The Rev. Luke Fodor is St. Luke's Episcopal Church's new rector.
Earlier this month, Fodor started his ministry for the church. A native of Akron, Ohio, Fodor has spent the last 10 years working for the Episcopal Church in various capacities at a national, diocesan and parochial level.
"I worked in Young Adult Ministries for the National Episcopal Church in Manhattan for nearly three years, running conferences around the church and coordinating networks of young people across all the dioceses of the church," Fodor said. "I also worked for Episcopal Relief and Development, the humanitarian arm of the Episcopal Church, educating parishes and dioceses about this vital ministry and coordinating a national network of volunteers. I have also worked as a youth minister in two parishes, one in Brooklyn and one in Oyster Bay. I graduated from Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 2011 and served a three-year curacy at St. John's Church, Cold Spring Harbor."
The Rev. Luke Fodor
Fodor said he became a priest because he has always felt God's call on his life, but he did not grow up in the Episcopal Church. At 17, Fodor went to Bible College to learn more about the Bible.
"I had discovered the Episcopal/Anglican Church on a mission trip to Northern Ireland when I was 15, but didn't know how profound my first experience of Jesus really being present in the Eucharist would be," he said. "It wasn't until 10 years later, after completing Bible College earning a graduate degree in theology and another in philosophy, that I felt called to be a priest. I had become one of the volunteers at church who does everything, parish treasurer, youth minister, lay eucharistic minister, painter and groundskeeper. If there was a job to be done, I did it. Then one day I was talking with the rector and he sat me down and said, 'Luke, I need to talk to you. You know the bible inside and out, you can read Greek and Hebrew, you have a graduate degree in theology; why have you never asked me about becoming a priest?' I had truly never considered it until that point."
St. Luke's prior rector was the Rev. Eric Williams. Following William's departure to be closer to family, the church had an interim rector, the Rev. Elizabeth Huskey Simmons. St. Luke's has a history of holding onto rectors for many years. Paul Johnson and Linda Dawson, St. Luke's wardens, said Williams was only the fourth rector at St. Luke's during a span of 100 years.
"Having grown up in industrial snowbelt town in northeast Ohio, Jamestown just made sense to me and I felt a strong feeling of kinship.
The Rev. Luke Fodor
St. Luke's Episcopal Church rector
Fodor said he selected Jamestown because if felt like coming home.
"Having grown up in industrial snowbelt town in northeast Ohio, Jamestown just made sense to me and I felt a strong feeling of kinship. Having lived in large cities and most recently in the congested suburbs of Long Island, we felt it was past time to move to a community where we could put down roots and share our lives with our neighbors," he said. "Jamestown is a beautiful city with scale that is sustainable and feels just right. It is the ideal place to raise a family and not to far from my extended family in Ohio."
Fodor's family includes his wife, Willow, and two boys, Aidan and Kieran.