Church of the Redeemer is a growing parish in the heart of the city with a heart for the city. Redeemer is a parish of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, and is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
We are a growing parish of more than 2,500 people, and we invite you to take your place in this Christian community as we seek to serve God by preaching the Gospel, teaching the faith, administering the sacraments, and making disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“To build up the Body of Christ by Word and Sacrament, equipping the people of God for the work of ministry, that Jesus Christ may be known, loved, worshiped, and obeyed in our homes and parish, community and diocese, and throughout the world.”
“Making new Christians,
and making all Christians new.”
~ Church of the Redeemer
Charleston David Wilson
The Rev. Charleston Wilson was appointed Rector on 8 September 2020. Before becoming Rector, Fr. Charleston served as Priest-in-Charge and as the Senior Priest Associate for Evangelism & Parish Development.
Before seminary and ordained ministry, Charleston was a creative entrepreneur in the restaurant, timber, and wine industries, serving in a variety of capacities, including: co-owning a fine-dining concept, managing the strategic human resources for a now national restaurant chain, developing a large, rural tree farm, and consulting both nationally and internationally in the wine industry. He is a certified sommelier, and he enjoys all things gustatory (perhaps too much). Charleston’s educational background includes a degree in religion from Samford University as well as a Master in Divinity (M.Div.) from Nashotah House Theological Seminary (cum laude). Fr. Charleston serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Anglican Digest, a quarterly publication serving 67 countries of the Anglican Communion, and he is also a member of Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. Married to Malacy (neé Touchstone) since 2006, they have two children, Robert Augustus (Gus; 12 yrs. old) and Mary Camille (10 yrs. old). In his spare time, Charleston enjoys cooking, meeting newcomers to the parish, entertaining, and traveling. He may be reached at email@example.com or by calling the parish office.
Christian Michael Wood
Senior Priest Associate for Liturgy and Formation
The Rev. Christian Michael Wood began his ministry at Redeemer as Youth Minister from January 2009 to August 2013. In September 2013, he answered God’s call to ordained ministry and began studies at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. Wood received his Master of Divinity degree from Nashotah in May 2016 and was ordained to the priesthood at Redeemer in June of that year.
When he returned to Redeemer, Father Wood served as Priest Associate for Youth and Young Adults. During that time, he led four youth mission trips: two to the Dominican Republic, another on the East coast of Florida working with children in need and the homeless in urban areas, and one locally, working through a combined effort of our diocese to build a shower facility for the homeless, and help care for children of migrant workers.
Father Wood established the relationship with the Cristo Rey parish in Puerto Plata, in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic in 2011. Since then, Redeemer’s youth have made an annual commitment to serving there, working each summer on a variety of construction projects, running a Vacation Bible School for over two hundred children, and helping God’s people in need, while being transformed by the love they receive in cooperation with our brothers and sister in the Dominican Republic.
Fr. Wood was named Priest Associate for Christian Formation in May 2018, and has led Redeemer’s aggressive formation opportunities, and enjoys the ministry of teaching. These offerings are in the Christian Formation Brochure.
He was named Senior Priest Associate for Liturgy and Formation in May 2020.
A native New Yorker, Father Wood was a successful videographer and editor in New York before being called to ministry in Sarasota. During that time, he edited In the Footsteps of Marco Polo, which was nominated for an Emmy, and co-produced The Other side of Hip Hop: The Sixth Element, which won The Big Apple Film Festival, best documentary (2007).
Father Wood is married to Kate Thomason Wood, granddaughter of Redeemer’s rector from 1965-1978, The Rev. W. Thomas Fitzgerald. They have three children: Maggie-Jane, Michael, and Martha. He enjoys walking, baseball, football, leading Redeemer’s men’s softball team, and spending time with his children. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Priest Associate for Hispanic Ministry
The Rev. Mario Castro began with the Church of the Redeemer as a part-time priest on Nov. 13, 2011, and is now a full-time priest and the leader of the church’s Hispanic Mission which, as of 2012, has the largest Hispanic congregation in the Diocese of Southwest Florida.
Fr. Castro was born in La Joya de Guerra, a small town near Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. In 1971, his father, Jose Wessin, died in Santo Domingo, and his mother, Ramona Castro, supported the family by cultivating and selling vegetables with the help of her six sons and two daughters. Four years later, in search of a better life for her family, Castro’s mother moved the family to the outskirts of a populous neighborhood called “Los Mina.”
