The Rev. Stuart A. Bates
Fr. Stuart Bates has led St. Francis as Rector since 2007, and under his leadership it has become one of the fastest-growing parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, more than doubling in size. Fr. Bates believes that, “One of our missions as a church is to provide accessible and relevant ways for busy people to deepen their relationship with Christ.” To do this he has implemented additional worship services, expanded discipleship and Christian formation programs, and substantially increased outreach ministry.
Fr. Bates grew up in Dallas and then attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Ancient Greek with a minor in Classical Civilizations. He graduated from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in 1996 with Masters’ degrees in Biblical Studies and Divinity. Before coming to St. Francis, he served at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston as the Director of Family Ministries and, later, as Director of Discipleship. Before his ordination he spent time working in the music business, the Texas Senate, and as a sales representative for Dell Computer Corporation.
He is married to Lisa, who is an interior designer, and they have six beautiful children: Alexandra, Georgia, Samantha, Lily, Harrison, and Emma. After almost ten years leading the parish, Fr. Bates declares, “I am blessed to work with dedicated, hard-working, fun-loving people here at St. Francis… I love my job!”
The Rev. David Price
Fr. Price joined St. Francis as Assistant Rector in September 2016. He says, “I am eager to be part of St. Francis’ efforts to work, pray, and give.” Fr. Price just completed a 10 year pastorate as Rector of Grace Church, Alvin and celebrated his 32nd anniversary of ordained ministry. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, a graduate of the University of Arizona, he completed his theological training at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin in 1984. He served on parish staffs in Midland, Lubbock, and Palestine, before becoming Rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and School, Houston in 1994.
Fr. Price loves the variety of parish ministry: learning, worshiping, serving, and discovering things in small group fellowship. He recognizes the strength and health of St. Francis Church. He is convinced that in parish work, “God draws people in, builds them up and sends them out to be ambassadors of reconciliation in the world”. He has been married to Jennifer for 35 years. Jennifer, a cardiac nurse, works at CHI St. Luke's Health in the Medical Center. They are proud parents of three adult children: daughters, Emily Hatzel and Hannah Loyd, and son, Andrew Price. They are excited that they recently became grandparents. Fr. Price and Jennifer are both interested in improving their personal health through nutrition and physical activity. He has finished several marathons, half-marathons and triathlons in the last few years.
Assistant Rector & Sr. Chaplain at St. Francis School
The Rev. Robert Wismer
Fr. Wismer came to St. Francis in May, 2002, as the chaplain of St. Francis Episcopal Day School. In 2007, he was also appointed as Associate Rector of the church. He tries to “be a bridge between these two aspects of our community” and to do what he can to keep the “members of this community cared for and connected to each other, and to their Lord!”
Fr. Wismer was born in Toronto, Canada, began his family in Montreal, and later lived in Vancouver. Fr. Wismer also spent two “wonderful” years in London, England, working for John Stott. He received his BA from McMaster University, and a Masters of Divinity from Regent College, and an MA from McGill University in Montreal. Fr. Wismer continues his education by keeping up with scholarship, especially with biblical languages. He has a wife, Jennifer Wismer, and they are parents to four great kids: Jacob, Sam, Peter, and Bronwyn. As a family they like being active outside and going to the movies. The people of St. Francis are what Fr. Wismer appreciates most: “they make it great; they are caring, creative and welcoming.”