Aaron was born in Houston, but his childhood took him to Mexico City; Washington, D.C.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Los Angeles, California, before finally settling in his hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
After earning a B.A. magna cum laude in History of Science at Harvard University, Aaron spent two years with an educational non-profit in Kazakhstan. Aaron later worked at Harvard Business School and H.J. Heinz in Pittsburgh.
He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in 2008. Before coming to St. Alban’s, he served churches in Pittsburgh and Houston. Aaron is a contributor to the Mockingbird blog and magazine, and is past President of the Board of Directors of Mockingbird Ministries. He is on the advisory board for StoryMakers NYC. He is on the board of the Great Commission Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He is currently the Dean for the Northwest Convocation of the Diocese of Texas. Aaron co-hosts Same Old Song, the weekly lectionary podcast of Mockingbird Ministries, with the Rev. Jacob Smith.
Aaron’s wife, Andrea, is originally from Michigan, and holds two degrees from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has worked in church ministry, apparel design, and as a non-profit director and event planner. She is the Coordinator of the Families & Foster Care Coalition Heart of Texas. Married since 2002, Aaron and Andrea are proud parents of three children.
Andrew is a native of Louisiana. At Louisiana Tech he double majored in music and English and graduated summa cum laude. He then earned a PhD in Religion and Literature from Baylor. While at Baylor, Andrew met his wife, Patty. After finishing his doctorate in 2006, Andrew began a career as a university professor.
Andrew was raised a Southern Baptist and is the grandson of Baptist missionaries. During his time as a graduate student in Waco, he became an Episcopalian at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, where he and Patty led the young adult ministry. Later, after nearly ten years of college teaching, Andrew responded to a growing sense of a call to ordained ministry. He left academia in 2015, became the lay chaplain of an Episcopal school in Louisiana, and soon started the ordination discernment process. In 2019, he completed a Certificate in Anglican Studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, an Episcopal Seminary in Berkeley, CA, and was ordained later that year in the Diocese of Western Louisiana. He has previously served parishes in New Iberia, LA and Longview, TX.
Ordained to the Diaconate in June 2015, Al serves as our Deacon, which means he assists the clergy and focuses on outreach and service. He also has a role in coordinating mission and outreach among the three Episcopal parishes in Waco. Most Sundays he is at St. Alban’s, but occasionally serves Holy Spirit and St. Paul’s.
He and his wife Carol have two grown children. Prior to ordination, Al had a distinguished career in law enforcement in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, and served as Waco’s Chief of Police.
Kara grew up in Lubbock, Texas, and has degrees from Emory University (BA in sociology), Texas Tech University (Masters in Educational Psychology), and Candler School of Theology at Emory University (Master of Divinity).
Kara was originally a United Methodist Pastor and was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in 2006. As a priest, she was on the staff at St. Mathew’s Cathedral and Church of the Transfiguration, both in Dallas.
Kara has worked as a Board Certified Chaplain for over 15 years. She is a Certified Spiritual Director and had a private practice as a counselor in Lubbock prior to moving to Waco.
Kara enjoys playing tennis, dancing, and baking.
Garrett was born in West Texas and raised on the Central Coast of California. He holds degrees from Abilene Christian University (BA, Biblical Text), Princeton Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity), and Seminary of the Southwest (Diploma of Anglican Studies).
Before coming to St. Alban’s, Garrett worked for a refugee resettlement agency in Abilene, a dairy farm in New Jersey, and an Episcopal school in Tyler as a lay chaplain. While living in New Jersey, he began discerning a call to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. He has served in various lay roles at parishes in New Jersey, Tyler, and Austin. Garrett is married to Rachael.
Hilary is on the front line at St. Alban’s, serving as office manager, receptionist, and executive assistant to the Rector. Before coming to St. Alban’s, she has worked as an editor, a teacher, and an office manager.
Hilary earned her BA and MA degrees in history. She enjoys reading books on British and American history and also loves traveling, swimming, and shopping. A native of Kansas City, Hilary has lived in San Diego, New Orleans, and now Waco for the past 20 years. She and her family are members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Her husband is a Baylor professor. They have a son who recently graduated from Baylor University.
