Parish Clergy

The Reverend Stephen Gerth, Rector

The Reverend Stephen Gerth has served as rector of the parish since February 1, 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, and Nashotah House Seminary. After graduation and ordination in the spring of 1983, he served as assistant at the Church of the Incarnation, Dallas, and as curate at Saint Luke’s Church, Baton Rouge, before being called to serve as rector of Trinity Church, Michigan City, Indiana, in December 1988.



The Reverend James Ross Smith, Curate

The Reverend James Ross Smith was born in Western New York and was raised as a Roman Catholic. He attended a Jesuit high school in Buffalo, New York, graduating in 1969.  He attended Cornell University (A.B., 1973; M.F.A., 1977), where he studied theater arts and American history. He moved to New York City in 1977 and worked briefly in the theater as an actor and stage manager. He was the editor of the program magazine at Lincoln Center between 1980 and 1982. He was received into the Episcopal Church in 1983. He attended Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (M.Div., 1987) and the Yale Divinity School (S.T.M. and Certificate in Anglican Studies, 1989). He also did graduate work in the history of Ancient Christianity in Yale’s Department of Religious Studies between 1989 and 1992 and was awarded the M.Phil. degree by Yale in 1993. He joined the parish staff as curate in November of 2007. He has been associated with Saint Mary’s as a priest since 1998, serving the parish as the half-time assistant between 2001 and 2003. Ordained in 1989, Father Smith served as an assisting priest at Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut, between 1989 and 1996. Since his ordination, he has been a member of the clergy of the Diocese of New York.



The Reverend Dr. James C. Pace, Assistant Priest

Father Pace serves as an assistant priest at Saint Mary's and was ordained a deacon in 1988 and a priest in 1989 in the Diocese of Tennessee. In his secular employment, he serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs at New York University Meyers College of Nursing where he holds the rank of clinical professor. Fr. Pace earned a BA in philosophy from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN; a BSN from Florida State University; MSN and MDiv degrees from Vanderbilt University; and a PhD in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.



The Reverend Dr. Peter R. Powell, Assisting Priest

The Reverend Peter R. Powell began attending St. Mary the Virgin in 2002 and has been teaching bible in Adult Ed since 2007.  He has been an Assisting Priest since 2010.  He was graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in 1976, Princeton Theological Seminary with a Th.M. in 1979 and The School of Theology, The University of the South with a D. Min. in 1997.  He was Adjunct Professor of Biblical Languages at Virginia Seminary from 1980-1984 and Instructor of Hebrew and Teaching Fellow at Princeton Seminary in the late 70s.  For 22 years until his retirement in 2010 Father Powell was the President/CEO of Homes with Hope, a Supportive Housing and Emergency Services provider in Westport, CT where he continues to live with his wife, Barbara.



The Reverend Dr. Matthew Jacobson, Assisting Priest

The Reverend Dr. Matthew Jacobson began serving at Saint Mary's in 2015 as a seminarian while studying at the General Theological Seminary, where he graduated from in 2017. Father Jacobson was ordained to the priesthood in September 2017. He previously earned a BA in biology at Swarthmore College and an MD at the Stony Brook School of Medicine. In addition to his background in medicine, Father Jacobson also has experience in hospital chaplaincy. He has worked at the Rockefeller University, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell, and the Mt. Sinai Hospital. He also has experience as an institutional investor, working for several investment funds in the New York area. When not at Saint Mary's, he also serves as assistant director of the Chapel at General Seminary. Father Jacobson was born in Italy and speaks Italian, in addition to English, and is currently studying German. He and his wife Meredith, an archeologist, live in the Upper West Side.



Music Department

Dr. David Hurd, Organist and Music Director 

Doctor Hurd is widely recognized as one of the foremost church musicians and concert organists in the country, with a long list of awards, prizes, honors and achievements to his credit. From 1976 to 2016, he worked at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City, first as Director of Chapel Music and later also as Professor of Church Music and Organist. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin is honored to have Dr. Hurd as our Organist and Music Director.


More information on Music at Saint Mary's


Parish Staff


Kristie Raynor


Mr. Chris Howatt
Office Manager


Sextons (L to R):
Mr. Shalim Pena
Mr. Jorge Trujillo
Mr. Harka Garung


Parish Office
145 West 46th Street • New York, New York • 10036 • Telephone 212.869.5830 • Email