Thank you for reading this second edition of our Diocesan Foundation’s campaign e-newsletter. As the new academic year is underway, we are pleased to highlight our Diocesan university ministries. Beginning with our first college ministry at Florida College for Women (now The Florida State University) in 1927, our Diocese has supported an Episcopal ministry for the academic communities in Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Jacksonville. The Chapel of the Resurrection at FSU and the FAMU ministry at St. Michael and All Angels in Tallahassee, the Chapel of the Incarnation in Gainesville at UF, and the university ministry through the Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville are vibrant congregations dedicated to serving those within these universities. Numerous Diocese of Florida clergy and parish lay leaders experienced a strong church community while they were students at FSU, FAMU, UF, and UNF, and with your prayerful and financial support, many more will continue to benefit from these active congregations.
Our campaign, Procession—Unified In Mission , supports these important Diocese of Florida ministries. I hope that this newsletter will encourage you to join those who are helping us strengthen these ministries through a financial contribution that will benefit their programs and facilities. Through your important contributions, you are investing in vibrant Episcopal leadership now and in many more future years. Thank you for your prayerful consideration to join our Campaign.

Doug Walker
Bishop’s Deputy for Advancement & Stewardship
Executive Director, Diocese of Florida Foundation, Inc.
As he gazed outside from Library West one afternoon during his Freshman year, Carlton Smith noticed a historic-looking, beautiful building nestled along University Avenue. After exploring the campus further and seeing a flier for a Welcome Week event, Carlton soon found that this building was actually Chapel of the Incarnation, or affectionately called Chapel House, the Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Florida.

Carlton had grown up in and out of church but considered himself agnostic since high school. When he started college, he began to explore the idea of going back to church.

“I had done a lot of research on the Episcopal church and realized that the denomination had a wide-range of accepting beliefs that I found appealing,” said Smith. “Once I got involved and met the people at Chapel House, it cemented me.”

Carlton quickly felt like he had found a group of friends who he could confide in. “Although I was new to the group, I never felt like an outsider or the need to have to prove myself in order to feel accepted,” he said. “This idea was transformative to me, the notion that you could be your true self in a church only added to the welcoming environment.”

After less than a month of being involved at Chapel House, Carlton was invited to grab coffee with the Rev. Adam Young. “Adam and I discussed a lot of complex issues that had distanced me from the faith in my past,” Smith said. “To be able to talk to a priest about these hard issues in an intimate setting, so quickly after I became involved at Chapel House, just shows how warm and close-knit the community we have here is.”

Carlton continued to get more and more involved at Chapel House by regularly attending a Bible study each week. “When I first attended a meeting I was surprised to know that we could study a single section of a chapter of the Bible for two hours and have a deep theological conversation where everyone could share their differing opinions in a supportive and encouraging way,” he said. “This was a radical departure from what I was used to. It was refreshing to be part of a group where we could have different opinions, respect everyone’s opinions, and continue in the same community. We were all different, yet we could all get along.”
As time went on, Carlton continued to grow in his faith and also became a leader in Chapel House. He decided to become a baptized Christian and continue a lifelong journey with Christ. He was also voted Fellowship Chair and hopes Chapel House can continue to have an immensely positive effect on the UF community. “I can only hope that more people seek out, discover, and find a place in Christian communities such as this one,” he said. “There is no perfect Christian, so you shouldn’t feel apprehensive to explore your faith and find a like-minded body of believers who support you and encourage you every step of the way.”

The Reverend Lisa Meirow grew up as a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, Florida. She was very involved in various ministries and as a result came to view her church family as an extension of her actual family. Her church family regularly offered support and were always there for her when she struggled or faced adversity. This led to her faith being wrapped up around the people at church as she saw God through them.
When she arrived on campus at Florida State University she soon realized the Episcopal College Ministry had been temporarily closed. “When I went off to college, I felt like I lost that family,” Meirow said. She visited several other Episcopal Churches around Tallahassee and soon became somewhat involved in one, but it never felt like home.
“My relationship with God was very strained during this time,” said Meirow. “I was forced to figure out who God was to me outside of a community, which then brought me back to church.”
A few years later while she was beginning classes at the Florida State University College of Law, a friend told Lisa that the Episcopal University Chapel had a new Chaplain. She decided to visit and was surprised to see a thriving group of college students. “I walked in and saw someone I had done Happening with, and it was instant family,” she said.
Lisa and her now husband, Jordan, became really involved at the EUC. “We were probably there three nights a week and all of our close friends were ones we made at the chapel ministry,” she said. “It taught me that being a Christian was not only what you did on Sundays, but that you were a Christian all week long.”
As Lisa continued to serve at the EUC, she became a vestry member and learned the ins and outs of leading in a church. She served as Senior Warden and through the mentorship of Father Mike Sowards, she learned the fundamentals of growing and sustaining a healthy church.
Upon graduation, Lisa and her husband moved back to Jacksonville where they were again deciding which church to attend. They started attending and began to get involved at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and soon learned that this parish was in the planning stages of starting a college ministry at the University of North Florida. Because of her experiences at Ruge Hall while at Florida State, she was eager to be involved in forming a ministry at UNF.
“Helping to start the UNF ministry really convinced me that God was calling me into ordained ministry,” Lisa said. “Even though I had an inkling as a teenager that I may one day be a priest, I thought it would be after a long career as an attorney. Working with college students convinced me that God had other ideas.”
Lisa soon went on to follow Christ’s calling in her heart and completed her Masters of Divinity at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 2018. She returned to Jacksonville and was thrilled to accept an opportunity to serve as Curate in her childhood church, All Saints Episcopal.
“College Ministries provide a unique opportunity to make a huge impact in the lives of students as they are entering adulthood,” Meirow said. “Supporting our Diocesan College Ministries is absolutely essential. Monetary support is always appreciated, but there are so many different ways to give to these students. Giving your time by mentoring a student, or using your talents by providing a meal for the students, all of these can be so impactful in growing the future body of Christ and the Episcopal Church.”
University of Florida:
Chapel of the Incarnation is a lively Episcopal Christian ministry among the students, faculty, and staff in the University of Florida and Santa Fe College communities. We are a worshipping body committed to helping people enjoy, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. As a member of the global Anglican Communion of Churches, our mission is to raise up Christian leaders in the university community and cultivate an environment of learning, discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom that will bless and enrich our culture and world for the sake of Christ. Learn more at

Florida State University:
The Episcopal University Center at Ruge Hall is a community of people from FSU and TCC who believe resurrection, and amazing transformation, is possible for everyone. Through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension Jesus changed the world forever and offered each of us a special place in it. Most of us meet in weekly small groups, or "micro-groups," to explore this and other fundamental questions about Christ's work and our lives. On Sunday's we gather in the Chapel of the Resurrection where we worship in the Anglican tradition, blending ancient prayers and scripture with contemporary praise. Visit for more information.
University of North Florida:
The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville currently supports the Episcopal collegiate ministry on the University of Florida Campus through their Assisting Priest and Campus Minister, Rev. Sarah Locke. Students meet each Tuesday Night on campus for food and faithful conversation. Learn more by visiting .

St. Michael and All Angels in Tallahassee has had a long and rich history of serving the students at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, beginning with the church's first lay leader and FAMU President, D.T. Tucker, who helped establish the relationship between the church and the university. Today, this university ministry is led by Mr. Jaelyn Guyton, a faithful lay member at St. Michael and All Angels. Learn more by visiting .