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Fr. Matthew Garrison

Having spent nearly eighteen years working with Young Life (a relational ministry to teens), I see ministry is most effective when done in relationship.  I'm grateful for St. Francis' allowing me to be a pastor not just of our parish, but a pastor to the community.  My family has been blessed to develop relationships with families throughout Sanford in our time here.

I have been blessed to have been married for more than 25 years to Trina.  Our three kids--Eli, Josiah and Gillian--keep us running to football games, theater productions, soccer matches, and on the occasional Cook Out milkshake run.   We move at a hectic pace, but my wife keeps us grounded, and is the glue that holds everything together.

When I'm not attending one of our kids games or show, I enjoy hiking, fly fishing, soccer, and reading.

I recently graduated from Campbell University with Degree in Church Music Ministry. Joe and Leslie Hanna are my parents, and my siblings are Meg, Jonathan, Emily and Cameron.


When I am not working part time at the church, and being a full time student, I am teaching piano, practicing, and sleeping because the college exhaustion is real.


What I love about St. Francis is that it has always been such a welcoming community that genuinely cares about me, and its members want to serve me as best as they can. My time in leadership here has been such a blessing as I am still learning exactly how to serve the parish with the gift of music. St. Francis has always been a safe place for me to grow and learn more about my profession and how to use my gifts to serve my community and glorify God. 

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Audrey Hanna
Music Director

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Gordy Reese
Director of Communications

I am Sanford born and bred. My husband, Tom, and I are blessed to have our children, Sarah Reese Womack and husband, Brian; John Reese; wife, Caitlin; and their daughter, Etta Anne; here in Sanford.


I graduated from what was Sanford Central High School (now Lee County High School), attended Salem College for two years and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. . .a long time ago! 


First Presbyterian was my home church. My grandfather, Dr. Lynn McIver, was clerk of the session there for over 50 years. It is an honor to follow in his footsteps by being the clerk of St. Francis and its director of communications.

St. Francis is a wonderful church home with transformative biblical teaching and a loving, engaged congregation. I am thankful to have served with the leadership of the prayer team and women’s ministry, as a chalice bearer, lector and member of the vestry.

I am a graduate (as well as an annoying superfan) of Baylor University, where I received my undergraduate degree in religion. I am a current master's student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.


I have a beautiful fiancee, Danielle, whom I love very much.


Along with serving the students at St. Francis, I volunteer with YoungLife and teach at a classical co-op school in the area. 


For fun, I love to watch college football, write music, travel, and talk about Texas. 

Andrew Bass
Director of Student Ministries

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Bob Nelson

I am a charter member of St. Francis where I have served as treasurer as well as a lector and chalice bearer since our founding in 2015. 

I am a former submariner with the United States Navy, a graduate of the University of Florida and a retired CPA.

My wife, Peggy, and I have lived in Sanford since 1974, raising our two daughters, Pam and Jennifer, here in Sanford.  We are now enjoying watching our grandchildren growing up close by--when we are not indulging our passion for travel.

I am also a past president of the Sanford Chamber of Commerce and an active member of the Lions Club, serving as their fair manager for the last five years.

I am a Sanford native with a B.A. from Campbell University 

in music education. I have taught piano for over forty years and served as organist for Emmanuel Congregational Christian Church since 1977 and for St. Francis Anglican Parish since its inception in 2015.

My family includes husband, Billy Parten, and son Jason. I enjoy gardening, working with special needs youth and adults each summer at Happy Day Camp (for five decades!) and shagging with the Sanford Area Society of Shaggers and at North Myrtle Beach.

From the beginning, members of St. Francis have welcomed me--and all visitors--with open arms. It is a wonderful church family. Clearly the members love the Lord and He is very present in all they do. I encourage everyone who might be looking for a church home to "Come and see" if St. Francis might be just what they are looking for.

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Rosemary Parten

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EJ Oberkirsch

I am a born and raised North Carolinian from the Asheville area – moved to Hickory for college at Lenoir Rhyne, then to Raleigh to begin my career in administrative office management and broadcast communication. After meeting God's match for me and getting married (25 yrs ago as of 2023), Bill and I moved to Fuquay Varina and finally found our way to Sanford in Dec 2004.  In 2015 Isabella joined our family, and after that came our three fur-babies. We started at St. Thomas with Fr. Craig and were excited to join him on the journey that became St. Francis!  I have loved serving as a lector and being in the choir. I am very grateful to St. Francis for their support of American Heritage Girls (and Trail Life) as I have very much enjoyed my calling as the troop treasurer and a unit leader for the older girls.  I love the variety that St. Francis offers in way of giving back to the community and serving God. In addition to being the bookkeeper at SFAP, I also run my own business as a virtual assistant. Away from work, I enjoy reading (historical fiction – especially about Scotland) and anything about dolphins!  I enjoy playing Mahjong, Solitaire, and various word games/puzzles on my Kindle when I’m not running Isabella to theatre practice, volleyball or AHG.   (Just in case you are wondering, “EJ” was a nickname I got in college and comes from my maiden name - Elizabeth Jones.  I never liked Liz but EJ fitted me perfectly and stuck!) 

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