The Rt. Rev. William "Chip" Stokes

New Jersey

I was born to faithful Episcopalian parents on February 18, 1957–one of two twin boys. My parents met chaperoning a youth group dance at St. Luke’s Church, Forest Hills, New York in the Diocese of Long Island. The marriage lasted only five years. My brother and I were raised by my mother in New York City, but had a strong relationship with our father, who lived in Forest Hills after the divorce. When we were with him on alternate weekends, we attended Sunday School and Church at St. Luke’s, where most of my family for several generations were “hatched, matched and dispatched.” I was baptized at St. Luke’s, married to Susan Martin there, and all four of our children were baptized in that church. It holds a very dear place in my heart. My godfather, Tom Bloomquist, was the rector of St. Luke’s for 33 years; his successor, Joseph Farley, was a dear mentor and had an enormous influence on my growth in faith as a teenager and as an adult. I came through the ordination process with St. Luke’s Forest Hills as my sponsoring parish.

As a young boy, age 10, I had the enormous privilege of attending St. Thomas Choir School in New York City (I was also confirmed there). This experience had a tremendous effect on me, and was the first of several strong conversion experiences that drew me ever more deeply into the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and into the life of Christ’s holy Church.

I attended Xavier High School in New York City–a Jesuit preparatory school that had a tradition of JROTC. I appreciated the self discipline this school taught me. I also attended Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, a Christian Brothers School that teaches in the Lasallian tradition. I attended Manhattan in two shifts: 1975-1977 and 1986-1987. I received an outstanding education, steeped in faith, at these two Catholic institutions. They also taught me why I am an Episcopalian! I love and appreciate the catholicity and breadth of our church.

Susan and I married very young, while I was a freshman in college. I waited tables and tended bar in New York City to put food on the table for us and our family. We have four children. After the birth of our second child, I dropped out of college and pursued a career in restaurants. I was in that industry in many and various capacities until I felt my call to the priesthood in 1985. Susan and I had returned to Forest Hills after living in Houston and Baltimore, where I ran restaurants. In 1986, I returned to Manhattan College, where I completed my Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and World Literature. In 1987, I matriculated at the General Theological Seminary, where I earned my Master of Divinity in 1990.

I was blessed to be called as the Curate and School Chaplain to Grace Episcopal Church and Day School in 1990, and served with John Jobson, who was a wonderful rector and mentor (and who had also been a Curate at St. Luke’s, Forest Hills). After four and a half years at Grace, I was called to be the Associate for Christian Education at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Pam Beach, and served there for four years until I was called to be the Rector of St. Paul’s in Delray Beach, Florida, where I began on January 1, 1999.

My principal focus in ministry in all of my positions has been teaching those I serve to know and strive to live out life in Christ by keeping the Baptismal Covenant. I feel truly blessed in this journey in which I feel strongly the Lord has led me.

Contact Info
808 West State Street
(609) 394-5281, Ext. 11