St. John in the Wilderness welcomes new rector

Press release from St. John in the Wilderness: 

The historic church of St. John in the Wilderness is delighted to announce the arrival of its new rector, the Rev. Josh Stephens. Rev. Stephens and his family will meet the congregation Sunday, February 23, at both the 8:30 and 11:00 am services with a parish breakfast between the services in the Parish Hall. All are welcome for the worship services and breakfast.

Josh comes to St. John in the Wilderness from another historic Episcopal parish, Bruton Parish Church of Williamsburg, Virginia, where he has served since 2016 as Associate Rector for Family Ministry.

His wife, Dr. Rosanna Couture, is an Emergency Medicine physician. They are parents of a two-year-old daughter, Arlo.  The couple’s second child is due in the spring.

Carol Rector, Senior Warden of the church said, “The Vestry and parishioners of St John in the Wilderness are excited to welcome Father Josh Stephens and his family to our family. We have just finished a nearly two-year process to call Father Josh, and we believe he meets all expectations that our congregation set forth for our new rector. We look forward to a long spiritual relationship with him and his family.”

About his move to Flat Rock and his new role, Josh said, “St. John in the Wilderness has been in prayer and discernment for a long time in seeking a new rector; Rosanna and I have been doing this work also. We asked God if there might be a place that knows something of wilderness where we could raise a family in Christian community. We are humbled by God’s goodness in hearing our prayers and the prayers of this church, and we look forward to following Jesus together.”

While growing up in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Josh and his family made regular visits to the North Carolina mountains, camping in Pisgah National Forest and visiting grandparents in Hendersonville. From these visits, he formed affection for the region.

After high school, Josh won a soccer scholarship to Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he earned a BA in Bible/Christian Ministry with a minor in church history. From 2010-2013, he served as Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Norfolk, VA. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from The School of Theology at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in May of 2016.

Josh and Rosanna enjoy mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and church potlucks. St. John in the Wilderness welcomes the Stephens family to the parish community.

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