• Home
  • Meet The Board

Meet our Board of Directors

The all volunteer Board of Directors of Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church is made up of a diverse group of individuals from across the United States.

Click board member name to see bio and photo.

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Nelson, President
Diocese of West Texas

Susan Cooper, Vice President / Secretary
Diocese of Nevada

Larry Norton, Treasurer
Diocese of Southeast Florida

The Rev. Deacon Lisa Kirby, Immediate Past President
Diocese of East Carolina

The Rt. Rev. David Bailey, Director
Navajo Area Mission

Sandy Blaine, Director
Diocese of New York

The Rev. Holly Cardone, Director
Diocese of Los Angeles

The Rev. John Christopher, Director
Diocese of Arizona

The Rev. Jake Owensby, Director
Diocese of West Louisiana

Twyla Wilson, Director
Diocese of North Carolina

The Rev. Deacon Prisciclla Wodehouse, Director
Diocese of Western North Carolina

RECOVERY MINISTRIES BYLAWS

 

BENJAMIN NELSON. President
Ben grew up in the Mississippi Delta where good bar-b-que and great blues were a part of the culture. His faith, his high regard for storytelling, and his love of music and food were all shaped in the flatlands of this culturally rich part of the Magnolia State. He graduated cum laude with a BA in history from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and further engaged his education with a MDiv and a DMin from The University of the South in Sewanee Tennessee. He was ordained in 2002 and has served congregations in Texas, Tennessee, and Hawaii. He is currently active in recovery ministries in the Diocese of West Texas where he serves as co-chair for the diocesan commission and has been elected as the president of Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church (RMEC) He is the thirty-ninth rector of St. Mark’s, San Marcos, and loves calling the Texas Hill Country home. (Back to top of page)


SUSAN L. COOPER, Vice President, Secretary
Susan Cooper is an active lay person at Grace in the Desert Episcopal Church in Las Vegas and in the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada. She is dedicated to recovery through her own personal journey as an active participant in the Al Anon twelve step program. This authentic and transparent community has become a model for her spiritual, emotional, and physical wholeness. Susan’s relevant experience for RMEC is in communication including website management and social media.  Her discernment has clarified her passion for Recovery. She is the director of communication for Grace in Desert Episcopal Church (GITD); she is a spiritual teacher, team player and writer. Before retirement, Mrs. Cooper was in upper management for two major basic research centers where she handled development, public relations, and information services. Since her retirement in 2007, Susan has devoted herself to helping others through her church and recovery ministries. (Back to top of page)

LARRY NORTON, Treasurer
Larry Norton has been a member of Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church (RMEC) since 2015 where he currently serves as board secretary. Larry Norton has been in long-term recovery since 1990. Larry joined the Episcopal Church in 1979, and is a member of St Martin’s, Pompano Beach, FL where he is a co-facilitator of outreach to the homeless, assists with altar service and has served on the Vestry and as Sr. Warden.  Larry is a graduate of Westminster College, Fulton MO (BS, 1972), The University of Oklahoma College of Law (JD 1974), New York University School of Law (L.L.M. 1976) and Bradley University (MBA, 2007). Larry completed a program of theological and practical coursework at The Diocesan School of Christian Studies for the Diocese of South Florida in 2015. Larry has worked in private legal practice and public accounting and taught law and tax accounting as adjunct faculty.  He retired as dealer principal and owner of a cadillac dealership in 2011 and recently started a cattle ranching business in Oklahoma.  Larry lived in Saint Petersburg, Russia, for 2 years in the mid-1990s where he taught International Comparative and Business Law and Intellectual Property Law for a Russian University, proclaimed his faith to students and was active in the early years of recovery in the former Soviet Union. (Back to top of page)


LISA KIRBY, Immediate Past President
The Rev. Deacon Lisa Kirby was born in Huntington, WV, graduated from St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia and has a BA in Religion from Salem College in Winston Salem, NC, where she lived for 41 years.  She holds a Master of Ministry degree and is the permanent deacon at Christ Episcopal Church, New Bern, NC where she has lived since 2005.  She has been active with Recovery Ministries for a number of years, has been on the board for 4 years and served two years as president. As part of her diaconal ministry, Lisa participates in and preaches at 12 Step Eucharist’s around the Diocese of East Carolina and assists parishes in having Recovery Sunday programs. A life-long Episcopalian, Lisa has sung in her church choirs, been a Jr. and Sr. Warden and was active in lay ministries.  She has one adult son and enjoys woodworking, music and boating. (Back to top of page)


DAVID E. BAILEY
The Rt. Rev. David E. Bailey has served as bishop of Navajoland since Aug. 7, 2010. He was elected at a special Navajoland Convocation on Oct. 17, 2009. He is currently completing his second term as a member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. His episcopate in Navajoland has centered on melding Navajo tradition with Episcopal Church customs; raising up indigenous ordained leadership; developing programs to combat substance abuse and domestic violence and to support veterans; and developing new sources of income. When he was elected bishop, he was serving as canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Utah.  Prior to that he was rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Phoenix.  He chaired Native American Ministries in the Diocese of Arizona and was a mentor for the late Bishop Steven Plummer of Navajoland. Bailey was ordained to the priesthood in 1980 and is a graduate of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, receiving a Master of Divinity Degree in 1991. He and his wife Anne make their home in Arizona. (Back to top of page)


