Meet Our Clergy
The Reverend Christopher D. Girata
The Rev. Chris Girata was called to be the eighth Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels in June, 2016 and started his ministry at Saint Michael on August 15, 2016.
Previously, Chris served as Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, a position he had held since 2012. Prior to becoming rector at Calvary, he was Associate Rector at St. Luke’s in Birmingham from 2008 – 2012, and as a seminarian served at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and at St. John’s in Chevy Chase, MD.
The Rev. Girata received his Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, in honorus, from Stetson University, a Master of Theological Studies from Emory University, a Master of Divinity, cum laude, from Virginia Theological Seminary, and is completing his Doctorate of Ministry from Duke University. He is recognized as a leader in the Episcopal Church, presenting regularly at church-wide conferences, seminars and retreats, and the Consortium for Endowed Episcopal Parishes.
Chris is a native of Florida, a classically trained musician, and an amateur cook. He and his wife, Nicole, have three children; Brayden, Layna, and Annemarie.
The Reverend William S. “Bill” Murray
Bill is recognized throughout the Episcopal Church as a skilled preacher, teacher, and writer. He gives vision and execution to our formation ministries from birth to our senior adults, providing special focus to the growth and vitality of our children, youth and families. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Bill received his Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, from The University of Memphis in 1997 with majors in International Economics and English Literature. Following his undergraduate studies, for five years he was a youth minister at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, during which time he decided to pursue ordination to the priesthood. He went to Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia receiving his Master of Divinity degree with honors in 2006, and currently is completing his Doctor of Ministry program at Sewanee – The University of the South. Bill is married to Jessica (Jessie), a former youth minister. They have two sons, Moses (Mose) and Abraham (Abe).
The Reverend Hunter Ruffin
Associate for Mission and Outreach
The Reverend Hunter Ruffin joined Saint Michael and All Angels in May, 2015 following his graduation from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. A native of Mississippi and a cradle Episcopalian, as a youth Hunter took an active role as an acolyte, and in youth ministry – including mission trips – and continued that involvement in college. Hunter earned a B.A. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 and an M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University in 2010. He worked for seven years as a Regional Director for the American Red Cross, first in the Delta of Mississippi and then in Southeast Florida. His work in relief after Hurricane Katrina in lower Mississippi and various crises in south Florida earned him both valuable experience and accolades from his superiors. During his years in South Florida, Hunter became active in All Saints’ Church, Ft. Lauderdale and the Diocese of Southeast Florida. An outstanding and gifted organizer in outreach and social justice, a noted preacher and teacher, a caring pastor, coupled with a gregarious personality, sense of humor, natural brilliance, and a love for all people, Hunter brings the exact right combination of skill sets and personality make-up for this ministry post. Hunter was ordained a Deacon in Southeast Florida in the fall of 2014, and ordained to the priesthood at Saint Michael and All Angels on July 11, 2015.
The Reverend Lisa Flores Musser
Associate for Liturgy & Worship
The Reverend Lisa Flores Musser joined Saint Michael and All Angels as Associate for Pastoral Care in July, 2012 and more recently transitioned to Associate for Liturgy & Worship. A native of New Orleans, Lisa did her undergraduate studies at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, worked as an events and media coordinator in sports promotion, then as a regional administrator in the restaurant industry. Prior to seminary at The General Theological Seminary in New York City, Lisa served as a youth minister at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio. Following graduation from seminary and ordination in 2005, Lisa has had a distinguished ministry in Christian formation in parish, regional, and national settings. Lisa served congregations in New York, Fernandina Beach (Jacksonville), Florida, Grosse Point, Michigan, and Memphis, Tennessee. She is married to David Musser, a recent graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary.
The Reverend Bob Johnston
Associate for Evangelism
Much of Bob’s ministry has concentrated on evangelism. He studied church planting in seminary, was ordained in 2003 in London, and served in Brompton. Most recently he helped start and lead the contemporary worship ministry, “Uptown,” at Church of the Incarnation, as well as the small group ministry, “Growth Groups,” and an outreach in local pubs known as “Theology Live.”
Bob has graduate degrees in theology, law, and business from Southern Methodist University, and maintains an intellectual property law practice. He will be at Saint Michael two days a week; on Sundays, serving primarily in the 11:11 Celebration worship service, and one other day during the week. Bob and his wife, Robin, have twin sons, Hugh and Ian.
The Reverend Greg Pickens
Associate for Pastoral Care
The Reverend Greg Pickens grew up in Oklahoma and came to Texas for college. Following his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, Greg worked in the professional/executive search industry and in the computer services industry. In 1999, he began working toward the ordained ministry through the Diocese of Dallas. During his theological studies at Nashotah House in Wisconsin, Greg chose to work in at a downtown Milwaukee parish because of its diverse, urban setting. It was there he met his wife, Noralyn, and her daughter, Annie. After graduation and ordination to the Deaconate, he returned to Dallas. Following a short season as a Deacon, Greg was ordained to the priesthood in 2006 and served as Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Irving, before being called to Saint Michael and All Angels in 2011.
The Reverend Oliver Butler
Associate for Young Adults
Oliver’s ministry is focused on relationship building, fun, and creatively engaging life and the God who gave us life. He has spent over 25 years in some form of youth ministry. He has served youth in church and non-church environments; he’s led kids in camps and on mission trips; he’s worked youth programs in the United States and in Europe. Oliver has been an ordained priest in The Episcopal Church for more than 10 years. Most recently, he served seven years as the senior chaplain at the Episcopal School of Dallas, and, also, has served as Interim Rector at St. Anne’s Church in Desoto. Oliver and his wife, Elizabeth, are parents of one child, Vera.
The Reverend Mary Lessmann
Associate for Spiritual Growth
The Rev. Mary T. Lessmann serves as Associate for Spiritual Growth at Saint Michael and All Angels. Prior to joining Saint Michael, Mary served as Vicar of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Dallas. Previously she served for four years as Associate Rector for St. Andrew’s McKinney and, during her seminary formation, as Director of Educational Programs at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. Mary, a CPA in her former life, was ordained in 2009. A native Texan, she holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. Mary and her husband, Russ, have two young adult sons.
The Reverend Michael Harmuth
Priest Associate for Worship
The Reverend Michael Harmuth is a Priest Associate for Worship at Saint Michael and All Angels. After studying eleven years with the Benedictines at St. Meinrad, IN, and Latrobe, PA, he earned degrees in Philosophy and Theology. Michael was ordained in 1963 and has served parishes in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Virginia, and was Rector of The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Dallas for thirteen years. He took early retirement, after thirty years as an Episcopal Priest, to pursue other forms of ministry. He has served as Chaplain to the Tactical Division of the Dallas Police Department and to the Dallas Division of the F.B.I. He and his wife, Marianne, have three adult children and five grandchildren.
The Reverend Rich Towers
Priest Associate for Worship
The Rev. Richard A. Towers joined the clergy staff at Saint Michael and All Angels as a Priest Associate for Worship in October 2015. During the week he is the Lower School Chaplain at The Episcopal School of Dallas. Before coming to Dallas Father Towers served as Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ithaca, New York. He also has served preparatory schools, seminaries and parishes in the United States and abroad, including South Korea, Guam, and the Philippines. As a Chaplain in the United States Navy, Lt. Towers served as Reserve Force Chaplain for U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) and prior to that as Squadron Chaplain for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS-4) at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. A native of upstate New York and graduate of Bexley Hall at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Fr. Towers is completing a Doctor of Ministry in Educational Leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary.