Clergy & Staff

The Rev. Sarah Phelps


The Rev. Sarah Phelps has served as an ordained minister for more than 20 years in a variety of settings and two denominations – from a solo clergy appointment in a small United Methodist church, to an Associate position in a mid-sized congregation with responsibility for missions and liturgical development, to directing a faith-based community organizing effort in Los Angles, to Rector of a vibrant, multi-staff Episcopal parish of nearly 300 households in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

In each setting, Mother Sarah helped lay leaders, community organizations, and congregations navigate significant transitions that have enabled them to do ministry more effectively, and with greater unity and joy.

Mother Sarah is married to Michael Phelps – no, not the Olympic swimmer, but a pretty great guy all the same. Mike is founder and Executive Director of the Early Manuscript Electronic Library ( which works to make ancient biblical and classical manuscripts accessible to scholars and the general public through digital technologies. Mother Sarah and Mike have a young son, Sam, who is the light of their lives.

The Rev. Mawethu Ncaca

Associate Rector

The Rev. Mawethu Ncaca comes to us as Associate Rector from the Reimagining Curacies program after having served at St. John’s, Wake Forest during the Covid pandemic, St. Titus’, Durham, and The Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill. Born and raised in South Africa, he received a Master’s of Philosophy (Religion and Culture) at  Stellenbosch University. After years in campus ministry and some NGO work forging church partnerships across racial and economic lines, Mawethu relocated to the US eight years ago with his wife and two sons. Mawethu enjoys running and soccer.

As an Associate Rector at St John’s, Mawethu looks forward to serving in a place for more than a year. Futhermore, he is encouraged by St. John’s love of outreach ministries, deliberately making space for intergenerational ministries, and creating healthy systems for growing the church. St. John’s leadership is creative and collaborative, traits that are rare to find. He is excited about St. John’s potential to be a flagship parish for the Diocese in its outreach, creativity, and willingness to be adaptive in engaging the evolving challenges of growing churches.

Karole Badgley

Director of Music Ministry

From performing on concert stages throughout the United States, Europe, Scandinavia and Asia; to teaching on faculties at West Coast colleges and universities; to serving in music ministry at churches in the Midwest, West and East Coasts; Karole Badgley is one diverse, eclectic lady. With multiple undergraduate and graduate performance degrees, she is thrilled to share her lifetime commitment to worship and music with the congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church!

Barbara Kwiatek

Parish Administrator

Barbara Kwiatek joined our staff at St. John’s in April 2011 after relocating with her family from New Jersey. She graduated from William Paterson University with a B.A. Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Human Resources, and an A.A. Degree in Sociology.

Barbara lives in Wake Forest, NC with her husband Walter and her two cats, Mr. Dapper & Sampson. Barbara loves reading mystery books, watching movies, cooking and eating popcorn! She has two adult children, Paige and Justin. Barbara’s family feels blessed to be active members of St. John’s Church.

Mike Phelps

Co-Youth Director

I’ll start with a confession: Although I am Mo. Sarah’s husband, I have trouble finding my way in the Book of Common Prayer.  If I can admit that, you can, too.

The middle and high school kids are St. John’s are sensitive, smart kids with loads of potential.  I am super excited to work with them.  When Sarah and I lived in California, I led our church youth group for four years and loved helping kids grow in their faith by encountering Jesus.  My emphasis in working with youth is to help them understand the big picture of the Bible and Christian faith, so that have tools to talk and think about their faith.  This equips them to have a rich, challenging, and life-changing encounter with God as revealed by Jesus.

I went to graduate school to study the Old Testament, but rather than becoming a professor, I started a non-profit organization, the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL) that applies digital imaging technologies to ancient manuscripts.  I am often in the Middle East and Europe working with ancient and medieval manuscripts.

Christina Kastendike

Co-Youth Director

Christina Kastendike is originally from Maryland and has lived in NC for the last 15 years. She has been married to her husband, Greg, for 17 years and have three boys, Sam 14, Charlie 12, and Andrew 11.

Christina graduated from University of Maryland at College Park in 2000 and has been working in education ever since. She taught middle school for many years before having Sam and becoming a stay at home mom. Sam was lucky enough to grab a spot in St. John’s preschool and we have been involved ever since. She has taught in the 3’s class, led the playgroup, and the music and movement special.  Christina has also taught Sunday school classes at St. John’s. Currently she is a building substitute at Heritage Middle School.

Christina looks forward to working with, and building relationships with St. John’s teens.

Lisa Girimonte

Preschool Director

Lisa has enjoyed being a preschool teacher for more than 20 years. She earned a B.A. degree from Rutgers University in Biological Sciences/Education with a state certification for teaching. She went on to earn a M.S. degree from Illinois State University in Microbiology with an emphasis on Mycology (the study of fungi). She worked as a Research Microbiologist in both a university and then a large pharmaceutical company until she and her husband Mark had their first daughter, Rebecca. When their younger daughter Rachel started school, she dusted off that teaching degree and began teaching preschool and she has loved early childhood education ever since. She is from New Jersey and her family moved to North Carolina in 2013 when she began teaching at St. John’s Preschool. Lisa has been a follower of Christ from a very early age. As a child of parents with differing faiths, they encouraged her to seek her own personal beliefs. Her earliest memories as a young child were of going with many neighbor families to their different churches to experience a variety of worship services.

Lisa and her husband live in Wake Forest with their adorable Shihpoo named Bella. Their two adult daughters both live in Chicago (we are very thankful for daily FaceTime calls with our girls). Lisa is blessed to be a part of the staff of St. John’s and she delights in the laughter and joy she receives daily from our wonderful children at St. John’s Preschool.  After teaching for so many years, it is rewarding to use her experience to lead an incredibly gifted staff of amazing and innovative teachers now as director of our preschool.

Anne (Mimi) O’Donnell


Mimi O’Donnell joined St John’s in 2018 after moving to the Wake Forest area. After a 20 year career in lactation she decided to change direction and is currently pursuing an Accounting degree. She has served as Treasurer for several non-profit organizations and handled Accounts Receivable for the Preschool of her last church. She lives with her husband Kevin, their two youngest children, 2 dogs, and a cat that thinks she is a human. They also have 2 adult children and 7 grandchildren.

Our Bishops

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry
Presiding Bishop & Primate of The Episcopal Church

The Rt. Rev. Samuel Rodman
XII Bishop Diocesan of North Carolina
The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson
Assistant Bishop