SANDY BLAINE
Sandy Blaine has been a member of RMEC since 2011, and on the recovery journey for 30 years in various 12-step programs. She is an active layperson at Trinity Church Wall Street of the Diocese of New York where she currently oversees the recovery ministry, and has been involved in many committees and ministries throughout the years. She completed the Congregational Academy for Sustainable Leadership program in 2011, a Trinity program designed to develop its lay leadership; has companioned parishioners in the Commitment to Discipleship program; and, has completed three years of Education for Ministry. Sandy is a seminarian at One Spirit Learning Alliance’s Interspiritual Seminary in New York, NY, and will be ordained an interfaith/interspiritual minister in June 2018, and will continue onto their Interspiritual Counseling program to become a spiritual director. Sandy says that, “[her] decision to attend an interspiritual seminary, which is one that focuses on the common spiritual element of all religious and spiritual traditions, was based on the12-Step principles of Higher Power and God of Our Understanding. I believe I can be of maximum service to God and others, especially those suffering from addiction, from an interspiritual, all-inclusive perspective.” (Back to top of page)


JOHN CHRISTOPHER
The Rev. John Christopher is a cradle-born Episcopalian and a priest in the Diocese of Arizona.  John has been in recovery from alcohol and drugs for over 22 years.  It is now his main ministry as both the Director of Recovery Ministries for the state of Arizona and a board member of the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church (RMEC).  John left the Episcopal Church at the age of 15 and did not return until his forties.   He also counseled people with chemical dependency issues for almost a decade.  More of John’s story of recovery will be revealed this weekend.  He is married to Lisa Christopher, also in recovery.  Between them they have three daughters and six grandchildren.  John loves to hike, read and spend time in solitude.  Lisa teaches yoga, runs a business on Amazon, and ferociously gardens.  A statement that would define John’s work with addiction and recovery would be, “anyone can recover if they base their recovery in a spiritual journey.” (Back to top of page)

HOLLY CARDONE
The Rev. Holly Cardone was recently ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, California. She currently serves as associate rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Hollywood. Alongside her service in the church, Holly works as an addictions counselor and is completing a Master’s Degree in Addictions Studies. As a person in long-term recovery, her focus is the intersection between trauma, addiction, mental illness, and the culture of shame that surrounds addiction and alcoholism. Currently, she is developing an Addictions and Recovery Commission for the Diocese of Los Angeles. Rev. Holly believes we are all in recovery from something and that recovery is as complex as the people and the addictions that plague them. She believes that with lots of love, support, and abundant Grace, recovery is possible. (Back to top of page)


JACOB W. OWENSBY
Jacob (Jake) W. Owensby
 was consecrated as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Western Louisiana in 2012 after serving as dean of St. Mark's Cathedral in Shreveport. Raised among the working poor in the rural South, he went on to earn a PhD in philosophy from Emory University and taught at Jacksonville University before entering the School of Theology at Sewanee. Jake has actively supported recovery ministry for many years. He has served in the dioceses of Florida, Alabama, and Missouri. He is the author of two books and blogs at Looking for God in Messy Places. Jake has three adult children and lives in Alexandria, Louisiana with his wife Joy and pup Gracie. (Back to top of page)


TWYLA P. WILSON
Twyla P. Wilson, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice that specializes in the treatment of addiction, mental health issues and trauma. Her practice emphasizes holistic, empowerment recovery and healing. She is trained as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner through Peter Levine’s SE Trauma Institute. A certified trainer for Dr. Stephanie Covington, Twyla also trains professionals internationally on gender-responsive, trauma-informed addiction treatment modalities. Prior to private practice, she was a faculty member at Duke University Medical Center in the Departments of Psychiatry and Social Work.  At Duke, she started a clinical evaluation unit and a women’s addiction treatment program. Early in her career, she worked with the seriously mentally ill and founded a psychosocial rehabilitation program. Twyla has a MSW from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a BS in Family Relations from the University of Minnesota. (Back to top of page)

PRISCILLA WODEHOUSE
Priscilla was raised in New Jersey and New England and has spent most of her adult life between New England and Florida, where she now goes on personal retreats to Little Gasparilla Island.  She received her BA degree from Briarcliff College and did graduate work at the New York School of Design.  She enjoyed many years as a designer but tragedy hit in her 10th year of sobriety when her only child was killed.  After some healing she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to women in recovery, from death of a spouse, to divorce, death of a child, addiction, and many other difficult situations which she experienced and can offer compassion and hope.  She was ordained a deacon in 2012 in North Carolina where she now resides. She is the chairperson of the Diocesan Commission on Recovery and serves on several boards and committees for social justice, jail chaplaincy, and activities for youth in her town. She leads retreats and speaks at various AA gatherings. At this time she is planning on speaking at each of the 57 churches in her diocese to educate and give hope. (Back to top of page)
© Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software