Our Rector

We are currently looking for a new Rector

 A transitional Vestry has been elected and installed to carry on the good order of the church and move towards discernment for our next Rector In Charge.

St Paul’s Vestry
Jerry Janssen, Senior Warden
Joy Valmassoi, Junior Warden

Bill Phillips 

Bill Fensterer 

Stephen Galle 

Toon Scott

Mary Stang

Ex Officio Members

Phil Wells, Treasurer

Pat Baldi-Davis, Clerk


The Reverend
Margaret Dudley Ashby, Retired

  Reverend Margaret Ashby began her ministry with St Paul’s on November 1, 2015 and retired October 31, 2020. Together, the congregation of St Paul’s with Rev Margaret continued to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, receive new members and celebrate the Saints that have made and keep St Paul’s a vibrant and thriving congregation spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus in our community for over 110 years.  We wish Rev. Margaret and Gerald, her husband, a well-deserved time of retirement and give you thanks for both of you for your love and service.

  Rev. Margaret and Gerald live in Asheville, near their daughter and her family.  Rev. Margaret was born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts.  She received her Associates Degree in Textile & Surface Design in 1992 from The Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY) in New York City and worked professionally as a Textile Designer for Glenoit Mills in NYC until 1994.  Hearing the call of the Lord, she studied for ministry at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio completing her Master of Divinity Degree in 2006.  She was ordained to Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on July 22, 2006 at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg VA  and  accepted a call to the Pleasant View Evangelical Lutheran Church, Staunton VA. She served as Pastor from 2006-2009. In 2011 the Ashby’s were able to retire to Asheville.  In 2015, the North Carolina Lutheran Synod and the Western North Carolina Episcopal Diocese asked her to consider accepting a part-time call to St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Morganton. 

  The Lutheran and Episcopal churches have been in full communion since 2000 and Reverend Margaret was able to move seamlessly and moved into the life of the WNC Episcopal Diocese.  Serving under the oversight of two bishops she has been one of the many bridges of unity in The Church.

Jim Rains,

On May 9, 2015, our Rector Jim Rains, retired after 6 wonderful years as a part St Paul's family.

An avid hiker of the Appalachian Trail, Father Jim was drawn to the mountains. He served the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rangeley, Maine, where he developed a hospitality ministry to hikers on the Appalachian Trail. After seven years he was called to be rector of Trinity Church, Lewiston, Maine and chaplain to the Episcopal students at Bates College. He met his wife, Sharon, an artist from Kennebunkport, Maine, and they were married in 1980.

On the Feast of Pentecost, 2009, Fr. Jim celebrated his first Eucharist at St. Paul’s, Lake James, as their rector. During the next 6 years, the church thrived, and in 2014 hosted an Alpha Course. Under his leadership, St. Paul’s has renewed its ties with the Diocese of Western North Carolina, and became active in diocesan activities and ministries.

(828) 584-0955

1865 N Powerhouse Rd, Morganton, NC 28655, USA

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