God willing, on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Bishop Chip Edgar will ordain five individuals to the Sacred Order of Deacons in Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, South Carolina. Your prayers and presence are requested.
The candidates for ordination are Joel Billings from St. John’s, Florence; Chet Houston, from St. Helena’s, Beaufort; Scott Poelker from St. Paul’s Anglican, Summerville; Doug Ringer from St. Philip’s, Charleston; and Earl Sease from Christ-St. Paul’s, Yonges Island.
Joel Billings is a member of St. John’s Church in Florence, SC, and is currently employed with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office as the full-time Chaplain/Deputy. He has been married to his wife, Lindsey, for 30 years, and they have been blessed with three sons, Trenton, Grant and Blaine. He has been a past member of the parish choir and is a lay reader for Sunday services. Joel’s ministry in and outside the church has included vacation Bible school leader, assisting youth ministry, group Bible study leader, Young Life of Florence committee member and chairman, and serving full-time for seven years with an international missions agency, Operation Mobilization.
Chet Houston is a member of the Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort. After a career of over 26 years, Chet retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2015 and began working with the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Beaufort as the Executive Director, until he accepted a position aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island in October of 2019. He graduated from the University of Maryland, University College with a bachelor’s degree in management studies, and also holds an MBA from Norwich University. He and his wife of 32 years, Marcy, live in Beaufort and have three grown children. As result of multiple military moves, Chet has been blessed to serve in multiple congregations and parishes in different states and one foreign country. Chet grew-up in the Episcopal tradition as a candle bearer, acolyte, and youth group mentor. As an adult, he has served as a LEM, chalice bearer, usher, Alpha group host, cursillista, vestryman, and a member of various committees.
Scott Poelker has been a member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Summerville for 30 years, where he has served as Senior Warden (twice), adult education teacher, prayer minister, Stephen Minister, lay eucharistic minister, scoutmaster, and food ministry volunteer. He has also served the Diocese of South Carolina as Trustee and assistant coordinator for the 2019 Behold the Man pilgrimage to Israel. Scott recently retired from a 44-year career, serving as the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs at Trident Technical College and as an officer in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps. His experience includes financial management, project management, and facilities design and construction. He has degrees in engineering from Duke and Georgia Tech and a graduate certificate in higher education leadership from the University of South Carolina. Scott was rescued from a path of self-destruction by the Lord Jesus and his wife Pam. God has blessed them with 43 years of marriage, two adult children and three grandchildren.
Doug Ringer is a member of St. Philip’s Church where, along with his wife of 56 years, Scharlene, he has worshiped since moving into the Charleston area eight years ago. Doug has been active in the St. Philip’s healing prayer ministry as well as providing Eucharist to some homebound church members. He leads a weekly combined Morning Prayer/Eucharist service at the Canterbury House in downtown Charleston and the Atria assisted living and memory care facility in Mt. Pleasant, each once a week. Doug is presently engaged as Bishop’s Chaplain, accompanying and assisting Bishop Chip on his official visits to various locations within the Diocese. He is a B.S. graduate of the University of South Carolina and has an M.A. from Appalachian State University. Doug worked as a Special Agent with NCIS for several years before segueing into the CIA, where he was a case officer for 29 years before retirement. Doug and Scharlene have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Earl Sease has been a member of Christ St. Paul’s Church in Hollywood since 2012. He has served on the vestry as Junior Warden, is currently serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, serves as a Reader and Chalice Bearer, ministers to two nursing homes weekly with Service and Communion for the sick, and is involved with Pastoral Care, visiting those in the parish who are unable to attend church. He has been active in helping those in the community in need, such as building wheelchair ramps and assisting in home repairs.. Earl served in the Marine Corps, then graduated from The Citadel as a veteran student. He retired at age 57 from The Prudential Insurance Co. after working as a financial planner. Earl and his wife, Trudy, have been married for 35 years and have two children and four grandchildren. By the Grace of God, at the age of 80, he looks forward to this next chapter in his life serving as a Deacon.