The Reverend Canon Dr. Adegboyega Gordon Okunsanya
In the year of 2020, St. Teresa’s has been blessed beyond our imagination with the coming of our Priest-In-Charge, The Reverend Canon Dr. Adegboyega Gordon Okunsanya. We give thanks for Father Gordon accepting God’s call to serve at St. Teresa’s. Although we are in pandemic times, we uphold a spirit of gratitude with Father Gordon’s hope-filled meditations and exceptional pastoral care. It is an honor to respectfully share some of the highlights from Father Gordon’s biography.
The Reverend Canon Dr. Abegboyega Gordon Okunsanya is a native Nigerian dedicated to living a life of service and for the past 35 years has served through ordained ministry. Father Gordon began his studies with a degree in Hospital Administration. After owning and running his own business for 13 years, Father Gordon returned to Seminary at Ripon Hall in Oxford, England, and then completed both Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Father Gordon started his ministry in 1981 in the Anglican Church as lay leader of All Saints Church, Jericho, Ibadan, Nigeria, was ordained Deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1985 and Priest in Nigeria in 1987. Father Gordon served as the CEO, Chairman and Managing Director of Cleric Nigeria Ltd, in Ibadan, Nigeria; Chaplain of the Monroe Boarding Children’s Home and of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee; Assistant Rector of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee, Interim Director of Education, Education For Ministry, (EFM), University of the South Sewanee, Tennessee; Canon-in-Charge of Liturgy, Worship and Community Ministries, Congregational Growth Education and Seniors at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Detroit, Michigan; Canon to the Ordinary and Congregational Growth Diocese of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Interim Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint, MI; Missioner of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) and the Church of Nigeria, Rector of the Church of the Incarnation in Atlanta, Georgia, and continued as a consultant up to 2012 to ECUSA in her relationship to the Church of Nigeria regarding their shared ministries.
Father Gordon has led a life of serving his community and also serving through a multitude of organizations including the Global Episcopal Mission Board, Commission on Ministry, Diocesan Mission Committee, the National Network of Episcopal Clergy of American, The Bishop H.I. Mason Scholarship Foundation.
Father Gordon has been a tireless advocate of ministry emphasizing spirituality that leads to wholeness with oneself, God and others. His main objectives and interests include education and parish ministry with an emphasis on “wholeness” of the person, pastoral counseling and mission work-ecumenism. Father Gordon’s ministry at the Church of the Incarnation has been one of the inclusiveness, i.e., the homeless and needy, women, children, men, elderly and also emphasis on education and development of leaders. The following accomplishments occurred during his leadership at Incarnation: creating a Memorial Garden, Chapel, new nursery, and completion of the stained glass window series in the sanctuary culminating with the Justice Freedom and Mercy Window: instituting a few annual summer Children’s Vacation Bible School, establishing the Lay Eucharistic Visitors ministry, developing cooperative relationships with tenant Renaissance Montessori School, with the Diocese of Atlanta, and with the neighborhood through participation in the Cascade Corridor Ministers Association, and developing Incarnation’s Outreach Ministry both locally and globally.
Father Gordon has been married to Jean Okunsanya for 55 years and they have four children: Leslie and Noose, Andrew and Abimbola, Jeanette, Angela and David. They have seven grandchildren. The Okunsanya family members were an integral part of Incarnation through their unyielding dedication of numerous ministries including Lay Eucharistic ministers, Lay Readers, Choir, Episcopal Church Women, Young Episcopal Stewards, and Outreach, Episcopal Young Church members, Buildings and Grounds Maintenance, Stewardship, and Finance to name a few.
Father Gordon’s personal hobbies are traveling, both domestic and international, tennis, walking, reading and meditation.
Since retiring officially in 2012, Father Gordon has been busy traveling for fun, but also engaging in different aspects of ministries, such as, performing weddings, funerals, counseling and working with Churches experiencing conflicts of one form or the other.
By the invitation of the Bishop of the Diocese of Virgin Islands, he served at St. Mary’s Church, Virgin Gorda, BVI for two years.
Father Gordon came back home to the USA, only to be asked by our own Bishop Wright to serve in the following Churches as Priest in Charge, to help resolve whatever conflicts they may have, and hopefully, help them to revitalize their ministries.
The Churches are:
· Christ the King, Lilburn
· St. Jude’s, Marietta
· St. Edward’s, Lawrenceville
· And now and presently St. Teresa’s, Acworth.
Father Gordon says he continues to give thanks and glory to God for the gifts God has blessed him with, as well as giving him opportunities to use the gifts to help the growth and nourishment of Churches, a part of God’s Vineyard here on Earth.
Natalie Melton received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Kennesaw State University. She worked in the public accounting tax field for 8 years before taking a break to start a family with her husband Scott. The Melton's have two beautiful children-Kendall and Tyler. On her time off, she enjoys cooking and spending time o
Natalie Melton received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Kennesaw State University. She worked in the public accounting tax field for 8 years before taking a break to start a family with her husband Scott. The Melton's have two beautiful children-Kendall and Tyler. On her time off, she enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors with her family. You can reach Natalie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org