Father Josh Stephens, Rector
In Fall of 2019, the vestry of St. John in the Wilderness and the bishop of Western North Carolina called Fr. Josh Stephens to serve as the fourth year-round rector of the oldest parish in the diocese. Josh began his ministry at St. John in February of 2020, three weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life with in-person worship and other church activities ceasing. Since then, Josh has been dedicated to getting to know the people of St. John and sharing in worship, fellowship, and formation in any way possible.
Fr. Josh joined our church family after serving as the Associate Rector for Family Ministry at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA. He was born and raised in Jacksonville Beach, FL, where he fell in love with spending time in Creation, especially surfing, kayaking, and riding bikes. Each summer, his family went camping in Pisgah National Forest and visited with grandparents in Hendersonville. Those mountain trips made an impression on him and led to him attending Milligan College (Johnson City, TN) where he was an award-winning soccer player and graduated with a BA in Bible/Ministry. From 2010-2013, Josh served as Director of Children and Youth Ministry at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Norfolk, VA. He was sponsored for ordination by the Diocese of Southern of Virginia and he received his Master of Divinity degree from The School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.
Josh is married to Rosanna Couture, an emergency medicine physician. They have two daughters and their teenaged niece as family. Josh and Rosanna enjoy mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and church potlucks, and they thank God daily for the gifts of grace that sustain them, including sharing life as The Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness.