Missioner for Congregational Vitality to Lead New Communities Named

The Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle, has called the Rev. Leslie Stewart to serve as missioner for congregational vitality-new communities for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Stewart most recently served as church planter and then as vicar of Resurrection Church in Plano, Texas since 2016. She will begin her new position November 1, 2021.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Leslie Stewart. She brings leadership, church planting, and a heart for Christ with her,” said Bishop Doyle. “We believe she is an excellent fit for our diocese and will bring an energizing vision to missional community and church planting work. Most of all, we believe Stewart has a heart for the lay and clergy folks who do this work. She knows what it means to commit, set up/take down worship space, build a community without space. Stewart’s firsthand passion and compassion for the innovative work of the church will be a gift to us all,” he added.

The Mission Amplification team is charged with the support and coaching of 154 existing congregations, twelve churches planted in the past four years, six campus mission hubs, and fourteen other campus missions. The team continues to plant new congregations and missional communities and expand to additional campuses.

“The ones who are called to the difficult and rewarding work of church planting are a very rare breed of leader. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to support and encourage planters. I look forward to working with them as we accomplish the Bishop’s vision for planting in the Diocese of Texas,” said Stewart.

The Rev. Joann Saylors, canon for mission amplification for the Diocese of Texas, echoes the same enthusiasm. “I could not be more pleased that Leslie will be serving in this role. She brings a wealth of experience and relationships in church planting, and her creativity and passion for excellence will help us continue to move forward with the diocesan mission and vision. Her joyful, collaborative style is a perfect fit for the Mission Amplification team.”

Stewart graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology in 2014 with a Master of Divinity and certificates in Pastoral Care and Anglican Studies.

Before answering a call to ministry, Stewart had a long military career. She began as an enlisted member in Air Force Special Operations where she met her husband, Mike. She was selected for a commissioning program and graduated with honors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1999, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Engineering and was commissioned as an officer.‚Äã

As an aerospace physiologist, she completed Physiology Officer Flight Training and trained pilots and aircrew at the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX. When her son Ryan was born, she transferred to an F-16 unit at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth until responding to the call to serve God in the church.

Stewart follows Jason Evans who served as missioner for missional communities.

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