“And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.'” 1 Samuel 25:6
We welcome all to share in our vision at St. Francis of of Assisi Episcopal Church. Here we explore God’s love through our worship, education, outreach, fellowship and other nurturing experiences. We recognize that every human being is created in God’s image and is a precious gift. As such we are reconcilers, healers and servants in Christ’s name as part of a community of generous-spirited, intellectually alive, faithful Christians. We are always happy to provide more information about who we are, what we believe, and how we work to witness the Glory of God in Chapin and beyond.
Our Clergy and Staff
We’re a small to medium-sized church that prides itself in its interpersonal connections. We know and support each other in both good and bad times. Our wonderful clergy and staff are critical to this effort. As you begin to know them, you’ll begin to love them too!
The Reverend Doug Graul
The Reverend Doug Graul is a native of the City of Fairfax, Virginia. He holds a B.S. in Political Science from James Madison University and a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Father Doug was Ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1995. He has served parishes in South Carolina in Peak, Spring Hill, Columbia, and Irmo. He has also worked as a chaplain in assisted living and hospice settings. He has worked in retail settings and as a project manager for a roof consultant.
Father Doug has been married to LuAnn Shealy Graul of Peak, South Carolina since 1996. They have four children, William, Sarah (Eddy), Lily, and Riley. He has been an avid cyclist for over forty years. He also is the President of the Dutch Fork High School Ladies Lacrosse Booster Club and announces the home games where Lily and Riley currently play on the varsity team.
Father Doug began his time at St. Francis as a supply celebrant and is now honored to be called as the Vicar of the Mission.
The Reverend Deacon Ann Pilat
The Rev. Deacon Ann Pilat was born and raised in Columbia, S.C. She attended Trinity Cathedral until her ordination. She was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in January, 2006 and served at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church prior to serving at St. Francis. She holds the Diocesan position of Deacon for Hispanic Ministries and assists throughout the Diocese with services and matters that include the Latino community. Ann is a full-time teacher of Spanish 1 and 2 at Spring Hill High School. She is involved in numerous educational groups as well as groups, committees, and commissions of the Upper Diocese of SC. Ann is the mother of the Rev. Deacon Jenn Pilat, chaplain and spiritual director of the Seabury Active Life Community in Bloomfield, CT, and Patrick a Senior Systems Support Technician at Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Columbia. She has three grandchildren: Mathew (13), Toby (6) and Teresa (4). Ann is an avid USC Gamecock fan and attends all women’s basketball, men’s basketball and baseball games.
In the Episcopal Church, the governing board is called the Vestry. The Vestry has 12 members who are elected by the congregation and represent a large cross-section of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. It is responsible for financial oversight, for overseeing care of the buildings and grounds, and for helping our clergy and staff fulfill our mission and vision. Vestry members are elected for three year terms, typically in classes consisting of four people.
John and his wife Lynn moved to Chapin and joined St. Francis in 2017. The move was a homecoming of sorts for John considering he grew up in Florence, SC and left our great state in 1983 after graduating from Clemson University. John joined the Episcopal Church in 1988 when he and Lynn were married in Melbourne, FL. They started their family in Florida but moved to Austin, TX in 1998. John and Lynn have two sons, Drew who lives in the Harbison area and Casey who lives just outside of Atlanta, GA. Drew is married to his high school sweetheart, Sara and Casey is married to Emily whom he met at Georgia Tech. In Austin, John was a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where he served twice
on the Vestry. John and his family ushered once a month and he served on the finance committee as chairperson for 5 years. John also served on the St. Francis of Assisi Vestry as the Finance Liaison. John’s career was in electrical engineering in the semiconductor industry. He enjoys woodworking and home DIY projects as hobbies. John is active in Boy Scouts as an Eagle Scout Coach. He volunteers at We Care on one of the food pick up teams as well at our St. Francis of Assisi Thrift Shop. John and Lynn are really enjoying retirement and are delighted to be members of St. Francis of Assisi in Chapin!
Sue was born and raised as a Catholic. She was reconfirmed at St Francis of Assisi in 1991 and married at St. Francis in 1992. All of her children were baptized in the Episcopal faith and 3 of her 4 children were confirmed at St Francis. Sue has served as a Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School (VBS) coordinator and teacher, and in the Christian Education and Communications liaison positions on the Vestry. Sue has worked as an Administrative Assistant for the South Carolina Dental Association since 2012. She loves St. Francis and she feels she owes this church for helping her family to be loved here and becoming valued members of this community. Her goal is to help all families experience the growth and joy that St. Francis has given her family. She believes it is a privilege to be given this opportunity to be a member of the Vestry Class of 2020.
