The Rev. Nathan Humphrey, who has been vicar of St. John the Evangelist Church, Newport, since August 2013, will be instituted as rector Aug. 14. Humphrey came to St. John’s when the church was a mission of the Diocese of Rhode Island.
The special celebratory worship service is at 4 p.m. Aug. 14. The guest preacher will be the Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold III, 25th presiding bishop, who played an important role as Humphrey discerned a call to ordained ministry. The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, Bishop of Rhode Island, will preside.
When Humphrey arrived, average Sunday attendance hovered at about 25; now it is more than tripled and continues to grow. The church’s annual budget was $137,000, far below what was needed to call a full-time priest. This year, the parish approved a budget of $397,000. The church has weekday services of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer and two worship services (8 and 10 a.m.) on Sundays.
Humphrey said new initiatives in music and mission have made the difference.
“We have launched a choir school for boy and girl choristers, and we have focused more on outreach and mission through the leadership of the Rev. Buck Close, a deacon who is serving our parish,” Humphrey said. “Our music and mission work have attracted new members who are excited and energized by the sort of ministry and fellowship we have here, and they have shown that in their generosity. The efforts also have re-energized existing members, who have seen something new and worth supporting.”