Welcome Rev Whitney Burton

Announcing the appointment of The Rev. Whitney Burton!

The Rev. Whitney Burton has accepted a call from the vestry of the Church of the Good Shepherd to be our next rector. The Rev. Burton and her husband Steven Smith will join the parish on Monday, May 17th.
“Throughout the discernment process, I have been inspired by the Church of the Good Shepherd’s faithful commitment to Christ, your community and each other and I am honored and excited to be called as your next Rector,” said the Rev. Burton. “I know that the Holy Spirit has been at work and I look forward to being in ministry together as we seek to be the People of Christ in a changing World.”

The Rev. Burton, a native of Atlanta, has served as associate for outreach and community life at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Va. since 2015. While at St. John’s in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, she served on the Executive Board, where she headed up the Missions Committee, and currently serves on the Disciplinary Committee. Previously she was resident chaplain at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. She has also served in the Diocese of Southwest Florida; during the summer of 2014, she was seminarian intern at St. Mark, Marco Island. She holds a Master of Divinity from the University of the South, and a B.A. in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of South Carolina.

St. John, Roanoke, is a large, downtown church. There, working on community life, she emphasized her work with outreach and fellowship opportunities. “I look at my ministry as an opportunity to empower laity, bring people together in fellowship and be an example of Christ’s love to the world,” she said in her letter to Good Shepherd.

The Rev. Whitney Burton, her husband, Steven Smith and Georgia!

"She is a compassionate and thoughtful Priest who embraces all as the beloved children of God,” said Senior Warden Phil Beauchamp. “She is extremely capable and has demonstrated her leadership in her preaching and teaching, as a community builder, and a visionary leader."

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The Dunedin parish is one of the oldest in the Diocese of Southwest Florida, founded in 1886. In addition to its Sunday worship, the parish offers a Saturday Celtic service. It also operates a major thrift store operation, which helps support many of the parish’s outreach efforts. The parish was led by the Rev. Becky Robbins-Penniman from September 2010 until her retirement in August of 2020. The Rev. Michael Durning, Canon to the Ordinary Emeritus of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, has served as our priest-in-charge during the search period and will continue through April 25th.