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  • The Rev. Fran Gardner-Smith

    One of the things you might notice right away about Fran is that she’s got a few tattoos. Each one speaks to something that’s true about Fran and the faith that grounds her life. You should definitely ask her about them. What Fran loves most about being the Rector at St. Thomas is that it’s a church grounded in friendship lived out in Christian community.


    From the moment she first interviewed at St. Thomas, Fran recognized that this was a church where she felt called to serve. She’s been here for more than five years and continues to delight in the ministry she shares with everyone here. Fran’s ministry is grounded in the belief that it is our baptism (and the promises we make or that are made for us) that give each of us ministry. Fran’s passions are outreach, evangelism, stewardship, and education for all ages. And Jesus. Fran is passionate about Jesus.


    Fran shares her life with her spouse (The Rev. Dr.) David Smith, a retired pastor. They met on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2010. Each of them believes that their marriage is one of the greatest gifts God has given them, and they thank God every day. Together they love to cook and travel. Over dinner, they have nerdy conversations about the Bible, theology, and the Roman empire. Their poodle is named Jasper. Jasper wants you to know that he is a very good boy.


    A proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College and Virginia Theological Seminary, Fran has been a priest for 17 years, serving in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Northern New Hampshire (including serving as a member of Bishop Gene Robinson’s staff), the Bay Area of California, and the northern Shenandoah Valley before coming to St. Thomas in early 2018. 

  • The Rev. Will Drosos
    Associate Rector

    The Rev. Will Drosos was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he spent most of his time while growing up. After high school, he attended the University of Georgia and double majored in Religion and Finance. While there, he discerned a call to ministry and decided to attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University. During his time at Candler, Will served as a seminarian at the Cathedral of St. Philip and St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. Will also served at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. as a Candler Advantage scholar. In May 2022 he graduated with his M.Div. and was ordained to the priesthood in June 2022.


    Will and his partner, Sarah, live in Falls Church and enjoy the many walking trails and great food in that area. Will also likes to play strategy games, drink tea, visit cemeteries, hike, and travel.

  • Rishabh Bajekal
    Parish Administrator

    Rishabh grew up in Richmond, Virginia and has lived in the greater DC area since 2013 when he graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Business and Finance and Operations Management. Yes, he is well acquainted with the absolute “joys” of travelling up and down 95 between Richmond and Northern Virginia. After college, Rishabh spent many years at Capital One where he worked as an analyst and project manager before moving to the nonprofit sector where he held various finance and operations roles. While this is his first role in church administration, Rishabh has been an active Episcopalian for many years and served on the vestry of his previous parish. Rishabh is passionate about theology and ministry and is thrilled that he gets to apply the finance, analysis, and operations skills he learned in his career to the work of St. Thomas. Outside of work, Rishabh’s biggest passion is music and theater. He sings in his church choir and various other groups, including most recently, a barbershop quartet. Rishabh lives in Alexandria with his wife, Katie and their pup, Lio. They love to take family walks and spend time by the beautiful waterfront in Old Town.

  • Lori Lind
    Minster of Music

    A native Floridian and lifelong Episcopalian, Organist and Choirmaster Lori Lind earned the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The Catholic University of America, and the Master of Music degree from The Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists, and The American Guild of Organists, from which she received a scholarship for advanced organ studies. Her numerous accolades for her singing include multi-year artist grants from The Gerda Lissner Foundation, and a nomination for artist of the year from the prestigious Richard Tucker Foundation.  She has since turned her attention to conducting and stage directing, and in 2015 founded Shakespeare Opera Theatre, for which she remains Artistic Director. She lives in Haymarket with her two dogs, Quimby and Romeo, and together they enjoy the four seasons of the mid-Atlantic.  Dr. Lind is delighted to serve as Minister of Music at Saint Thomas!

  • Br. Joshua Waits, CFC
    Minister of Evangelism

    Br. Joshua is from the mountains of Georgia, and raised in the Baptist Tradition - "Bapticostals," as he calls them - before joining the Episcopal Church in 2018. They have a MA in American Religious History and Archives/Museum Management, and over 15 years of ministry experience. They are the Archivist for Virginia Theological Seminary, as well as earning a MA of Christian Formation. Br. Joshua served as St. Thomas' seminarian in the 2022/23 academic year. Then Fran asked him to continue to serve St. Thomas as the Minister of Evangelism. Br. Joshua teaches that evangelism as about building authentic relationships and increasing God's fame in the world.

    Br. Joshua is a postulant in the Community of Francis and Clare, a religious order in the Episcopal Church. They enjoy playing the ukulele, singing Southern and Bluegrass Gospel music, theater, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy. You can often see him with his dog, Brother Moses.

  • Mary Cushing
  • Caroline Mitchell
    Ministry Intern
  • Nicole Warga
    Cribbery Caregiver

    Nicole lives in Reston with a spoiled cat named Hampton. She enjoys spending time with her two beautiful nieces Avery (5 years old) and Emery (2 months old) who also live in Reston. She has an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. 




Jan Grimes
Senior Warden (Vestry Class of 2024)
Melinda Fairchild
Junior Warden (Vestry Class of 2025)
Steven Miles
Vestry Class of 2024
Janette Thode
Vestry Class of 2024
Tanya Coogan
Vestry Class of 2025
Christine Forward
Vestry Class of 2025
Lynne Montgomery
Vestry Class of 2026
Rick Howe
Vestry Class of 2026
Chris Johnston
Vestry Class of 2026
Pat Smith
David Alton Smith
Vestry Register


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