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Six Graduates of the Diocesan School for Ministry to Be Ordained as Priests

Dear Friends,

Long ago, God said to Jeremiah, “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words…” (Jeremiah 18:1). Now, prophets were not typically called to go to watch someone make bowls, cups, and pots. You might say it was unprecedented; but Jeremiah accepted the call. He was brave, he went.

In 2017, we embarked on an unprecedented new ministry of forming our local school with the aim of forming men and women who could go out into today’s world and lead and serve with empathy, dignity, and passion. Eight students, our pioneers, answered our invitation and I am proud to say that they have accomplished the goals we set forth in formation. Like Jeremiah, they have been to the potter’s house, heard God’s words, and watched how God redeems even the vessels that seem spoiled or broken.

In the coming months, we lift up and celebrate six of our students who made it through our first season of graduation and have now completed their diaconal assignments which began in late June of 2020. Our other two students are now vocational deacons serving in their assignments.

I am grateful that God takes the time, even in these days that are filled with trials and tribulations, to continue doing something new, blessed and beautiful. And, the upcoming ordinations will give witness to the Holy Spirit’s movement among us.

I am proud to announce that with the consent of the Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee, we have six upcoming ordinations to the priesthood. They are as follows:

The Rev. Deacon David Chatel

St. Stephen’s, Brewton AL--Saturday, January 16, 11AM

The Rev. Deacon David Clothier

St. Johns, Warrington FL--Wednesday, January 27, 6PM

The Rev. Deacon Lydia Johnson

Trinity, Mobile AL--Saturday, January 30, 11AM

The Rev. Deacon John Talbert

St. Paul’s, Daphne--Tuesday, February 2, 6PM

The Rev. Deacon Mike Ballard

St. Paul’s, Mobile--Saturday, February 13, 11AM

The Rev. Deacon Robert Donnell

All Saints, Mobile AL--TBD

You will be invited to celebrate with us virtually given the restrictions and recommendations for safety during this period of COVID. Each ordination will be live-streamed so that you can join us in celebrating these men and women in their response to God’s call on their lives.

Yes, 2020 has felt like a wilderness and maybe a wasteland for many; but God is always doing a new thing. Here and now, in these ordinands, and in you.

God never calls us to go back. God is always beckoning us forward.


The Rev. Joy Blaylock, PhD

Dean, The DCGC School for Ministry


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