The Rev. Joe Vella began as Assistant to the Rector on August 1, 2013. He was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, and graduated in the Class of 1966 at Beaufort High School. He attended The University of the South; graduated from The University of South Carolina, B.A. 1984; and Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania, M.Div. 1988. In Charleston, he was ordained a Deacon in 1988 and a Priest on May 24, 1989 by The Right Reverend C. FitzSimons Allison at St. John's, Oakland, where he was Rector. After twelve years of ordained, parish ministry, he was accepted into a Chaplain Residency at Tampa General Hospital, where he earned a Level II in Clinical Pastoral Education, 2001. He was granted an Ecclesiastical Endorsement in Healthcare, and was a Chaplain with The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in Pinellas County. He is married to Judy Rentiers of Charleston, and they have three adult children and four grandchildren. They currently reside in Summerville.