Board and Leadership

Dean Very Rev. Laurie Benavides

The Very Reverend Deacon Laurie Benavides is Dean of the Southwest Deanery and Deacon in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Deacon Laurie lives out her central ministry as a deacon by leading the church out into the community to serve all people, particularly the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the sick, the homeless and the lonely, and by interpreting to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. Prior to ordination in 2006 in the Diocese of Northwest Texas, she retired from a 31-year career in public education that included teaching in five different school districts in Texas. In addition to many years of teaching elementary students, she managed a Pregnancy and Parenting program at Weslaco High School, was a balanced literacy facilitator and Reading Recovery Teacher in Georgetown ISD, and a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader in charge of training Reading Recovery Teachers in Midland and Ector County ISDs. Currently, her ministry out in the world is carried out through her work with High Mountain Youth Project of Lincoln County, New Mexico, a non-profit she started in order to provide a comprehensive safety net for students experiencing homelessness. Laurie is married to Dr. Roy C. Benavides and they have three grown daughters and two grandchildren.

Vice Dean Nancy Gregory

Nancy Gregory is Vice Dean of the Southwest Deanery and an active member of St John’s Parish in Alamogordo NM. Gregory serves in several different capacities at St John’s, including Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Vestry Member, and Webmaster for Gregory is also an Associate member of the Community of the Transfiguration. As an Associate she follows a Rule of Life overseen by the Sisters.
Gregory retired from a career with the Social Security Administration where she held several different positions from Claims Representative to Operations Officer to Branch Manager to District Administrator. Each position held a wide-ranging variety of tasks, over and above claims taking, including such experiences as delivering Radio Programs on new Social Security benefits, negotiating labor contracts, meeting with elected officials at the local, state and federal levels. Even repairing broken office equipment and computers. There was never a dull moment!
In retirement Gregory became a certified mediator and paralegal, working for several nonprofits and the Bar Association as a mediator. On a different note, she also began to expand her effort as a landscape photographer, studying photography as contemplative prayer. Her work can be seen at the Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography and also at
Gregory is committed to the Episcopal church, and to helping the church deliver its message and ministries, one person at a time. Gregory is widowed. She moved to NM in 2017 to help a beloved brother deal with health issues. She enjoys hiking, camping, museums, and meeting other photographers!

Treasurer – Mr. Sal Saldivar –

Secretary Rev Catherine Lemons

Catherine Lemons was born and raised in South Texas. She became aware of God’s call to her while living in Japan and attending St. Alban’s in Tokyo but further discerned that call at St. Stephen’s Church in Edina, Minnesota. Catherine graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. She served as a Deacon at St. Mark’s in Silver Spring, Maryland. Upon ordination to the priesthood, she served as the Assistant Rector of Trinity Church in Anoka, Minnesota, and then as Rector of Christ Church in Austin, Minnesota. Catherine has been married to Richard for 45 years, has 3 children and 5 grandchildren scattered across the Southwest, and 2 Mini Dachshunds living underfoot.

Deanery Board Members:

  • Rev. John Tober
  • Mr. Pat Lamb
  • Mr. Cris Martin

Loretta Lopez – Self Portrait

Loretta Lopez is our Webmaster. She is a parishioner at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in El Paso, and a self-employed Artist, Illustrator and Graphic Designer. You may contact her by visiting her website at