The Rev. John F. Beddingfield began serving as the seventh rector of The Church of the Holy Trinity in November 2015, having served as rector of All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church in Washington, DC for the previous eight years.
John was born in Raleigh, N.C. in 1964. The younger of two sons, he grew up in Charlotte and studied economics and religious studies at the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill. While in college, he was active in the Presbyterian Campus Ministry and Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, but also attended the Episcopal Church for its music and liturgy. While attending Princeton Theological Seminary, be began to fall in love with New York City and spent 1988-1989 living and working at Madison Ave. Presbyterian Church. After graduating from Princeton in 1991, John returned to NY to work as a paralegal at Davis, Polk & Wardwell, and then at a church and nonprofit in Brooklyn Heights focusing on ministry with prisoners and ex-prisoners.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1994, he served a parish in Maryland for three years before returning to NY to attend General Theological Seminary. While at General, John continued pastoring a small Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, but each week would also attend the Sunday night Eucharist at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square. He began working at St. Mary’s in 2000 and was ordained by Bishop Sisk in the Diocese of New York in 2003. He served as deacon and priest at St. Mary’s before accepting the call as rector to All Souls Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. in 2007.
In 2014, John completed a Doctor of Ministry in congregational development from Virginia Theological Seminary. His doctoral project and thesis looks at "beauty as a means to action and service" and draws deeply from Franciscan theology and spirituality. A link to the thesis is HERE.
Much of John’s ministry and theology is informed by his involvement with the Third Order Society of St. Francis (roughly the Anglican equivalent of the Roman Catholic "Secular Franciscans") in which John is a professed member and serves as Convener for the TSSF New York City Fellowship. More can be read here about the Third Order Society of St. Francis.
Beyond the parish, John serves on the board of trustees of St. Hilda and St. Hugh’s School, an independent, Episcopal school for boys and girls K-8th grade on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. John also serves as Community Pastor to the Episcopal sisters of the Community of St. John Baptist, based in Mendham, New Jersey.
John met Erwin de Leon in 1998, and the two were married legally in 2010. Erwin grew up in the Philippines, attending Jesuit schools and even trying his vocation in the Jesuit pre-novitiate. With a Ph.D. in public policy and urban studies from the New School, Erwin blogs, advocates, and works at Columbia University.
John and Erwin are often seen around the neighborhood with their border collie-shepherd mix, April, who is perhaps the church's most energetic evangelist.