In 1978, upon finishing his Baccalaureate studies, he began to study sociology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. But within a few months, his true vocation was discovered: serving God. For the next ten years at Saint Vincent De Paul Seminary, Father Castro completed a four-year course in philosophy, trained as a novice for two years (specializing in church history), and completed his priestly training by studying theology for 4 years, achieving his degree in Religious Sciences.
From 1987 and 1991, Fr. Castro fulfilled various priestly responsibilities, and in 1991, he married Doña Lilly Zaiter and they settled in Tampa, Fl.
In 1994, Fr. Castro and his family began attending St. Francis Episcopal Church; they eventually became very involved in parish life and worked with the community evangelizing. Fr. Castro served on the church’s vestry and held the position of senior warden.
Father Castro was received on Feb. 27, 2011. He may be reached at email@example.com.
The Rev. Ralph W. Strohm began his ministry in January 2020 as a part-time priest associate, assisting the full-time staff clergy during the period of transition to the next rector. A native of Iowa, he served parishes in the dioceses of Rochester (N.Y.), Western New York, and West Virginia before semi-retiring to Florida. He received his Master of Divinity from Bexley Hall Seminary, an M.A. in Teaching from Northern Arizona University, and a Juris Doctor from The University of Iowa Law School.
Prior to ordination, Fr. Strohm taught at the secondary level in Iowa and in youth advocacy programs in Rochester, New York. He has three children, Rebecca and Christopher, who both live in the Pacific Northwest, and Megan, who lives in Hamburg, New York, with her husband Andrew and their children Kayla (9 yrs.) and Maylee (6 yrs.).
In his spare time he is an avid history buff, a committed jogger, and a huge baseball fan.
The Rev. Gary E. Cartwright was assigned as a Vocational Deacon to the Church of the Redeemer by Bishop Smith in June 2018, at the request of Fr. Fred Robinson. Deacon Gary previously served at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, Valrico. Prior to being assigned to Holy Innocents, for six years Deacon Gary was a Canon and Chaplain to the former bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, Bishop Lipscomb. During that period, he was also employed by the Diocese of Southwest Florida as the Director of Diaconal Ministries. Following his retirement from the Diocesan Office he was asked to be the voluntary Archdeacon, overseeing the operation of the diaconate in the diocese.
Deacon Gary has also served as the Director of the Deacon’s Formation Program and is currently a facilitator in the Diocesan School for Ministry Development, teaching classes on Social justice, Community Development and The Ministry of a Deacon. He has a deep interest in the subject of global poverty. Since 2005 he has been on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (EGR).
Deacon Gary was ordained to the Vocational Diaconate on June 14, 1997. Prior to his discernment to the Vocational Diaconate, he was employed by IBM for 34 years, beginning in 1958. His career included field service, programming, engineering, Information Systems and finance. He is a graduated of the New England Institute of Industrial Technology, majoring in Industrial Electricity and Electronics.
He is married to Simone and they have a family of four grown children, twelve grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. They both are natives of southeastern Massachusetts in the New Bedford area. While working for IBM they have lived in Marquette Michigan, Raynham Massachusetts, Amstelveen The Netherlands, Endicott New York, Poughkeepsie New York, and currently in Valrico Florida.
Deacon Gary has an interest in science especially in the areas of Cosmology, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory and Particle Physics. He is interested in the interconnection of these areas with faith and teaches a class at Holy Innocents on Faith and Science. His hobbies include building and repairing personal computers running windows.
MEET THE TEAM
Director of Children's Christian Formation
Associate Choirmaster & Contemporary Music Director
Rector's Executive Assistant
Printing & Copying
Dr. Ann Stephenson-Moe
Director of Event Services, and Receptionist Team
Assistant to the Associate Clergy and Registrar
Janet Trefry, Senior Warden
Doug Spangler, Junior Warden
Mary Page Hill
Mike Hartenstine, Chancellor
Dora Thomas, Treasurer
Retired Clergy In Residence
The Rev. Milton Cheney
The Rev. Michael Durning
The Rev. Reid Heydt
The Rev. Richard Lampert
The Rev. Clay Knapp
The Rev. Fr. Robert Sullivan
The Rev. Canon Everett Walk