In the Episcopal Church, the clergy is a group people ordained ministers who are called to carry out the pastoral duties and sacred rituals of the church. At St. Peter’s, the clergy member that leads us is our rector, Fr. Tom Slawson.

Typically, a rector is the priest in charge of a self-supporting parish, and is the ecclesiastical authority of the parish. The term is derived from the Latin for “rule.” The rector has authority and responsibility for worship and the spiritual jurisdiction of the parish, subject to the rubrics of the BCP, the constitution and canons of the church, and the pastoral direction of the bishop. The rector is responsible for selection of all assistant clergy, and they serve at the discretion of the rector. The church and parish buildings and furnishings are under the rector’s control. The rector or a member of the vestry designated by the rector presides at all vestry meetings.

Father Tom Slawson

Father Tom SlawsonI came to St. Peter’s, Ellicott City, in July, 2012 after spending all but one year of my ordained life in the Diocese of Mississippi. A native of Memphis, I graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill (Chicago). I was ordained in the Diocese of East Tennessee in 1985. It was following that year that I came to the Diocese of Mississippi. Most recently I have served as priest associate at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea in Gulfport, Mississippi, and before that as rector of St. Philip’s in Jackson for 15 years, and in other parishes in the Diocese of Mississippi. While in the Diocese of Mississippi I also served as Camp Director at our Diocesan summer camp for 20 years. I also held several Diocesan offices including Standing Committee, Executive Committee, and was also Diocesan Liturgical Officer for a number of years.

I am delighted to be in the Diocese of Maryland, and at St. Peter’s, Ellicott City, with the unique opportunities facing this parish in light of recent history here. In addition to that I am one of the National Cathedral Chaplains, and celebrate and preach there once a month. I love the rich opportunities that are offered by living in the Baltimore/DC area, and experiencing the Maryland/Virginia outdoors.

My wife Sonja and I met at the University of Tennessee when we were both students there and reconnected some years later. We have three grown daughters. In my free time I love photography, hiking, and any other activities that take me outdoors.

Contact Father Tom at any time via email at, or call him at the church at 410-465-2273. He would love to answer your questions and get to know you!