Rachel oversees and teaches in adult formation, serves as point-person for newcomers, and manages other forms of connection at St. Alban’s. She holds a Ph.D. in Religion (Theology) from Baylor where she wrote her dissertation on the power of sparely-told stories to convey the possibility of grace looking specifically at the fiction of Flannery O’Connor and the biblical Hebrew narrative. She also has an M.A. in Theological Studies (Old Testament) from Regent College in British Columbia, Canada and a B.A. in Youth Ministry from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to her position at St. Alban’s, she teaches as a Part-Time Lecturer in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC) at Baylor University. She is the author of Flannery O’Connor and Stylistic Asceticism and has a forthcoming book (Fall 2024) with Baker Academic, Reading the First Five Books: The Invitation of Hebrew Narrative.
Rachel is married to Lance and has two dogs, Eowyn and Rosie. In her free time she likes to bake, read fantasy, and watch her hometown baseball team, the Twins, reliably disappoint in playoff years.
If you’d like to learn more about formation opportunities or are new to St. Alban’s, contact her.
Stephanie Drum is originally from the Piney Woods of East Texas and grew up in the church as the daughter of her father, a bi-vocational prison chaplain and pastor, and her mother, a teacher. She has two older brothers both living in the Houston area, with four nieces and one nephew. She studied theology and music at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and moved to Waco in 2009. She studied at George W. Truett Theological Seminary for her Master of Divinity, as well as Baylor University for her Master of Social Work.
Before coming to St. Alban’s, she worked at VOICE, a local non-profit for four and a half years, and also served as Youth Minister at The Well, a congregation in Moody, TX. There she was also a worship team member, playing the drums and other instruments. She likes karaoke, coffee shops, art, reading, animals, and traveling.
Emily grew up in North Carolina and is the granddaughter of an Episcopal priest. She received her BA from Wheaton College in Christian Education and Ministry in 2019 and finished her Master of Divinity from Truett Seminary in 2022. Emily has worked in many different ministry contexts already, including an outdoor adventure camp in Wisconsin. We are excited to bring Emily’s talents and gifts to St. Alban’s!
New Zealand-American organist and choral conductor Eugene Lavery is highly sought after as a performer and teacher, having concertized at venues such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, London; St. Ignatius Loyola, New York; and St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney; performed with the American Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra; and having served on the faculty of Royal School of Church Music courses in the United States, New Zealand, and Nigeria. Eugene has also appeared as an organist for live broadcasts for Television New Zealand and Radio New Zealand.
Eugene currently serves as Organist and Director of Music at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Waco, TX where he directs the semi-professional adult choir, the St. Alban’s Chorister Program, and a vibrant concert series. Eugene has also recently overseen the design and installation of a new world-class organ, Schoenstein Op. 180.
Previous church positions in the United States include Organist and Director of Music at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Louisville, KY and Artistic Director of the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware, one of the most prominent Episcopal chorister programs in the United States.
Born in New Zealand, Eugene received his Bachelor of Music with First Class Honors from the University of Auckland while also serving as Organ Scholar and then Assistant Organist at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland, New Zealand. In 2007 Eugene relocated to New York after gaining entry to the prestigious Master of Music program at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Paul Jacobs.
Eugene is married to fellow Juilliard-graduate Dr. Sharon Lavery, and together they raise two boys, Ryan and Adam.
A native of Houston, Jesse E. Lee, III, got his degree in finance and accounting at Baylor, then pursued a career in commercial real estate and finance that spanned over thirty years. He has largely served as CFO/Controller for real estate investment firms and has been a Property Manager for several large commercial and residential properties, primarily in Austin. Before moving from Waco, Jesse and his wife, Barbie, were members of St. David’s Episcopal Church, Austin. They have seen Irish rock band U2 perform live over 20 times.
In this position, Wes operates from the front desk and will manage the day-to-day business operations of the office; supply stocking, reception, phone coverage, etc. Wes has already been a valued member of the staff in a volunteer capacity. This position recognizes his contributions and formalizes his role here at St. Alban’s.