New Rector Announcement

The Very Rev. David S. Bumsted Answers the Call to Become Seventh Rector at Saint John's Church


A Message from Our Senior Warden

December 17, 2020

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I bring you glad tidings and joyful news. It is with great pleasure that I share the Very Rev. David S. Bumsted has accepted the call of our Vestry and the Search Committee to become the next rector of our beloved Saint John’s Episcopal Church. I extend my deepest thanks to each of you for your patience, prayers and commitment to this endeavor and period of discernment. 

Father David comes to us from Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Orlando, Florida, where he is rector. Prior to ministry at Emmanuel, he was the Priest Associate for Youth Ministry at Sarasota, Florida’s Church of the Redeemer. In addition, his career experiences include serving as a case manager at Covenant House, a residential care program and drop-in shelter in Orlando, and as a teaching assistant in liturgy at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin. He earned a master’s degree in divinity from Nashotah House and received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Elected Dean of the Central Deanery for the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida in 2018, Father David has demonstrated his talent and diligence as a priest and servant of God. He

is committed to the liturgical, spiritual, and theological dimensions of our faith tradition. I know you will be as excited as I am to bring his energetic ministry and experience guiding souls of all ages to our community.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our search committee members chaired by Jeff Baum. The members of this team have spent countless hours reviewing applications, vetting, observing online sermons, and interviewing qualified candidates. Much time has been spent in prayer and study to discern the holy call of our next rector. You may feel assured God has brought us the best individual for the future of our lives together. Now, it is up to us as a community

of Christ to come around this man and his wife, Beka, to help move the church forward into a new chapter of our lives together. 

Father David and Beka will spend their last holiday season in Orlando as he prepares his existing parish for his departure and the couple makes plans for a move to Tulsa. His first day with us in the office and in the pulpit is being firmed up now, but is likely to be near the first of February. Please find additional information about his qualifications and service posts on our church website next week.

In the midst of this most unusual of Advent seasons, this is a wonderful blessing for our parish! Please tell all your friends and families that God is good and Saint John’s Church is joyful! 

Faithfully Yours, Jim Hicks, Senior Warden



Media Release - 12.17.20 - Saint John’s Episcopal Church Announces New Rector

Tulsa, Okla. – Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Tulsa announced this week it has selected a new rector as head of the parish. The Very Rev. David S. Bumsted accepted the call to serve last week and is anticipated to begin his ministry and church operational leadership in early February 2021.

Bumsted will be the church’s seventh rector. He is preceded in the position by the Rev. Samuel Colley-Toothaker, the church’s interim priest-in-charge (March 2018 through October 2020) and the Rev. Irving Taylor Cutter IV, the church’s sixth rector (October 2006 through December 2017).

“On behalf of the leadership, staff and parishioners of our church, we express our delight and extend a warm welcome to Father David and his wife, Rebekah,” said Saint John’s Senior Warden James R. Hicks. “His ministry, energy and vision will be a tremendous addition to our parish family, the neighborhood and our city.”

Most recently, Bumsted was the rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Orlando, Florida. Prior to ministry and business leadership at Emmanuel, he was the Priest Associate for Youth Ministry at Sarasota, Florida’s Church of the Redeemer. His career experiences also include serving as a case manager at Covenant House, a residential care program and drop-in shelter in Orlando, and as a teaching assistant at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin. He was elected Dean of the Central Deanery for the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida in 2018.

“Father David’s experience in family ministry, community engagement and communicating through technology will be incredibly valuable as our Saint John’s community explores the direction God is calling this church to in the decade ahead,” said Hicks. “This is especially important during this unusual time of social distancing and as we grow worship and educational offerings through digital platforms.”

Hicks noted that the Saint John’s church vestry and search committee, after prayerful discernment, were led to call Bumsted due to his energy, career experiences, sermons, theological dimensions, enthusiasm for youth, spiritual depth and confidence in the face of the challenges modern culture and a global pandemic bring to growing a healthy parish.

“Beka and I are so excited to join the team at Saint John’s,” said Bumsted. “Having spent time with their search committee, vestry and staff, we feel welcomed and simply delighted to begin a new chapter of ministry in our lives.”

In his role as senior rector of Saint John’s Church, Bumsted will lead the parish ministries of worship, pastoral care, Christian formation, community outreach, program development and strategic planning, as well as oversee staff and vestry leadership.

“During our time in Oklahoma, my wife and I were bowled over by the beauty and vibrancy of Tulsa,” said Bumsted. “We believe that our previous experiences have prepared us extremely well for the opportunities ahead. And, I can’t wait to leverage them with the community at Saint John’s.”

Bumsted earned his master’s degree in divinity from Nashotah House and received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University in Tallahassee.