Judy came to St. Francis through volunteering at the Thrift Shop and through the encouragement of close friends. The Thrift Shop mission spoke to her and St. Francis provided her a warm and welcoming home church. For the past four years, she served as the Chair of Outreach Ministries. She is still part of this ministry and proud of the contributions they have made to improving people’s lives. Judy earned a BA degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and her graduate degree from the University of South Carolina. For 24 years, she worked in the SC Technical College System in development and grant writing. She is the grant writer/manager for the SC Center for Fathers and Families, a faith-based ministry that is focused on helping low-income fathers and reconnecting them with their children. She has two sons. Judy is a member of the vestry class of 2019 and is filling a two-year term versus the traditional three-year calling.
Terry Burnett has been the Continuing Legal Education Director at the South Carolina Bar since 2002. His law degree is from the University of Alabama School of Law. He and his wife Sally have been members of St. Francis for almost 10 years. He has served as a Sunday School teacher for senior high, as well as adult classes. He has also served on the St. Francis Vestry as Christian Education and Stewardship Liaison. He is a member of the We Care Center Board of Directors and serves as Scripture Chair for the Chapin Camp of the Gideons International.
Lisa and her husband Craig have attended St Francis since 2000 when they moved here from Pennsylvania. Both of their girls Madeleine and Paige were baptized and confirmed in the church and are now in college. Lisa has been involved in getting a full time nursery employee and the the playground previously as a member of the vestry as well as the Girl Scout leader for the church troop for 15 years. She is a cradle Episcopalian. She teaches technology and research at Chapin High School. She has degrees in engineering, education and business.
Lynn has been a member of St. Francis for six years. She is married to David (41 years!) and they have a grown son who lives in Nashville. She grew up in Aiken, SC and recently retired from Prisma Health after many years working as a nurse leader. David and Lynn recently bought a second home in the mountains of western North Carolina and enjoy spending time in both Chapin and Clyde, NC. She enjoys baking, reading, boating and hiking. She serves as a greeter, lector and worship leader for the 8:30 am service. She leads the Newcomer ministry and is a member of Daughters of the King. Lynn served a year as secretary for the vestry and as a member of the vestry. She is also a member of the stewardship team. She looks forward to continuing to worship and serve at St. Francis and truly loves this special place.
Gail Wojtowicz is married to Meredith Macie Boyd. They have been transient members of St Francis for over 20 years, though they permanently moved to SC in 2016. Gail served previously as Senior Warden and she rejoins the Mission Committee as Junior Warden. She is a retired USAF Colonel and aircrew member with 34 years of service, in active duty and as a federal civilian. She also serves as president to her neighborhood association—Sherwood Forest in eastern Columbia. She enjoys yardwork, DIY and woodworking projects. She holds two Masters Degrees: in Communication and USAF Air and Space power Studies.
Martin and his wife Sherry have been members of St. Francis for over 10 years. He was baptized as an infant at St. Paul’s in Graniteville, SC, and has been a member in 5 different Episcopal churches. Through all those experiences he has served as Acolyte, Lay Reader, Chalice Bearer, Search Committee member, Stewardship Committee member, Building Construction Chair, and Vestry Member.
After retiring from Kraft/Nabisco and moving here, he became involved with the Chapin We Care Center Outreach Ministry. Martin completed 2 consecutive 3-year terms, serving 2 years as Treasurer and 3 years as Board Chair. He continues to participate at We Care with the St. Francis Supermarket food pick up team on Fridays.
Del has been an Episcopalian all of her life (cradle Episcopalian). She moved to Irmo in 1979 and was a member of St. Mary's in Irmo. She moved away for a few years and upon returning, joined St. Francis. She has three children who live in various cities within the United States. She was married to her husband Jim for 55 years until his death 2 years ago. She serves on the Search Committee, Mission Committee, and is a liaison for the Thrift Shop Management Committee and the Outreach Committee. Del also volunteers many hours at our Thrift Shop and considers that her contribution to do God's work. She feels blessed to be surrounded by such a loving church family and hopes to be here for a very long time.
