Now returned to their historic Falls Church property after a five-year dispute with a congregation of defectors, the Falls Church Episcopal Church announced this week its selection of the Rev. John Ohmer, lately rector of the St. James Episcopal Church of Leesburg, as its new leader.
Senior Warden Michael Lockaby made the announcement in a bulletin to the congregation and its allies, saying the selection of Rev. Ohmer came as a unanimous vote of the church’s Vestry during a closed session last Saturday. Rev. Ohmer is a 1984 graduate of Wabash College, Indiana, where he studied philosophy. He did a year of graduate study in theology at Vanderbilt University in 1984-85 before going into politics, serving successively as an aide to then-Senator Al Gore, a Legislative Aide on immigration issues at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and as Press Secretary for the Indiana Secretary of State. He entered Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 1991, and graduated in 1994. He has led St. James for the past 13 years, and in that time the parish more than doubled in size. He maintains the weblog, Unapologetic Theology, has written a book called Fasting, been a contributor to an anthology entitled Episcopal Curriculum for Youth, published by Virginia Theological Seminary, and has been an essayist and columnist for a number of magazines and newspapers.
The Rev. Cathy Tibbetts, who has been Interim Priest-in-Charge since last spring, will continue her ministry at the church after Ohmer arrives as a senior assistant.