The Reverend Father Willis R. Foster


The Reverend Willis R. Foster

I am a third generation Episcopalian. My grandfather was a priest in Mississippi. I was born and raised in Greensboro, NC where I was active in the life of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. Upon graduation from high school and college I entered the Army for a short time and subsequently joined the United State Ma-rine Corps.

After retirement from the Marine Corps in 2000, I was employed as an assistant professor at Regent Univer-sity’s, Center for Leadership Studies, where I special-ized in the areas of faculty socialization and organiza-tional mentoring. During my tenure there I presented papers on mentoring at both national and international academic conferences and also published articles on mentoring and learning organizations in both academic and popular press journals. After leaving Regent Univer-sity I was employed as a consultant to the Department of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As a senior mili-tary consultant I developed and conducted seminars on disaster preparedness planning/training for both military and civilian organizations.

While at Regent I served the Diocese of Southern Vir-ginia as a volunteer consultant working with churches in the areas of strategic planning, congregational develop-ment and conflict resolution.

I have been a member of St Mark’s Episcopal Church Suffolk, VA since 1995. While a member there I served on the vestry, been senior warden, member of the choir and men’s club and also was licensed as a lay Eucharis-tic Visitor/Minister, lay preacher and lay reader.

As a student at Virginia Theological Seminary I have been active in the seminary choir, student chairman of minority/ethnic ministries organization, President of the Organization of Black Episcopal Seminarians, the lead planner for the All Hallows Eve Service and presently serve a the seminarian at Trinity Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, Va. This past school year I was one of the soloists in role of Jesus in a local pro-duction of an original musical titled "The Gospel

During this summer along with duties here at St Stephens I have worked on several projects for the Dio-cese that focused on small church planning and develop-ment. I also conducted with the Canon to the Ordinary a mutual ministry review at a church in the western part of the diocese.

I have a Master of Science Degree in Management from Troy State University, ABD in Higher Education Ad-ministration from Old Dominion University and

I have just completed a Masters of Divinity Degree at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. As a candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of South-ern Virginia I hope to be ordained into the priesthood in 2010.

I have four children, three grandchildren and am married to the former Duanne D. Hoffler of Suffolk, Va.