Amy is a cradle Episcopalian, baptized at St. Johns in Knoxville and confirmed at St. Thaddeus in Aiken. She and her husband Mack moved to Chapin in 2007 and joined St. Francis shortly thereafter. She is secretary of the Building and Grounds Committee, the kitchen manager, a member of the pastoral care committee and the chairman of the Fellowship Committee. She enjoys serving her church and community. After teaching for 23 years and being a high school assistant principal for 10, Amy became the South Carolina Field Representative for the National Beta Club where she served for 5 years. Following the birth of her grandson Solomon she took on grandmother duties babysitting 2 ½ days a week until the little guy went to pre-school. She and Mack enjoy the beach, the mountains, the lake, and all of God’s creatures. They have 2 children: Sherry (Kirill) and John. Amy is an active member of the Chapin Woman’s Club where she has served as president twice.
Sharon was born in 1961 and raised in Western New York near Niagara Falls spending most of her adult life in Rochester, New York. She was married in 1993 and has 3 wonderful children, Ben 29, Rebecca 28, and Blake 25. They all continue to reside in New York. Although Sharon was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, she comes from a relatively long line of ordained Episcopal priests and spent many Sundays and holidays worshipping in her Grandfather’s Episcopal Churches in the Buffalo Diocese in New York, providing her with a strong Episcopal background. She was active in music and funeral ministry as well as youth ministry in the Cathedral Community, the center of the Rochester Roman Catholic Diocese, for 16 years beginning in 2002. Sharon created Matthew’s C.R.U.E. (Caring, Respect, Understanding and Education) a non-for-profit free summer program for at risk youth, providing nourishment for spiritual, physical and educational growth. After combining efforts with the Episcopal Church and having survived breast cancer which resulted in a double mastectomy, she felt called to pursue an education in ministry and entered Seminary. She was received into the Episcopal Church in January of 2016 and graduated with my MDIV and certificate in Anglican Studies from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in May of 2019. Sharon moved to Lexington, South Carolina in the Fall of 2020 and began an internship program for Clinical Pastoral Education at Prisma Health Baptist, completing her first unit in the summer of 2021. She entered immediately into a residency program at Prisma Health Richland, graduating August of 2022 with the completion of 4 units of CPE. She currently looking to secure a position in a Hospice setting and is actively discerning for ordination. She moved to Chapin in 2021 to be closer to Millie Jackson, her stepmother, and joined St. Francis and its choir. She loves the congregation and is enjoying forging new relationships and plans to be a part of the parish for many years to come.
Directions to St. Francis of Assisi, Chapin
St Francis of Assisi is easy to find! Get off I-26 at Exit 91, Columbia Avenue. Turn toward Chapin. Drive 1.6 miles until you see Wells Fargo Bank on your left. Turn left onto Old Lexington Highway at the bank. Proceed straight ahead for 1 mile on Old Lexington Highway to the entrance of St. Francis on your left. There is a sign at the highway.
Church Office Hours, Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 12 PM. Please note the Rector may or may not be at the Church during these hours, so please call to schedule a time with him. Friday's are typically his sermon writing day and at any day or time, he may be called for ministry in the local area.
A brief background of The Episcopal Church
We are proudly a member church of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.
The Episcopal Church grew out of the Church of England in the wake of the American Revolution. Today, it is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion which compromises 38 provinces in 165 countries under the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The word Episcopal is derived from the Greek episkopos, meaning bishop, indicating that we are governed by bishops; but lay people, bishops, priests and deacons all share authority and work together in the life of the church as it does the mission of God.
Episcopalians worship using The Book of Common Prayer. The first Book of Common Prayer was written in 1549 when the Anglican Church dictated the end of the Latin mass. Modified over time, this book shapes Episcopal beliefs and grounds its worship in continuing traditions. It is through symbols, scripture, sermons, sacred music and the Holy Eucharist that the Episcopal Church remembers the teachings and ministry of Christ.
Episcopalians do not interpret the Bible literally. Rather they acknowledge that scripture is the Word of God which contains all things necessary for salvation, but also that it was written by human authors who were inspired by the revelation of God in their particular time and context. They rely on the Holy Spirit and their God given intelligence and ability to reason as their guides to our modern interpretation of scripture and its meaning today.
Please follow these additional links to find more insight into the Episcopal Church: