Christ Episcopal Church Staff & Leaders

  • Wm. Blake Rider

    Wm. Blake Rider

    Fr. Blake became the 26th Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in June of 2006. He came to Poughkeepsie from Houston, Texas, where he had served on the staff of Christ Church Cathedral following his graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2004 and subsequent ordination to the priesthood. Prior to responding to a call to the priesthood, Blake worked in the oil & gas industry for 20 years. He lived in Karachi, Pakistan in 1986-87, and in Tunis, Tunisia from 1994 until 1998. Fr. Blake is a native of Oklahoma and a member of the Cherokee Nation. His undergraduate studies were in History & Business Administration at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was while he was a student at ORU that he was confirmed in the Episcopal Church - thanks in large part to music ministry and the Brotherhood of St. Andrews at St. John's Episcopal Church. His faith as an adult grew and matured in Houston, largely in lay ministry at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. As a result of participation in St. Stephen's ministry to individuals living with AIDS, Blake helped found, organize, and manage Milam House, the first group residence for people living with AIDS. He also was involved in the organization and development of the Houston Scottish Rite Dyslexia Training Center. His ministry in the Episcopal Church outside the bounds of the parish include serving as Dean of the Southern Dutchess Clericus, and as a member of the Diocese of New York's LGBT Concerns Committee. In 2006 Fr. Blake was the recipient of the John Hines Preaching Award, given annually to the outstanding preaching entry “where prophetic voice is central within the sermon.”