The Very Reverend Laurie Benavides is Dean of the Borderlands Area 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.
Nancy Gregory is Vice Dean of the Borderlands Area 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 stjohnsalamo.com. 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 https://nancysphotogallery.com
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!
The Rev. Susan Hutchins is Vicar of St. Luke’s Deming and Co-Chair of Rio Grande Borderland Ministries. She also serves a “church without walls” in Columbus, New Mexico and Palomas, Mexico. She resides in Columbus, just three miles north of the border. Susan is passionate about serving those in need and living a spirt filled life centered upon Christ and inclusivity.
Susan graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 2008 earning a Master of Divinity, with honors. She continued her studies working towards a Master of Theology. Her concentration is religious violence and genocide. During her graduate years, she traveled extensively: to eastern Europe to study the effects of communism and post communism on Christianity; to Turkey to study Islam and Christian history and relations; and to Beirut at the Near East School of Theology to study the Armenian genocide and Christian/Islam relations in the middle east. Susan was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of the Rio Grande in 2016. Previous careers include advertising, marketing and product management.
Susan has two grown daughters and six magnificent grand children who range in age from 8 months to 16 years. She is anxiously awaiting meeting her new granddaughter in person.
The Rev. John Tober is the rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Las Cruces, NM. Prior to life in the Church, John served 26 years as an intelligence analyst and officer in a career spanning the US Army, Army Reserve, and Air Force Reserve. While stationed at Holloman AFB, John began discerning the call to full-time ministry and, after leaving Active Duty in 2014, attended seminary at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX. John’s first call following seminary and ordination was at Trinity Episcopal Church and Day School in Baton Rouge, LA, where he served as curate and chaplain. John was called as rector of St. James’ in the summer of 2019. He and his wife Amy are pleased to return to the Land of Enchantment. They have one daughter, Leigh Ann, who lives in Germany with her husband, Bernd.
Treasurer: Sal Saldivar is the Diocese of the Rio Grande Borderlands area treasurer. A native El Pasoan, he studied Mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso, and works as a local freelance engineer for various clients. An active member of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in El Paso for any years, he has served there as verger and usher, as well as serving on the vestry as a member, as Junior Warden (currently) and also as Warden. He also currently serves as Board Treasurer at the El Paso Citizen Police Academy.
Patrick Lamb is a lifelong Episcopalian and has served in various positions with his church, St. James’ in Las Cruces, and for the Diocese of the Rio Grande. He grew up in Ruidoso and has lived in New Mexico most of his life. He is retired and a former journalist, bank marketing executive and occasional professional hot air balloon pilot. His wife of almost 50 years, Margo, is volunteer organist at St. James’ church. They have two children and four grandchildren living in Texas and California.
Cris N. Martin was raised in both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches and is the eldest of four children of a military family. Like his late Mother and Grandparents, Cris is a Benedictine Oblate. Cris is a Veteran; he served as a Medic in the US Army, and moved to El Paso in 2008. He brings with him a myriad of leadership experience and service from various positions over the years and is always eager to help those whom he can. Cris is active in several organizations, including the El Paso County Veteran’s Treatment Court as a Veteran Peer Mentor, and as a longtime Veteran Peer Team Member of the Texas Military Veteran Peer Network and he serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Concordia Cemetery Heritage Association. Cris is the coordinator of the St. Alban’s Zoom and Facebook ministries. Cris is a firefighter by profession and is in the process of completing his master’s degree of Public Safety Administration. He and his husband, Adrian live in El Paso, TX.Ω
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 lorettalopez.com