Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia


“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 three new people to a rotating group of nine 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.

2020 Ware Church Vestry

John GallowayBruce Forsberg, Senior Warden (through 2021)
Bruce Forsberg was born and raised in Norfolk, where she was a member of old St. Paul’s Church. Bruce   has been a member of Ware Church for 27 years and has been active with the Altar Guild, on the Cemetery Committee, and as a Lay Reader.  She was past chairman of the Boards of the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals.


George Bains

George Bains, Junior Warden (through 2020)
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. 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.

Lee BrownF. Lee Brown, Jr. (through 2020)
Lee was baptized in Ware as an infant and confirmed in Ware as a teenager, and follows his father and grandfather and several uncles on the Ware Vestry. His interests include genealogy and local history.  He manages the Ware Parish Cemetery and helps with the church web site.  After graduate school at UNC in Chapel Hill, Lee was a computer software engineer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for many years before retiring back to the Ware River shore in 2001.


Virginia Roane

Virginia Roane (through 2020)
Virginia is involved in the Ware Church altar guild and music ministry. She is also a cellist in two local orcestras and is a volunteer EMT with the Gloucester Fire & Rescue Squad.

Virginia was baptized at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Carmel, CA., and has been a member of Ware Church since 2011.


Kirby Smith Kirby Smith (through 2021)
Kirby was born and raised in "Eastern North Carolina" where he joined and participated in the "Christian Church"- Disciples of Christ. He did not become an Episcopalian until his mid 20's. Upon moving to Gloucester in 1994 he became a member of Ware Church and has participated in a number of activites including Choir and service on the vestry.

He is married to Jane H. Smith and between them they have four children and ten grandchildren.

Smith completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and then graduated from the Medical College of Virginia School of Hospital Administration. 

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve after undergraduate school. While serving he qualified and received a Commission in the Medical Service Corps. At the completion of his service he received an Honorable Discharge.

After a career in health care that spanned 39 years he took early retirement and formed his own business- Tidewater Marine Surveyors, Inc.  He is qualified as an Accredited Marine Surveyor and a Certified Marine Investigator.


Ann Brown (through 2021)

 Ann Brown was born and lived in North Carolina.  She and her husband, Joe, joined Ware Episcopal Church 12 years ago, moving their membership from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro after retiring.  Ann has served Ware as Altar Guild member, Lay Reader and LEM and as Ware’s representative and vice-president of the Middle Peninsula Region.  She was elected as the region’s representative to the Diocese of Virginia’s Executive Board where she was elected vice-president during the second year of her three year term ending 2018.  She completed the four-year Education for Ministry course in 2019.


Stephanie Stephanie Hanson (through 2022)
Stephanie was born in New London, CT.  Her family attended St. James Episcopal Church where she was baptized and confirmed, along with her four sisters. They sang in the St. Cecilia choir and rang hand bells throughout their school years.  She worked for 31 years as an RN, retired and then moved to Virginia in the early 2000’s, where she joined Ware Church. During her marriage to a Coast Guard officer/pilot, they moved many times. Each time finding instant ‘family’ at the nearest Episcopal Church and serving in each choir. Stephanie has 3 children and seven grandchildren. She has served on the Vestry at St. James in CT, and previously, at Ware.


   Breck Montague (through 2022)   

   Francis Breckinridge Montague (Breck) is a "Cradle Episcopalian" having been brought up in Christchurch,      Middlesex County, VA where he was an Acolyte.   He is married to Mary Wright Williams Montague and is        father to three children and two step children. He has been a member of Ware Episcopal Church since           1990 and has served on the vestry for three terms and been Senior Warden twice. 

Breck is retired after a career of over 35 years in various aspects of investment banking and financial services, and after 32 years in the Navy and Navy Reserve as a line officer and Deep Sea Diver. He loves his family, sailing and old houses


Mike Jenkins   Mike Jenkins (through 2022)  

Mike Jenkins was born and raised in West Point, VA. Mike and his family became involved in the Episcopal Church during the early 1980’s and have been members of Ware Church for 30 years. Mike has served on the Ware Church Vestry 3 previous times and currently serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minster and Lay Reader. Mike retired in 2019 after a career of 42 years in the Workforce Development profession. Mike and his wife, Susan, live in Gloucester County and have three grown children.


 Honorary Vestrymen

  • Hugh C. Dischinger
  • David H. Teagle
  • Anne Dyal