Rector, The Rev. Jimmy Grace
Jimmy is a native Houstonian. He graduated from Episcopal High School in 1994 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Art History at Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas. Jimmy served as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Church, Houston, from 1999 until 2002. He then began studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 2005. He was ordained into the Episcopal Church that same year, and served as Associate Rector at Epiphany, Houston from 2005 to 2010. During this time he was also President of the Board for Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS). In 2010, Jimmy was called to serve as Canon for Formation and Worship at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston. Following four years of service there, Jimmy accepted a call in 2014 as Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Houston. In addition to his work at St. Andrew’s Church, Jimmy serves as President of the Board for St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal High School. Jimmy is married to his wife Marla and they have three sons, James, William, and Henry.
Jimmy is on sabbatical May 22-August 13, 2018. Contact the church office with any needs during this time.
Associate Rector, The Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis
Carissa is a native of Austin, Texas raised at All Saints Church on the campus of the University of Texas. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and began her non-profit vocation in Washington, D.C. in the field of human rights. She went on to faith-based community organizing in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and later graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest in 2007. In her time as Assistant Rector of St. Stephen’s, Houston, and as Director of Peace and Justice at All Saints, Pasadena, CA, Carissa helped connect church members to the need for mercy and justice in the world.
Head of School, Nancy Simpson
Nancy holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Education and Counseling from the University North Texas and has completed the coursework for a Master of Liberal Studies at Rice University. She has more than 25 years of experience in private school leadership. Nancy enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading, music, gardening and bike riding. An animal lover, she also makes time for her two dogs, cat and horse. Nancy serves on the boards of The Summerhouse and the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools. She lives in the Heights and is an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
Parish Administrator, Trish Mehrkam
Trish Mehrkam was hired as secretary for the parish in 1999. Her responsibilities have steadily increased over the years, serving three priests and two interim priests at St. Andrew’s. Trish was promoted to Parish Administrator by The Rev. Barbara Lewis, and The Rev. Jimmy Grace has added the responsibilities and title of Ministry Coordinator. In 2018 Trish began working at St. Andrew's full-time. Trish is married to husband Tom and they have one daughter, Celine-Marie. Trish and Tom enjoy RVing as often as they can to relax and get back to nature.
Coordinator for Special Needs and Family Faith Formation, Lisa Puccio
Lisa Puccio joined the St. Andrew’s staff in January 2015 to begin a weekly Rhythms of Grace service for special needs families and to develop a new Sunday school program for the parish. She has worked in family ministry for more than 15 years and serves on the diocesan formation advisory committee. Lisa is a member of the board of directors of Forma, a national association of Christian educators and formation professionals that celebrates and upholds the diverse ministries of Christian formation across the Episcopal Church. Since 2011 Lisa has volunteered with Kids4Peace, where she has helped to lead groups of Muslim, Jewish and Christian children from Jerusalem and the United States to build interfaith communities that embody a culture of peace and empower a movement for change. Lisa and her husband Mike have have four grown children.
Organist & Choirmaster, John Kirk
From a young age, music was a large part of John’s life—music was always playing at home and in the car, a year of obligatory piano lessons, singing in musicals and choir in high school, playing double bass in jazz band, playing in a band throughout high school and college, and vibrant congregational singing at the Lutheran church. John attended Capital University, studying both religion and double bass. He started taking organ lessons and soon found himself spending more and more time at the organ console and less time behind the bass, and so he added yet another musical interest. He moved to Houston after college, where he began studying organ, voice and church music with Robert Brewer and assisting in the music program at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany as a Choir/Organ scholar. In church music, John found the energy and conviction of rock music combined with the craftsmanship and interest of classical music, all within a context that focused on something bigger than music itself. Following his work at Epiphany, John was Music Director of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Dickinson, Texas and Organ Intern at St. Philip Presbyterian in Houston, Texas. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Organ Performance from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where he studies with Robert Bates and studied improvisation and service playing with Sigurd Øgaard. He and his wife Sally have one daughter.
Youth Intern, Liz Luna
Liz was born in Reynosa, Mexico and moved to Texas when she was 7 years old, and is very proud of her family and heritage. Liz is working towards an Associate of Liberal Arts degree from San Jacinto College and hopes to transfer to the University of Houston to major in History or Anthropology. Liz served as a youth leader in her home parish for five years and feels that she has been able to meet and work with incredible people in the Episcopal Church.
Organist Emeritus, Dr. William H. Gilbert
Bill served as the Parish Organist and Choirmaster from 1987-2015.
Facilities Manager, Byron Pineda
Byron was born in the city of Guatemala in Central America. He attended college earning an accounting degree and began a career as a mathematics professor. He also was certified in carpentry and as a shoemaker. After moving to New York City, he worked as a laboratory assistant in the NYU Hospital in Manhattan. He earned achieved his high school equivalency diploma, and later moved to Florida where he became a US citizen and and owned a landscaping business. He moved to Houston and was certified as an electrician.