Staff & Clergy


Rector: Reverend Grace Burton-Edwards

GraceOur rector, Grace Burton-Edwards, came to Columbus in February 2014 from Indianapolis. She was originally ordained as an American Baptist pastor in 1994 and served in American Baptist, United Methodist, and ecumenical settings before discerning a call to the Episcopal Church. That call began during a college semester in London where she met God in new ways through Anglican liturgy. It reemerged as she served as youth minister with an Episcopal church. It deepened when she enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry program at an Episcopal seminary and learned more about our baptismal covenant and commitment to God's mission in the world. She was confirmed in 2004 and ordained as a priest in 2007. Grace graduated from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, completed her MDiv at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and completed a Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development at Seabury-Western. She is married to Taylor Burton-Edwards, a United Methodist Elder now serving as Director of Worship Resources for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church. They have two adult sons. Jacob works as an EMT in Indianapolis, and Will attends The University of the South at Sewanee. 

Organist and Choir Master: Rick McKnight

SONY DSCRick has been a member of St. Thomas for over 25 years. Has has served as Senior Warden twice, chair of the Stewardship Campaign and Acolyte Master. In 2000 the Rev. Lori Lowe, Rector of St. Mark’s, LaGrange, asked if he would come and help her out for three weeks by playing the organ and directing the choir.  That three weeks turned into three years!
He has served as the President of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Cultural Arts Alliance. In 2004 Rick answered the call to serve St. Thomas as Organist-Choirmaster. During Rick's years with St.Thomas, the Choir has grown to almost 40 singers. In addition to singing weekly, the choir has sung at Washington National Cathedral and our own St. Philip’s Cathedral. Rick has served on the Diocesan Music and Liturgy Commission and led the “100th Anniversary of the Diocese of Atlanta Celebration” at the RiverCenter in Columbus. 
Rick is proud of the musical accomplishments of the Choir but the spirit of community and care that is fostered amongst the members is what gives him the most gratitude. He is married to Marquette McRae McKnight, who also serves St. Thomas as a Verger, Lector and Lay Eucharistic Minister and on the Flower Guild. They have two children, Mac McKnight and Mitchi McKnight Wade.

Minister for ADult Formation and Communications: Meg Olive-Allison

Meg Olive-Allison has been serving at St. Thomas since 2016. Meg grew up in Columbus in the Baptist tradition and attended McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. Meg is surprised  and  delighted to be back home serving at St. Thomas. Meg is committed to making St. Thomas a place where true Christian formation happens for adults, that leads deeper love and service and believes good communication can help this happen.  Meg and her wife Susie have one daughter, Sam, and are foster parents to babies and toddlers. They have fostered 15 children since becoming licensed to foster in 2013. 

Director of Christian Formation (Birth-12 grade): Erin Redden

Erin Redden has been a member of St. Thomas for over 22 years.  She just began her 20th year teaching elementary music in Lee County, AL. Erin currently serves as our Christian Formation Director, birth -12th grade. She has a passion for educating young minds and through music and the love of Jesus she is blessed to live that dream. She is a child of God, wife, mom of two, teacher, singer, lover of the beach and all things that sparkle and shine!

Youth Ministry Coordinator: Joseph Jones

Joseph R. Jones, PhD earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his PhD from The University of Rochester, both degrees are in education. Dr. Jones currently teaches English at Northside High School and has taught high school, middle school, and special education. He also has a long career in higher education, including service as Associate Dean. The focus of his academic research addresses homophobia and bullying within educational environments. He is the author of numerous books and articles and is a frequent presenter at professional conferences. In addition to all of these accomplishments, Dr. Jones is a deeply committed Christian with many years of experience in youth ministry in a variety of church settings. His vision for youth ministry includes building relationships, incorporating youth into the full life of the church, and developing a servant-leadership mindset.

Parish Administrator: Patty Slembarski

Patty has lived in the Columbus area since 1999 and has worked at St. Thomas since 2006.  She manages the business side of the church, from membership to finances. She is married and has two children.

Support Staff

Kitchen Manager: Dawn Farrow
Sexton: Tom Danison
Housekeeping: Frances Woolfolk
Nursery: Diane Berson
Nursery: Taquanula Williams
Nursery: Kirin Wilson
LOCATION: 2100 Hilton Ave, Columbus GA 31906 SERVICES: Wednesday - 5:30 PM // Sunday - 8 AM & 10:30 AM OFFICE HOURS: 9am-2pm M-F P: (706)324-4264 E: