michigan native. A current resident of Detroit, she is very active in the ministries of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, singing in the choir and serving as Eucharistic Minister, lector, and verger. In 2016 she served as docent for the new Friday "Open Cathedral" program.

She graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in philosophy and communication, and later moved to the San Francisco area in California to pursue an M. A. in theology from the Graduate Union Theological Union in Berkeley. Currently, she is working on a PhD in theological aesthetics, also through the GTU.

While in California, Elaine worked as a verger at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and directed the Altar Guild. She returned home to Michigan in 2014 and was most recently Office Manager for Nativity Episcopal Church in Bloomfield Township.

Visitors to Elaine’s office at St. James will notice an icon of St. Anne, the Virgin Mary and Christ on the wall. With a passionate interest in icons and iconography, Elaine submitted a paper titled, “A Wounded Presence: The Virgin of Vladimir” to the Graduate Journal of Harvard Divinity School, where it was published in the 2016 issue (available online).

Writing poetry, exploring Detroit history and reading biographies about creative people are more of Elaine’s wide range of interests. With a wealth of experiences to share, Elaine is looking forward to her work with parishioners and the community.

Peggy John
Financial Secretary
248-644-0820 ext. 7205
financial@stjamesbirmingham.org

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.

Peggy is in the office Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Engrid Wicka
Assistant Financial Secretary
248-644-0820 ext. 7209
engrid@stjamesbirmingham.org

As Assistant Financial Secretary, Engrid keeps the preschool financial books and works closely with Peggy John, Shar Wickens and Father Josh Hoover.

Engrid is in the office Monday through Friday; 12:30-2:30 p.m. Her office is located on the second floor in the Church Office hallway.

Shar Wickens
Director of St. James Preschool
248-644-0820 ext.7103
preschool@stjamesbirmingham.org

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 Play Therapy.

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 Matthews
Sexton
248-644-0820 ext. 7100
churchoffice@stjamesbirmingham.org

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 and is the proud father of six children.