The Reverend Jerry Sather
The Rev. Jerry E. Sather is our new Interim Priest-in-Charge at St John Chrysostom Episcopal Church and School. He is an Episcopal Priest and retired military chaplain with 34 years of ministry experience in churches and the chaplaincy.
Father Jerry was born and raised in Montana and grew up in the Methodist tradition. After one year of college, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a saxophonist with assignments in San Francisco and overseas in Germany where he met his British wife, Annette. Following his active-duty Army service, Father Jerry returned to his home state and completed a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Montana. Sensing a call to ministry, he enrolled at Portland Seminary in Oregon, graduating with a M.Div. in 1988. He answered a pastoral call to New Jersey where he served a Nazarene Church for seven years and a United Methodist Church for four years. Throughout his ministry in New Jersey, Father Jerry also served as a U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain.
Father Jerry entered the U.S. Air Force, now as Chaplain Sather, in 1999. His first assignment was back in his home State of Montana where he served as pastor to the liturgical service. This began his long journey to the Episcopal Church under the influence of a fellow chaplain and future Bishop for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries, the Rt. Rev. Carl Wright.
Chaplain Sather’s career took him around the world with assignments to Turkey, England, Nebraska, Japan, Florida, California, and back to England. His deployments include: Operation Southern Watch (Saudi Arabia); Command Chaplain, Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (Qatar, Iraq, and Afghanistan); and Deputy Command Chaplain, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa supporting military missions and building relations with African chaplains. Father Jerry served as a Wing Chaplain (senior base chaplain) three times and achieved his highest position as Command Chaplain for Special Operations Command Central coordinating care for Special Operations Forces in the Middle East in the midst of the ISIS crisis.
Chaplain Sather is a five-time recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal. He also received the Humanitarian Service Medal for support to the Japanese people in the wake of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. Favorite military career highlights include leading pilgrims to visit Ephesus in Turkey, praying at the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England on the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and preaching for Evensong at Oriel College, Oxford on Remembrance Sunday.
Father Jerry completed a Certificate in Anglican Studies in 2016 and was ordained to the Diaconate in the Diocese of Southwest Florida that same year. He was ordained Priest in 2017. Following his retirement from the Air Force in 2020, Jerry accepted a call as interim Priest-in-Charge at St Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes Estates leading them through COVID and a pastoral search. Upon the completion of his interim ministry at St Francis, Bishop Taylor invited Jerry to consider becoming the Interim Priest-in-Charge at St John’s. Jerry brings a wide range of experience in leadership, preaching, liturgics, pastoral care, and strategic planning. His ministry gifts are in preaching, teaching, and Christian formation.
Jerry and his wife, Annette, have been married for 40 years. They have three adult children; their two daughters live in Southern California and their son lives in Omaha, Nebraska with their granddaughter. They enjoy cooking, reading, movies, music, hiking, live theater, and spending time with family and friends.