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Shawn Griffith


Shawn Griffith was born in Huntington, West Virginia. After attending West Virginia University for a semester, he withdrew from school and joined the Army where he became a pilot. During his 21 years of service, he completed an undergraduate degree at Emory Riddle Aeronautical University, a Master of Arts in Education, Counseling and Guidance, from Ball State University, and a Master of Business Administration in Information Systems from Golden Gate University. Just prior to his retirement Shawn served in Desert Storm as the senior Army office onboard an experimental intelligence aircraft. Shawn attended Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. His first calling was to a partnership of three small churches in southern Virginia where he served for 6 years. Shawn is currently the Rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Gastonia where he has served for 16 years. The two areas of ministry that Shawn is most passionate about is outreach and Evangelism. Shawn has been married to his wife, Rosanne for 48 years. They have a son who lives in Savannah, Georgia. Shawn enjoys golf, playing the drums, and spending time with his family.

Contact Info: | off: 704-864-4531


John Simpson

Associate Rector

Born and raised just down the road in Charlotte, John is pleased to serve St. Mark’s, Gastonia as his first cure. John earned his bachelor’s in economics at UNC Charlotte, then a master’s from NC State. Several experiences nurtured and deepened his call to the priesthood, including summer camp, college ministry, special needs ministry, youth ministry, and long-term overseas mission. A 2020 graduate of the School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South, John focuses at St. Mark’s on youth ministry and program development. He enjoys leading liturgy and youth discipleship that nurtures a consequential faith.

John is currently the diocesan chaplain for the Daughters of the King, and regularly serves as chaplain at Camp Henry, where he and his wife Barbara originally met. He enjoys his barbeque smoker, cycling, and listening to music his humble home stereo. They recently welcomed their third child.

Contact Info: | off:  704-864-4531


The Venerable Brenda Gilbert Archdeacom

The Archdeacon is a deacon of the diocese who is appointed by, responsible to, and with access to the Bishop. The Archdeacon is the liaison between the Bishop and the deacons in the Diocese, which includes but is not limited to advocating for deacons, assisting the bishop in addressing the pastoral needs of deacons, and assisting the deacons and Bishop in arranging and maintaining parochial assignments. The Archdeacon is also involved in the discernment process for deacons as well as deacon formation. 

Contact Info:  Off: 704-864-4531


Dionne Browning

Church Business Administrator

Dionne has been the Business Administrator of St. Mark’s since September of 2013.  She was born into a large family, the seventh of eight children, in the small town of Crawfordsville, Indiana.  She has cleaned houses and offices, worked as a Tax Preparer at H & R Block, and as a Teller at a local bank in Indiana.  She remained in the Hoosier state until her move to Gastonia, North Carolina in 2003.  Dionne began her work as an Office Administrator the next year at the home offices of Mary Kay Directors Johanna Giese and Terri Williamson.  She is grateful to Terri and to Alex, Terri’s husband, for introducing her to St. Mark’s.

Dionne has two children from her first marriage who still live in the area, Janelle who lives with her husband, Thomas, in Salisbury, and Ryan who lives in Bessemer City.  Dionne loves to draw, paint, and crochet in her spare time.  She graduated from Gaston College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Accounting in 2017.  Her wish is to continue her education in accounting.

Contact Info: | Off:  704-864-4531


David Wilcox

Music Director & Organist

David has been a Minister of Music and Worship since 1976. He served Presbyterian and United Methodist churches over the past 46 years in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. He led large multi-choir programs and began a music ministry on a church planting team. His last two appointments show evidence of his capacity to rebuild and revitalize the music ministry. For the past 15 years, he served Saint Mark United Methodist Church (Seneca, SC), helping grow its music ministry into one of the finest in the South Carolina United Methodist Conference. His choirs have appeared by invitation at the South Carolina Chapter of American Choral Directors’ fall conventions.

David earned degrees from Brevard College, Queens College, and Bob Jones University. Other professional endeavors include conducting the Key Koraliers and the Boychoir Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium. He was the founding Dean of the Greater Anderson Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He taught courses in Worship, Music Appreciation, Music History, Music Theory, Organ and Piano as an adjunct instructor at both Anderson University and Erskine College.

David grew up in Denver, NC and has returned “home” to enjoy his family home on Lake Norman and spoil his grandchildren. He has 2 sons and a daughter, and 5 grandchildren.

Contact Info: | Off: 704-864-4531


Brenda Simpson

Director of Christian Formation

Barbara graduated from Mars Hill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy with a concentration in youth leadership. She has a background of working for the YMCA as an afterschool director, Camp Henry as a counselor and assistant director, and as a preschool teacher and teacher’s assistant. She has also worked in several churches in the Dioceses of Western NC, as well as the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, in the role of Christian Formation.

Contact Info: | Off:  704-864-4531


Chris Kiser

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