Herb Gant

Jan 19, 2023 | Members Corner

My life in the Episcopal Church began with my confirmation in 1961 after I had decided that (1) catholicism  — with a little “c” — is the only expression of Christianity that makes sense, and that (2) the Episcopal Church is catholic. I still believe (1) but sometimes I get a bit nervous about (2). 

After discharge from the Army where I served as a spook in the Army Security Agency, I became highly active at St. Paul’s in Washington, D.C., as did my partner Wade Toth. That parish was and is a strongly Anglo-Catholic parish and my assisting at worship services formed my religious life and how I worship.

I retired as an executive editor of the American Psychiatric Association, and we moved to New Orleans and joined Christ Church Cathedral. I served on the Vestry, but far more enjoyable was serving as the Principal Master of Ceremonies. My job was to guide (and sometimes push) clergy and acolytes through complex liturgies to ensure that everything went as it’s supposed to.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was simply too difficult for us, and we relocated to Wilmington in 2007. After worshipping for a while elsewhere, we discovered St. Paul’s. The parish was struggling at the time, but what shone through was worship that is alive, dignified, and spiritually uplifting. All that and Gospel preaching too! Music is an integral part of the Episcopal Church experience, and what especially stands out at St. Paul’s is the perfect marriage of song and Word and sacrament. 

I have served on the Vestry here, and, once again, it was far more enjoyable to assist in worship services. I was the first Verger for St. Paul’s, serving until I told Father Caleb that I needed some rest, and he chose my friend Leon Tillery to succeed me as Senior Verger. I continue to serve from time to time in other capacities.

It’s my hope that St. Paul’s will remain forever a place of deep sacramental life, worship, and music; with outreach to strengthen charitable agencies; offering genuine hospitality to each other and to visitors; caring for the sick and suffering; comforting the dying, – in all of this we proclaim the Gospel. What a treasure we have to offer our community!