Our Clergy

Canon George F. Woodward III

Woodward was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio University, received an M.A. in Theology from Ashland Theological Seminary, and an M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Following graduation from Seminary in 1983 he was called as Associate Rector to All Saints-by-the-Sea in Montecito, Santa Barbara, serving for five years. He thereafter spent two years in the Republic of Turkey as Assistant to the Archdeacon for the Aegean, working as a civilian chaplain at Incirlik Air Force Base in southeastern Turkey, and at the British Embassy Chapel of St. Nicholas in Ankara.

Upon returning to the United States in 1991 he was called as Rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Apple Valley, during which time he was also Dean of the Eastern Deanery of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

In 1995 Woodward became the Seventh Rector of St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, San Marino, California (1995 – 2018). For many years he served on the Board of Hillsides Home for Children, Pasadena; as Chair of the Diocesan Program Group on Global Partnership; and as the Vice President for Foundation Cristosal, a Human Rights Organization based in El Salvador. He was named a Canon of the Diocese of Los Angeles in 2011, and a Canon of the Diocese of El Salvador in 2014.

In 2018 he was called as the Seventh Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México.

Woodward is the co-author with Bishop Frederick H. Borsch of ‘Introducing The Lessons of The Church Year’ 2009, and the author of ‘Prayers of The People’ St. Mark’s Press, 2016 and other works of poetry and short fiction.

Karen O’Malia
The Reverend

O’Malia, previously a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was received as an Anglican Priest in the Spring of 2018 by the Bishop of Mexico, the Right Reverend Carlos Touche-Porter. An Episcopal Bishop participated in her Lutheran ordination in Chicago under a concordant between American Lutherans and Episcopalians folding Lutherans into the historic episcopate and permitting this regularization of Holy Orders. Mother Karen has extensive experience in Music, Education, and Human Resources. An evangelist at heart, she is deeply committed to social engagement and the pursuit of social justice. Mother Karen retired to San Miguel in 2016 along with her husband John. Mother Karen serves an especially active role presiding at the sacramental marriages conducted at St. Paul’s, and as an assisting priest in daily parish life.

Dr. Ernie Townsend
The Reverend

Townsend has been a communicant of St. Paul’s since 2000, actively involved in the liturgical, administrative and pastoral life of the parish. Father Townsend established a Pastoral Care Committee at Holy Cross Church, Kingston, NY, where members received training in empathetic listening and pastoral counseling. He was ordained a deacon at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and as a priest by the Right Reverend Carlos Touché-Porter when Touché-Porter was Primate of the Anglican Church in Mexico. Father Ernie holds a Masters degree from Syracuse University’s School of Social Work and Doctorate from New York University’s School of Public Administration. Father Townsend is retired, but remains an active presence at St. Paul’s.

Dr. Jeffery E. Sells
The Reverend

Sells graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1967 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. After working in the nuclear testing program for the US Government, he went to seminary at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA, graduating in 1979. Father Sells served the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New Mexico, Utah (for which he was the Diocesan News Coordinator and Editor of the Diocesan monthly paper), Olympia, Washington, and Wyoming. He received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, spending time in the VA system working with Vietnam era vets in the Salt Lake City VA hospital. He retired from St. David’s in 2010 and moved to San Miguel de Allende, where he lives with his wife, Elaine. Father Sells is retired, but remains an active presence at St. Paul’s.

William (“Mac”) McCord Thigpen III
The Reverend

Thigpen was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his B.A. from Oral Roberts University in 1978 and his Master of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City in 1983. He served as Assistant Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1983 – 1988, as Associate Rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Los Angeles from 1988 -1990, as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Los Angeles from 1990 – 2002, and as Rector of St. Bartolomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia from 2002 – 2016 during which time he also served as Dean of the Eastern Atlanta Deanery.

Celebrating more than a quarter century together, Mac and his husband John Lavier were married at St. Esprit Episcopal Church, NYC in 2013. Mac has three adult children and three grandchildren. Following John’s 2017 retirement as senior vice president of an Atlanta bank, the couple decided to make their permanent home in San Miguel de Allende, where they had spent a great deal of time together through the years.

Father Thigpen is an accomplished artist and enjoys gardening, antique-hunting and home-renovation. He enjoys competence in Spanish and, though retired, looks forward to offering his liturgical, organizational and preaching skills to St. Paul’s.

Our Vestry

The Vestry of St. Paul’s is the governing board, chaired by the Rector, with oversight for the guidance and well-being of the parish. Comprised of 12 members with three year rotating terms, current members are: Paul Escott (Senior Warden), Bud Lawrence (Junior Warden), Bill Lynn (Treasurer), Elaine Sells (Clerk), Quinlan Brown, Sunni Putnam, John O’Malia, Susan Robinson, Christine Eyre, and Tim Liner.