Our Clergy & Staff
St. Andrew's is currently without a rector due to the retirement of Fr. Joel Morsch. Until a new rector is called, Fr. John Thorpe will be officiating at services this fall.
Candidates interested in applying for the position of rector at St. Andrew's should contact Kevin Babb, chair of the search committee.
Questions regarding pastoral care should be made to the church office at 618-656-1929. Alternatively, send email to St. Andrew's.
The Rev. John Thorpe
Officiating Priest, Fall 2019
Fr. John Thorpe will be officiating at St. Andrew's services this fall (August 11 and 25; September through January 6) as we continue the search for a rector. Fr. Thorpe is a graduate student at St. Louis University, completing his studies for a Doctorate in Divinity, majoring in Christian Antiquity.
He and his wife, Beth, were married in 2001 and have three children. He served as seminarian intern at St. Peter’s, Milford, and was ordained to the priesthood through the Diocese of Albany by the Rt. Rev. David Bena in 2005. He served as curate and associate rector at St. Peter’s Church in downtown Albany under the Rev. Paul Hartt and became the rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Newton, Iowa, in 2008.
In 2014, he moved south to become the Chaplain at St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, where he taught religion and Latin to middle schoolers and preached daily to 450 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. He moved to St. Louis in August 2019 to attend St. Louis University.
The Reverend Dr. George Pence
Father George Pence, a retired priest who is a member of St. Andrew's has been assisting St. Andrew's as an officiant and other for several years.
He was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Chicago. He has lived in the Edwardsville area a total of 28+ years (ten years in the 60s and 17 years recently). His wife of many years, Ione, died recently.
He earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy at McKendree University, an M.A. in Social Science from the University of Illinois, an M.T.S. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Church History and Ethics and a Ph.D. in Administration of Higher Education and Statistics from St. Louis University.
Fr. George is a late vocation priest, coming to the Priesthood at age 40, after a career as a University Professor and Administrator. He was ordained a Priest in the Diocese of Central Florida in June of 1979. Since ordination, he has served Parishes in Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, and Illinois and his last two assignments were as Rector, St. John's, Kewanee, IL, and as Canon Administrator and Treasurer, Diocese of Quincy in Illinois. He has also served as interim priest at St. Paul's Alton and interim Pastor of a Lutheran Church in Godfrey.
The Reverend Joel James Morsch
Rector (Retired 07.15.19)
The Revered Joel J. Morsch served as St. Andrew's 33rd rector from December 15, 2018 through July 15, 2019. Due to unforeseen circumstances which caused his return to Florida, he resigned effective July 15 and will retire as of July 16, 2019. The parish wishes him well in retirement.
Organist and Choirmaster
Henry Evans describes himself as “Someone who loves to play the organ!” He holds the Bachelor of Music Degree and a Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and a Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance from the University of North Texas. In 1992, He was awarded the Organ Scholar Fellowship at Church of the Incarnation (Episcopal), Dallas, TX. He has played the organ and conducted church choirs for thirty-six years. During his extensive training, he studied with several well-known organists. His teachers included Kathleen Thomerson and Jesse Eschbach, and he was one of the last students of the French organist Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier. He has served as dean of the Saint Louis and Southern Illinois Chapters of the American Guild of Organists.
Eight parish volunteers currently work in place of an office staff member and oversee the printing of bulletins for Sunday services and special services, handle office phone calls and voicemail, distribute mail and packages, declutter the office, and help with organization in the choir room and the kitchen.
Current Office Volunteers are Marianne Cavanaugh, Mary Jane Helsel, Velma Schmidt, Marilyn Strangeman, Jane Weingartner, LaVernn Wilson and Cindy Yelverton. Marilyn Strangeman is pictured (left) as she prints Sunday bulletins. Contact Jane Weingartner to become a volunteer in the parish office.