We invite you to get to know the Vestry Candidates for the Class of 2026
- David Joyner - David Joyner (28) is an eighth-generation eastern North Carolinian. He was raised in the Disciples of Christ tradition and more recently worked for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church & Society in Washington, D.C. David moved to Wilmington in 2020 after completing law school and has been active at St. James ever since; he was confirmed in the Episcopal Church earlier this year. He is an Assistant District Attorney for New Hanover and Pender Counties, prosecuting all district court cases originating with the Wilmington Police Department. David’s involvement at St. James includes the young adults and young families group–Bread Breakers, serving as a Lector, serving as a communicator for the Outreach commission, and enrollment in Education for Ministry.
- Dean Gornto - Dean Gornto is a lifelong Episcopalian, having been baptized, confirmed and married at St. James. He and his wife, Mary, have 2 children and 5 grandchildren; for 46 years, they lived in an 1886 family home in the Historic District, but recently ‘downsized’ to their home in South Oleander. Dean is a graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, where later he was a member of the Board of Trustees. Dean served as the St. James Parish Administrator for 16 years, retiring in 2013; prior to that, he was in commercial real estate. Previously, he has been involved at St. James as an acolyte, a member of the Vestry, serving as Senior Warden, a member of a Rector Search Committee and the Outreach Commission and was instrumental in the creation of the St. James Homeless Shelter. He has also been active with various diocesan activities, including service on the Diocesan Foundation Board and on the Board of Visitors of the Kanuga Conference Center. In the community, Dean has been president of several nonprofits, including the Residents of Old Wilmington, the Historic Wilmington Foundation, St. John’s Museum of Art (now Cameron Art Museum), and was the first president of Phoenix Employment Ministry (now StepUp Wilmington). He has also served on the Board of Visitors of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation. Most recently, he has been a Guardian Ad Litem and a volunteer with the Help Hub and Meals on Wheels.
- Erin Trask - Born and raised here in Wilmington, Erin's faith journey began in the Methodist church. She began attending St. James in college with her friend at the time, Allen Trask, and over time it began to feel like home to her. Allen and Erin were married at the Church in August of 2009. They now have three children, Nelson (8), Marian (6), and George (4), all of whom were baptized at St. James and lovingly call it their home. Each of them has attended St. James Day School. Having spent eight years teaching Kindergarten before having children of her own, Erin is passionate about serving the children of St. James and the greater community. When George graduates from the Day School this coming May, Erin will wrap up her third year of service on the Day School Board. Before that, she chaired many years of Vacation Bible School and various events and fundraisers for the children of St. James. Erin recently served as the communicator for the Christian Formation Commission. She is excited to join the Vestry in providing a warm and welcoming environment for parishioners of all ages to learn and grow together in their faith.
- Brandon Candler Tully - Brandon is a “cradle” Episcopalian originally from Atlanta, GA. Brandon and her husband Tom, moved to Wilmington in 2018 with their sons Conard and Hughes and their Goldendoodle Spartan. They immediately joined St. James after hearing from her All Saints Atlanta community that Cookie Cantwell was the ultimate Youth Leader. Since joining St. James, Brandon has served on the Strategic Planning Group and the Stewardship Committee and has also been a Youth advisor to Cookie leading the charge for Faith at Five. Brandon’s latest volunteer adventure has been to envision and execute Wednesday Night Suppers! Brandon is a Senior Global Account Director for HelmsBriscoe (the largest meetings procurement company in the world). Her professional life has her on the road connecting with hotel leadership and advocating for her clients. Brandon’s greatest joy is her family. Conard and Hughes are very involved in Youth Ministries and Acolyting and Tom is a lay reader, sings in the choir, is an acolyte advisor, and volunteers with Men on a Mission. Brandon is excited to continue to serve St. James on the Vestry.