Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:8

As the church grew in colonial Virginia and new areas were opened for settlement, provision was made that each new county would be divided into parishes. At that time, few clergy were available to assist with church extension so it fell to the people who had settled these new areas to organize the parishes. They organized themselves into ‘vestries’ and then saw to the provision of the church. An area central to the parish, usually near a waterway, was selected for the construction of a church. Early ones were simple wooden structures later replaced by brick buildings. Land was set aside for a farm or “glebe” so that the ‘parson’ or minister could make a living farming the land. The Vestry system grew in Virginia to be the normative leadership of churches. Both the laity and clergy had their own responsibilities and together they cared for the parish. It was a balanced relationship with neither having authority over the other.

Colonial parishes had lay leaders called “wardens” who regularly were called on by the courts to carry out its orders. The parish was responsible for the care of everyone so the wardens saw to care of widows, orphans, and young people who would be apprenticed to learn a trade.

These traditional names and lay leadership continue in Ware Church with the wardens being the lay leaders of the congregation who are assisted by the treasurer and register (secretary). Annually the congregation elects four new people to a rotating group of twelve Vestry members. The Vestry cares for the financial and temporal affairs of the congregation while the clergy care for the spiritual life, educational needs, and the program of the church.

2017 Ware Church Vestry

Pat Roane

Donald P. Roane, Jr., Senior Warden (through 2017)
Pat was a member at ten different Episcopal churches before retiring from the Navy and joining Ware Church in 2011. He previously served on the Vestry in two other parishes. Elizabeth and Pat live in Mathews County, where they enjoy their horse farm and life along the Piankatank River. Their daughters, Virginia and Meredith, live in Gloucester Courthouse. Pat teaches engineering at Bridging Communities Career & Technical Center, a Governor's STEM Academy in New Kent, Virginia.

Rick Zima Richard D. Zima, Junior Warden (through 2018) 
Rick and Sue Zima were married at Ware Church in 1993 and have lived in Gloucester County for 17 years where they have been active members at Ware Church. Their sons, Harrison and Hayden have been in junior choir since they were 3 years old. Rick owns a company in Newport News.  He supports the humane society and care clinic in the county. He has served as Junior Warden two terms, served on the search committee, leads the land use committee, and helped with the water ministry.

George Bains

George Bains, Treasurer
George grew up in the Episcopal Church and has been a member of 3 Episcopal churches prior to Ware and served on the Vestry in two other parishes and worked on outreach and as a Youth Group Leader. George and Renee live in Gloucester and their 5 children are all married or engaged. Melissa and Chelsea live in Gloucester County and George and Renee enjoy visits from their daughters, sons and grandchildren. George was the long time IT Director for Gloucester County and has for the last 5 years been the Assistant Director of IT in Henrico County, Virginia. He has been involved in many volunteer organizations, including Parks & Rec soccer as a coach and referee, 4H camp volunteer leader, Baystars Soccer as a coach and board member, several Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troop 111. George has been involved in Scouting for 49 years and enjoys all aspects of the program including the outdoors, hiking, camping, canoeing and kayaking. He has also been on the Boards of the Gloucester Preservation Foundation and the local chapter of the APVA.

John Howerton John R. Howerton, Register (through 2018) 
John and his wife Beth began attending Ware Church in early 2013.  John was raised a Presbyterian, Beth a Catholic.  They both fell in love with Ware Church, and became members in 2014.  John is currently employed at the Coast Guard Command, Control and Communications Engineering Center in Portsmouth, VA serving as the Coast Guard Liaison to the Joint Staff J6.  He retired from active duty with the United States Coast Guard in 2003 after twenty years of service.  John was raised in Greensboro, NC prior to enlisting into the service.  He has one son, John, who is 27 and lives Washington, D.C.

Helen BrownHelen Brown (through 2017)
Helen grew up in the Episcopal Church. In her younger years she was active in the Choir and Young People's Service League at Grace Episcopal Church in Radford, Virginia.  She has been a member of Ware for thirty years and has served the Women of Ware as treasurer for seven years . Helen is also a member of the Prayer Group. She is retired from Gloucester County Social Services, lives in Mathews County and enjoys visits from her daughter, son and grandchildren.

Joe BrownJoe Brown (through 2017)
Joe, a retired professional liability insurance salesman and entrepreneur, is a cradle Episcopalian who has been a member of 6 Episcopal churches prior to Ware.  He and Ann now live in Middlesex County.  In previous churches, Joe has been a vestry member, on a rector search committee, a lay reader, completed the EFM course, a participant in Cursillo, and active in mission outreach.  He founded a servant garden producing 15,000 lbs. of fresh produce for more than ten 501(c)(3) entities such as Hospice, Home for Unwed Mothers, Food Bank, Group Homes, etc., to replace canned vegetables.

John GallowayJohn Galloway (through 2019)
John and his wife Mary joined Ware Church in 2014, shortly after moving to the area from Northern Virginia.  They were married at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, and later transferred to St. James in Mount Vernon.  John retired from his career as an engineer and program manager with the Navy Department in 2008, and then formed his own management consulting firm.  He currently works part-time as an adjunct engineering faculty member at Rappahannock Community College, and is a Board member at Fishing Bay Yacht Club.  John and Mary live in Hartfield, and enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.

Woody James Woodrow W. James, Jr. (through 2018) 

Woody James has been a member of Ware Church and a Mathews county resident for the past 15 years. He has previously served on the Vestry, and worked at Anheuser-Busch in Williamsburg. Woody is active in the choir. He is married to Nancy, and has two sons and three grandchildren, all of whom attend and are active in Ware Church.

Diana JoyceDiana Joyce (through 2019)
Diana and Paul, her husband, joined Ware parish shortly after they arrived in Gloucester. Diana has served in Sunday School, youth activities, lay Eucharist minister, lay reader, and vestry member.



Carole White Carole A. White (through 2018) 
Carole is a member of the Parish Discernment Committee as well as the new Visitor Eucharistic Committee. She served as an organizer and volunteer for Ware Church's participation in the 2014 G.U.E.S.T. Program and will serve as the liaison between Abingdon Church and Ware Church for this year's program. She is also a member of the Altar Guild. She has lived in Gloucester for 39 years and has one son Patrick baptized in Ware Church in 1979.

New Vestry Members effective January 8, 2017

  • John Galloway
  • Tom Hay
  • Diana Joyce
  • Helen Brown (one year term)

Honorary Vestrymen

  • Alexander B. Atkins
  • Hugh C. Dischinger
  • Donald P. Roane

At Ware, the Vestry, as "shepherds" for the congregation, keep in touch with the members of the parish through visits, telephone calls, and notes.  They can connect members with the clergy, the Prayer Group, the Mission Committee, and other resources as needs are seen.