Clergy & Staff
Are your people.
The Reverend Dr. Adam J. Shoemaker
Contact Reverend Dr. Shoemaker at email@example.com
Adam received a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, a Diploma in Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, and has completed the Doctor of Ministry program at Duke Divinity School. His dissertation addresses a pivotal moment in the unique history of St. Stephen’s. The title of his dissertation is “Building Community Across Walls: A History of an Integrated Church amid a Gentrifying Neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina.”
Adam formerly served as Rector of Holy Comforter in Burlington, NC where he led a mission-oriented congregation that, under Adam’s leadership, opened the first bilingual pre-school in Alamance County, NC. Prior to his tenure in Burlington, Adam served as the Assistant Rector at Christ Church in Andover, MA. where he had oversight of youth and children’s ministries. Adam has also served the church as a missionary to Brazil (2005-2006) and speaks conversational Portuguese.
More info on Reverend Dr. Shoemaker
An active member of the Charleston community, Adam is currently involved with the Charleston Illumination Project and the Charleston Area Justice Ministry. He is also an active member of the Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council. Adam serves as Dean of the Charleston Peninsula Deanery in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and is currently a member of Diocesan Council. He was also elected a Clergy Deputy from South Carolina to the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. In the wider church, he is a member of the Bilateral Commission on the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. He was also selected to participate in a pilot program of the Episcopal Church focused upon racial healing through the Absalom Jones Center in the Diocese of Atlanta.
Originally from the New York City area, Adam is married to the Reverend Courtney Davis-Shoemaker and they have three children. In his free time, Adam enjoys sports of all kinds, travel, and exploring the streets of Charleston.
The Very Reverend Michael Shaffer
Interim Associate Rector
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Fr. Michael comes to St. Stephen’s with over 23 years of ordained clergy experience, currently serving as an elected member of the Standing Committee in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and Dean of the Charleston Peninsula Deanery, as appointed by Bishop Ruth Woodliff-Stanley in 2022.
Michael received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and Juris Doctor from University of Missouri at Kansas City. Following graduation from law school, Michael served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Jackson County Missouri for 5 years, before entering private practice and starting his own law firm, where he focused on the representation of healthcare professionals in medical negligence cases for almost 30 years. As a trial attorney, Michael participated in over 200 trials to a jury verdict conclusion. While a practicing attorney, Michael was ordained as a vocational deacon in 2000, serving in the Diocese of West Missouri. Sensing what he refers to as a call to “a more sacramental ministry”, Michael left the practice of law and attended the Bishop Kemper School of Ministry, a school sponsored by the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas, Nebraska, West Missouri and Western Kansas. Following graduation and his ordination as a priest, Michael served as a priest in the Diocese of Olympia before accepting the call to become priest-in-charge of St. Francis Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina in 2018. Since arriving to the Diocese of South Carolina, Michael has served as priest in charge at St. Francis Episcopal Church, assisted at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and as Interim Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church.
Since the day of his priestly ordination, Michael has been guided by comments made by two previous Archbishops of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, and Rowan Williams. Michael Ramsey the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury once told a group of priests, “May it one day be said of you, not necessarily that you talked about God cleverly, but that you made God real to people”. And Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury later said, “The priest has to be free to be a lookout, an interpreter, and what I can best call a weaver.”
Michael has said that he feels blessed to serve the community of St. Stephen’s, as he and his wife Erin have always been committed to social equity, equality and justice issues and the support of organizations and events which promote equal opportunities for all persons, regardless of race, creed, color, ethnicity, nationality, sexual preference or orientation.
Erin and Michael live in downtown Charleston.
The Reverend Courtney Davis-Shoemaker
Assistant Priest (Worship, Pastoral Care, and Family Ministry)
Contact Reverend Davis-Shoemaker at firstname.lastname@example.org
A native of Asheville, NC, Courtney attended Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Prior to going to seminary, she was an Operations Manager at for a destination management company in Vail, CO. In Boston, MA she worked as an event coordinator at Trinity Church in Copley Square and a development officer for the US Fund for UNICEF. In 2005, Courtney began her studies at The General Theological Seminary in NYC, and was ordained a priest in 2009. She has served parishes in North Carolina and Massachusetts, and was campus minister for Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Friends (LEAF) at Elon University.
Currently Courtney works eight hours a week at St. Stephen’s and also serves the Diocese of South Carolina.
Courtney loves to spend time with her family and she also enjoys traveling, exploring the many restaurants of Charleston, and reading. Courtney and Adam’s children- Malcolm, Aubrey and Hannah- also keep her busy.
The Reverend Gregory L. Smith
Deacon (Mission and Pastoral Care)
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The Rev. Gregory L. Smith, a Vocational Deacon, was ordained in 1999. As deacon, he assisted in liturgy, pastoral care and Christian education in three other Episcopal parishes within this Diocese: St. Peters, Old St. Andrews and St. Francis. A deacon is called to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely. His deaconate community ministry includes: Executive Director of Crisis Ministry, (a homeless shelter now called 180 Place), a hospital chaplain; Manager of Pastoral Care Roper/St. Francis, until his retirement in 2011. Prior to being ordained, Greg had a business career for 35 years, 25 in senior management positions.
Greg is married to Lyn Smith. Their family includes a son and daughter-in-law who live locally, a daughter and son-in-law who live in NC, and four young grandchildren.
Greg works with the Rector and congregation on the ongoing renewal efforts of the congregation. As Deacon, his primary responsibility is to work with laypersons in developing and implementing ministries within the Church, including Outreach and Christian Education. Specifically,
In addition, Greg assists the Rector in Liturgy on Sundays, Holy Days, and in other services such as baptism, weddings, and funerals.
The Reverend James Pecoy
Deacon (Pastoral Care and Christian Education)
Contact Reverend Pecoy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deacon Jim transferred to the Diocese of South Carolina in March of 2022 when he accepted a position as Finance Manager for a local company here in Charleston. He is a fairly new Deacon, just ordained in September of 2020. Jim’s passion is in the Liturgy and serving the poor and the sick.
Quoting from his patron saint, Saint Lawrence: “The poor and sick are the treasures of the church.” Jim lives by this quote in his secular and sacred life.
St. Stephen’s is blessed to have the services of retired Episcopal clergy who help as celebrants and preachers.
St. Stephen’s Music Ministry
Wayne has served as our Organist-Choirmaster since 2010. Additionally, Wayne is a public school music teacher and an active recitalist.
For information about St. Stephen’s Choir, please email Wayne.
9 am Musician
Dennis Shuman, originally from Northwest Georgia, studied music at Loyola University New Orleans and Boston University. Dennis plays piano and sings for the 9 am Family Service and sings in the choir for the 11 am service. When not working, Dennis enjoys DIY projects and a new found hobby of woodworking.
For information about 9 am music, please email Dennis
Prior to joining St. Stephen’s, Amanda taught special education students in grades K-2. Parish Administrator since 2014.
Micheal has served as a verger since 2017. As the verger, Michael leads the church procession, assists the clergy, and guides the service participants.
Betty has been the nursery caregiver for over 10 years. She recently retired from a 25-year career teaching pre-school.
A native of Charleston, Dorothy has extensive experience in youth ministry and has worked as a youth minister in Episcopal churches for all of her adult life.
As well as our Fellowship Hour organizer, Vicki is our wedding coordinator here at St. Stephen’s. She also has her own business as a florist here in Charleston.
Melissa joined us in 2023 as our financial analyst. She has experience in finance, real estate and project management. Her goal is to provide accounting support in a seamless manner.