Staff & Clergy
By virtue of Baptism, we are all called and equipped by the Holy Spirit for ministry through the Church and in the world. Our staff lead ministries of worship, formation, service, community, administration, and hospitality to help St. Thomas members grow in love for God and demonstrate love for neighbor.
Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards, (she/her)Rector
Grace Burton-Edwards, came to Columbus in February 2014 from Indianapolis, IN. 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 a 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.
Grace 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, who works with United Methodist Communications and serves as pastor in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). They have two adult sons.
The Rev. Roxane Gwyn, (she/her)Associate Rector for Pastoral Care
Roxane is grateful for the evolving journey she's taken through Lutheran, United Methodist, and house church settings, and for landing in The Episcopal Church in 2004. She received her MDiv from Duke Divinity School (concentration in Gender, Ministry, and Theology) and her STM from General Theological Seminary. Ordained to the priesthood in 2011, she has served parishes in the Dioceses of New Hampshire, North Carolina and Atlanta.
Roxane is grateful for the gifts of time and energy to spend in these ways: conversation with God, guided meditation and dreamwork, hiking and woods/yard work, reading with or without a purpose, yoga, learning about diverse spiritualities, two young Aussiedoodle pups, and tending relationships. She is continually on a quest to figure out how to use her incarnation as a launching pad for serving and contributing to the healing of God's good world.
Roxane is grateful for the support and love of siblings, friends, colleagues, a daughter who lives in Asheville NC, and a son, daughter-in-law, and two happy toddler grandsons who live in Chapel Hill NC.
And she's grateful for the opportunity to live among and minister to the good people of St. Thomas as pastor and priest.
Rev. Darius Sudayi, (he/him)Associate Rector for Mission
Darius originates from Dodoma, Tanzania where his knowledge and love of Jesus Christ originated. Born to an Anglican Pastor as a father and devout mother, Darius received the foundations of the Christian faith that launched him on a life-long journey of obedience and faith. He attended seminary and received training in ministry at Msalato Theological Seminary in Dodoma, Tanzania.
Heather Driggers, (she/her)Director of Children and Family Ministries
Heather Driggers came to Columbus in August 2011 from Central Florida. Like most people at St. Thomas, she comes from a different Christian background. Her faith journey started in the Baptist church as a child. She then transitioned to a Pentecostal church as a teen and stayed for 15 years.
Heather came to St. Thomas searching for a more inclusive faith focused on the love of God rather than fear and obedience in February 2023. Through volunteering with our children's ministries, Heather's love for this work was rekindled. She has fallen in love with the Episcopal church and its traditions. Even though she does not come from a liturgical background, she seeks a liturgical future.
Heather has received three years of formal ministry training and has worked in children's ministries for ten years as a staff member or volunteer in small and large churches. She has also worked in professional childcare settings as well, where she learned good nursery and safety practices.
Heather is married to her partner Jeff and they have two children, a son Macklyn, and a daughter Vada who is in heaven.
Rick McKnight, (he/him)Organist & Choirmaster
Rick has been a member of St. Thomas for over 25 years and has served as Senior Warden, Chair of the Stewardship Campaign, and Acolyte Master. In 2000 the Rev. Lori Lowe, Rector of St. Mark’s (LaGrange) asked if he would play the organ and direct the choir for three weeks, and that three weeks turned into three years!
Rick has also 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 his years at St. Thomas, the St. Thomas 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 among the members is what gives him the most gratitude. He is married to Marquette McRae McKnight, who 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.
Taylor Mack, (she/her)Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries
Taylor grew up in Columbus and attended St. Thomas as a child. During her teen years, Taylor became involved with the St. Thomas youth group, where her faith began to blossom. She received a Bachelor of Science in Recreation from Georgia Southern University, during which time she served as the leader of the Episcopal Campus Ministry. She also has a Master's in Communication from Columbus State University. Taylor and her husband, Jeremy, are proud to be part of the Columbus community and the St. Thomas family.
As director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Taylor coordinates formation and fellowship opportunities for tweens, youth, college students, and young adults.
Meg Olive-Allison, (she/her)Director of Parish & Community Engagement
Meg has been serving at St. Thomas since 2016. She grew up in Columbus in the Baptist tradition and attended McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. She was surprised and delighted by the opportunity to be back home serving at St. Thomas. Meg is committed to making St. Thomas a place where Christian formation happens in ways that lead to deeper love and service, and she believes good communication can help this happen.
Meg and her wife Susie are proud parents to three daughters and one son. They are also proud foster parents and have fostered 15 children since becoming licensed in 2013.
Patty Slembarski, (she/her)Director of Parish Administration
Evie Smith, (she/her)Nursery Assistant
I’m Evie Smith, a current student at Columbus State University studying psychology. I’ve been a member of St. Thomas ever since I was in middle school. It is a warm and welcoming place, and as I entered young adulthood, I realized that I wanted to help out in this wonderful community, especially with our youngest members.
Dorothy Uwanawich, (she/her)Nursery Assistant
My name is Dorothy and I'm the youngest of six. I have a chihuahua named cookie. I enjoy event planning and baking cakes. Well because I'm the youngest of six I grew up taking care of nieces and nephews and that's something that just came easy to me taking care of kids.